Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  102 responses

Kobe Bryant Looking for Vengeance Against the Suns

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

The last two times the Lakers and Suns met in the postseason (2006 and 2007), things ended horribly for Kobe Bryant and his team. Despite having enjoyed tremendous success since then — largely due to his very public trade request, followed by seething demands for personnel change in L.A. — the mere thought of playing against Steve Nash and company in a Playoff series makes his blood boil.

Last night, after the Lakers completed their four-game sweep of Utah, things in the postgame press conference things went from jovial, to downright icy when a reporter asked Bryant if he’s looking forward to avenging himself against the Suns.

and NBA.com have the details:

The Los Angeles Lakers advanced to their third straight Western Conference finals by sweeping the Utah Jazz with a 111-96 victory on Monday night. Next up are the Phoenix Suns, who the Lakers have beaten seven times in nine games since acquiring Pau Gasol. But that doesn’t matter to Bryant. When asked if he recalled that the Suns knocked the Lakers out of the postseason during their last two meetings in 2006 and ’07, Bryant’s eyes filled with disdain.

“What do you think? You already know,” Bryant said, staring through his questioner.

As Bryant moved off the of the podium and headed down a hallway to the Lakers’ team bus he was asked about the Suns again and used colorful language about the Lakers’ Pacific Division rivals … That’s why Bryant can’t wait to see the Suns again. He knows he’s showing up to the fight better prepared than he was before. When asked if he was still upset about those back-to-back playoff losses to the Suns, Bryant couldn’t hide behind his emotions behind his designed sunglasses if he’d tried. He’s still seething about it. “Just a little bit,” he said.

Despite whatever rage may be coursing through Kobe Bryant, his Lakers are the favorites heading into the series against Phoenix. Their size, depth and experience give them an undeniable advantage.

That being said, I don’t think the Suns can take comfort in any of the above. Starting next Monday night, Bryant will be out for blood, which spells trouble for the folks in the orange uniforms.

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  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Jukai’s views on this horribly slanted piece should be interesting. Mutoni, be better than this. Thank you. While most of us can see the Lakers taking this in 6 games or less, if the Lakers sleepwalk through a game, it could be way more interesting than it should be.

  • Sparker

    what eboy said

  • Ruben

    kobe might be looking for some vengeance against the suns but just like there other two meetings in the post season they will be eliminated by the suns.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Depth? What depth? Did you mean Lamar Odom and no one else? I hope so because the Lakers bench is garbage. Kobe needs to calm down, so he got bumped from the playoffs twice by the Suns…vengence, pssh. The Suns just got the ulitmate revenge against a bitter playoff rival. Expect Bynum to ride the pine for much of the series.

  • Sparker

    and why was kobe so pissed? besides losing, he wanted to show the world that a one-man team – when that one man is him – can go all the way. and the suns showed him that was not the case. and now, because he now has pau gasol (as opposed to kwame brown) he can’t even disprove that. what was myles saying yesterday about karma?

  • JoeMaMa

    An obvious Laker victory, even without Kobe’s protruding jaw.

  • riggs

    the suns dont matchup well against the lakers, but they can outrun the lakers around the track twice if they do.

  • Hangtime Hec

    The team with the best backcourt and bench will win. Count on it.

  • Marcel Mutoni

    haters gon’ hate … but, for what it’s worth, i didn’t dismiss the suns in the post at all. fully expect them to give the lakers a solid (and long) fight in the wcf.

  • kh

    I love you Nash, but you’re in trouble.

    *Sidenote* Am I thr only one who thinks Nash deserves a SOLO cover? What does this guy have to do?

  • Bruno

    so now eboy thinks LA’s gonna win the series …

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Uhm……I may dislike the team, but this should be a cakewalk for them.

  • http://www.twofistedpress.com Pve84

    suns in 6

  • Fat Lever

    If I’m Nash, I pull Amar’e aside and tell him to go into beast mode, because there’s no way that Gasol can cover him straight up, and if they put Bynum on him, Drew will be parking his a$$ on the bench shortly after a couple of fouls. And Mutoni, you don’t think the Suns have a little motivation on their end? This is the closest Nash has come to the title, and after the way he took over as a leader of that Spurs series, I wouldn’t put anything past him.

  • T-Money

    If I can recall, Kobe pulled one of his Im-pouting-and-going-home-with-the-ball stunt vs PHX.. so who is he mad at?

  • andre anglais

    As much as I love the loves, I don’t think they have much chance against a bigger and more experienced team. Spurs in five..

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    You know whats funny? The Thunder played better against the Lakers than the Jazz. If the Suns don’t win at least 2 games, then the Thunder would’ve been the best threat against LA. Lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    @andre anglais. Dude, wrong series.. and the Spurs were already eliminated… in 4.

  • AL29

    I love the Suns, but I’m scared for them. This is like Rocky getting in the ring with Mr. T (the first time).

