Sunday, May 02, 2010

All Alone

There's an epidemic surfacing of NBA stars deriding their teammates past and present. In recent weeks, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade have all fallen victim.

A reporter asked Kobe Bryant if his ability to decide when to pass and when to shoot is a result of his growing maturity. Kobe answered that he had two seven footers to pass to now. During the era when the Lakers were mediocre, he claimed didn't have any teammates good enough to pass to (Lamar Odom?). There's no doubt that the Lakers' supporting cast is far better than it was from fall 2004-early 2008. But Kobe wasn't able to make his teammates better during that period. I don't believe his comment is so egregious, however, simply because it's Kobe's competitive fire coming out. He doesn't want to admit that it took him time to figure out exactly when to score and when to defer. He's done that now.

Carmelo Anthony, after a loss, exclaimed that he needed some help, he couldn't win alone. It was a ridiculous remark. For starters, Chauncey Billups is the leader of the Nuggets. Anthony is merely the leading scorer and highest profile player. In Game 4, Carmelo scored 39 points on 13-26 shooting. That game induced his "need some help" comment. It's true that he didn't get much scoring help that particular game. But he also turned the ball over an astounding 9 times! Maybe Carmelo thought he was still in high school. Nine turnovers easily ruins his good shooting night. Besides, he has a number of good teammates. Perhaps, he just wanted to fit in with Kobe. Incidentally, Carmelo struggled in the next two games.

Dwyane Wade stated that a great player can win one game, but not a series. He asserted that's just what he did in Game 4 against the Celtics. Wade was on fire. He seemingly couldn't miss in the fourth quarter of that game. But the claim that he won that game on his own was incredibly insulting to the four reserves that left their hearts out on that floor. Dorell Wright, Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, and Maurice Chalmers aren't the most talented, but their hustle enabled Wade to go off. How about giving them some credit? Without their scrappy play, Miami loses. It was simply a classless comment.

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