Sorry, Shea, but you are wrong, wrong, wrong on this one. Here’s Nick Young beating your beloved Spurs and pissing off Kobe to no end with his own impossible buzzer beater. Long distance prayers are the one shot where I would take Swaggy P over Kobe.
A few notes about the video that make this shot perhaps the Kobe-est Kobe moment:
(0:05): Kobe claps for the ball like a rich man’s version of Dion Waiters
(0:07): Drops his hands in resignation
(0:14): Raises his palms skyward at Jeremy Lin, asking “why didn’t you pass me the ball?”
(0:15) Angrily stares down Lin, then slapping him in the back of the head
(0:36): Walks to the bench, never congratulating Young for hitting what would be the game winning shot.
This happened during the forgettable 2014 season under the even more forgettable coaching of Byron Scott.
This is what happens when you sign an aging egomaniacal superstar recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon to a max deal instead of trading him to the Nets for multiple draft picks in 2013. The Lakers have spent the last five years in purgatory because of it, instead of blowing up the 2013 team and starting a true rebuild.
Just compare 2012–2013 Kobe vs Pierce and tell me the Nets wouldn’t have signed Kobe in a (Brooklyn) New York minute:
Kobe: 27.3 pts, 5.6 reb, 6.0 ast, 1.4 stl, 3.6 to, .463 fg%, .857 ft%, 8 ft/game
Pierce: 18.6 pts, 6.4 reb, 4.8 ast, 1.1 stl, 2.8 to, .436 fg%, .787 ft%, 5.5 ft/game (his only advantage was being a better 3-point shooter — 38.0% to Kobe’s 32.4% — resulting in an extra .2 3-point baskets per game.)
Forget about Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, Al Horford, etc. — Pierce was the team’s real MVP from 2013–2018.
(Disclaimer: I was a big Kobe fan until he started throwing teammates under the bus when he personally blew two playoff games against the Thunder in 2012.)