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There’s a Black Mamba sighting in Phoenix. Lakers win the Western Conference Finals.


Kobe Bryant looked stoic during the Lakers took a timeout with just under a minute to play in their Western Conference finals matchup with the Phoenix Suns. His expression was screaming one phrase; there’s no way we can go to a game seven with these guys.

When the timeout was over, Bryant didn’t check back in the game, rather it was his alter ego, the assassin that goes by two words ” Black Mamba,” that emerged.  After a defensive stop, he would kill any hope the Sun’s fans and players’ hearts had left when he hit a contested shot over forward Grant Hill, who had defended Bryant as well as you can without fouling him.

“Those aren’t shooter’s shots; they’re scorer’s shots,” Phoenix’s Steve Nash said. “Those are best-player-in-the-game-type shots.”

To make matters worse, Bryant hit the shot in front of the Sun’s bench, tapping Suns coach Alvin Gentry on the hip as if to say, ” How do you like that shot?”

Gentry expression is something that players in the league have said for quite sometime. What can you do when you do everything you can to Bryant ? Nothing.

“I always thought he was the best player in basketball,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said.

LeBron James had to have been shaking his head now in Ohio. Maybe he was watching the NBA western conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns at a friend’s or teammates house — or his own. Either way, he has to respect the skills under pressure that Bryant possesses.

He now goes to the NBA finals looking for his fifth championship in seven attempts to the LeBron’s zero championships in one attempt.

Bryant’s 111- 103 victory means the Lakers get a rematch with a familiar foe in the team’s history, the Boston Celtics. The last time the two met in the Finals came in 08 when the Celtics overpowered Kobe & Co. A performance that included a 40-point win in the deciding game.

This proves more and more Bryant is further distancing himself from all his peers in the league. Everyone knows he’s consistently unworldly in the regular season but he’s a newer version of big game James Worthy in the regular season but he’s money in playoffs. This is coming from a person who is not a big fan of the man. You have to recognize the realness and if your a true basketball fan, real recognizes real.

With that being said, Bryant showed in the last two minutes of the game why he’s considered the best in the NBA despite not winning the MVP award, and has pushed the ceiling for everyone in the league yet again.

In other words — sorry LeBron — the Black Mamba is the king of the basketball court.

One Comment
  1. Ben Bullock permalink

    Good blog JP. I’ve been a FIRM believer in Kobe being the better player than LeBron despite his age and some loss of athleticism/ability at this stage is his career. But I said to myself when the playoffs began, if LeBron were to win a title he would put a lot people to rest by claiming the title as “the best player in the league”. But after his performance in the Boston series & with Kobe showing out last night (and the majority of the playoffs), LeBron still has a little ways to go until he gets on Kobe’s level.

    There’s NOBODY in the league who has a better drive & determination to win a game more than Kobe Bean and when he smells blood, he goes in for the kill unlike Mr. James. Granted LBJ can do a little more athletically than Kobe, but Bryant overcomes all of that with his will & understanding of the game. Mind over matter. Basketball is more than just being athletic, but it is the understanding of when to take over game and out smart your opponent with your MIND. And there’s only been TWO who’ve mastered that: MJ & Kobe Bean.

    Ben Bullock.

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