What up world and welcome to another edition of The Blog About Nothing. Welcome to the month of December, the greatest month there is. Is it because it’s the last month of the year? No. Is it because Christmas and Hanukkah are this month? Nope. So why is it so great? It’s great because this is the month I was born. Despite me dreading becoming another year older, thus pushing me closer and closer towards my mid 30’s (GASP!!!), its’ my birth month and I will rejoice in it despite my dread. Today also happens to be the 46th birthday of one of my idols, the rapper Jay-Z. So happy birthday to the God M.C. a.k.a. Shawn Carter.
However, it’s not all joy in The Blog About Nothing world. Nah. While I sit here listening to Kid Cudi’s Speedin Bullet To Heaven album, I would be remiss if I didn’t say Rest In Peace to Scott Weiland. The former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver front man passed away at the age of 48. While I am a hip hop guy at heart, thanks to being a part of the MTV generation, I was exposed to all musical genres and I’m a bit of a rock aficionado. Stone Temple Pilots’ Creep is one of my favorite songs, and I can do a decent karaoke version of Plush. Both of those songs are memorable because of Weiland’s perfect rock and roll voice. That voice of his was meant to be a rock and roll star, and thank the Lord he was one. Sad to see him leave this Earth. May he Rest In Peace.
This week I’ll talk about the end of Kobe Bryant’s career. The Los Angeles Laker great has announced this will be his final season. After 20 years in the National Basketball Association, he is prepared to say goodbye. Kobe isn’t having the best of seasons, as I’ll elaborate in the upcoming paragraphs, but as evidenced in his recent game against the Washington Wizards, there is still some magic left in his game. So, you ready? Let’s do this!
Is Kobe Bryant ending his career gracefully? Heck no. The greats that he stands among, for the most part have had more graceful ends to their careers than Kobe has. Michael Jordan might have been a shell of what he was with the Washington Wizards, than he was with the Chicago Bulls, but even he was an effective player on a 37-45 Wizards team. Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were effective players on playoff bound teams. Wilt even played in an NBA Finals in his final season. The point is that these great players matured, and were willing to sacrifice their games in order to have a successful ends to their careers. Their play definitely runs counter to what the Lakers have seen in Kobe’s selfish play.
However, by declaring that he is going to retire now, instead of playing this season out in limbo, he has effectively controlled the narrative over what is another disappointing Los Angeles Lakers season. Instead of fussing over Kobe being a selfish gunner and launching one air ball after another, we can now say that every game he plays, is one less game that we have to observe his brilliance. Every game in a road arena will be one more opportunity for those fans to give him a standing ovation. He takes our minds off of the fact that Lakers will likely finish this season with one of the worst records in the National Basketball Association and places it solely on himself.
As a Lakers fan, all I can say is thank you Kobe Bryant. As a person, I didn’t like you. I thought your single minded focus made you a bit of an asshole, but as a fan I understand why you needed that to fuel your greatness. I was at the game in Philadelphia back in February 2012, when Kobe climbed to fourth on the All-Time scoring list. That was my only opportunity to date to see the Black Mamba play in person. The only Lakers game I have attended to date. I had that opportunity, but now I want to see the franchise improve.
While I am not sold on Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and only moderately sold on rookie D’Angelo Russell, I think the Lakers do have some building blocks that can be built on. If the Lakers can find a little lotto magic and keep hold of their top 3 protected 2016 draft pick, then that is another potential young star to add to the unit. Nothing wrong with building in the draft, but it’s going to take more than that. Specifically, it will take the removal of head coach Byron Scott, and someone that actually knows basketball to be the brains of the organization.
The days of selling the glamour of Los Angeles to prospective free agents are over. Many NBA players keep a home in Los Angeles in the offseason. So they are more than familiar with the charms of Los Angeles. What the Lakers need to sell is a future. They could not have done that with Kobe hanging around, but maybe, just maybe, they can now. I for one will be intrigued to see how the Lakers go forward, but I hope they do so knowing that the ways of Dr. Jerry Buss is over. The Lakers need to advance into this century, and in a hurry.
I’m done. I’ll let Kobe be the only topic this week. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting us here at 7Poundbag.
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