  • TyMo

    Why does Kobe want revenge? He already has it. The Lakers have been to the Finals the last two years and won it last year, while the Suns couldn’t even make the playoffs. He doesn’t really believe that this is a revenge series.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    If I can recall, he scored a career playoff high in the previous game and they still lost because no one had enough of a brain to box out Shawn Marion or foul Tim Thomas. So maybe he’s mad at the big bowl of failure, smothered in disappointment sauce Mitch Kupchak called a roster which kept him from being truly competitive in that series. Barring any injuries, or stupidity from Kobe, this should be over in no more than 5. See you in the Finals! Or not.

  • http://www.nba.com Micahel Scorn

    I don’t care who wins this series, I will enjoy every second of it. A lot of players I have enjoyed through out their career are in this series.

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    He should’ve been that mad when the LA Times put those pitcures out

  • roman

    This is gonna be fun! Suns aint gonna know what hit them. Feel bad for Amare’ with those trees in the middle. When the Lakes are finish with the Suns- they will be ready to battle who comes out of the East.

  • Jorge

    Suns are part of great teams that won’t be champions just like Dallas or Portland.
    Suns had their run when they had Bell, Diaw, Marion but once again, Lakers will win, not easily, but they will take it on 6..no problem. 15 championships going into our 16th. Kobe, I don’t like you as a person but I respect you as a player.Sometimes I think your personality affects you outside the court but inside the court, makes you a champion. The closest to MJ. Lebron will become elite as well.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Did someone really say that Pau can’t guard Amare? Really? I can’t wait for this series to start. And I hope Rondo has a Quadruple Double tonight.

  • Yesse

    Lakers will probably take this. Run ‘n gun gets you far, but doesnt get you the championship.

  • Logues

    i really want the suns to win, but its hard to think that this series will go more than 5 or 6 six games. suns will have to get out and run like crazy to win. kobe can prolly score 30 a game no problem in this series, but not sure he will have to. lakers size advantage will be huge. i hope i’m wrong tho, go suns!

  • T-Money

    Myles, I know he played his heart out for the first 6 games of that series but there’s never any excuse for not showing up BY DESIGN. That’s just the most petty sh-t ever and will always be an issue with Kobe. / Oh, how people forget quickly that Cleveland ran trains on Atlanta last year and Orlando went to 7 games vs Boston WITHOUT Garnett… And LA went to 7 vs Houston. What I’m trying to say? 2nd round doesnt matter as long as you go through. It’s 2-2, not 3-0 Boston.

  • Randy Brown

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Suns hope Kobe’s pissed off. Kobe getting 45, the rest of the Lakers getting little else could very well work in Phoenix’s favour

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Kobe’s averaging what, 25 points a game this playoffs? Does anyone seriously think he’s going to just go out and average 40 for this series? Please. For non-Lakers fans, that would be ideal because the rest of the team would falter but I believe he’s probably more thinking he can shut Nash down and make his “revenge” against the Suns that way.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    When saddled with dead weight and expected to topple a juggernaut, people tend to do crazy things. No excuses, but something tells me you’ll have a better idea of what it’s like soon enough…

  • Logues

    i think the x-factor for the suns is channing frye. i know j-rich usually gets them going, but if frye can hit his threes and make the lakers bigs come way out to guard him, that would create alot more space in the paint for amare and slashing and driving oppurtunities for the suns.

  • Aaron

    This will be such an entertaining series. Can’t wait!

  • underdog

    The Suns should immediately sign Tim Thomas!

  • dunkbar

    if you saw the suns vs. spurs series, you would be aware the suns are no longer “run’n'gun” … who would have thought they sweep the spurs without having much of a fastbreak game going on?!? this series is gonna be much more interesting than most people expect … i see this going all the way to a game seven. may the best one win!

  • unrel

    laker haters have stupid arguements.. there’s only two points to this series.. can the suns out score the lakers.. because they won’t be able to D them up.. and can the lakers stop the pick and role/pop/etc.. that’s it.. slow down nash and the screen play.. then the series is a wrap.. all that other crap you guys are talking about is just silly..

  • T-Money

    Myles, that’s a very weak argument. Why do you bring the Cavs and Bron into this? He didn’t show up any teammates, did he? (well maybe Drew Gooden, I’ll give you that) / E: Kobe on Nash would be a mistake. Nash is a different animal, he’s not looking to go off. And D-Fish on Jason Richardson could be a disaster, he’s no Thabo. Lakers should win this fair and square wit no gimmicks if they stick to the script. It’s anyone’s game if they dont.

  • The Wize

    Yeah, I’m a Lakers fan but re: the protruding jaw, can someone get in a specialist to take a look at it? I’m thinking Chris Childs.

  • LA Huey

    After two sweeps out West, the Gods owe us a good series. Smart money’s on the Lake Show, I’m rooting for the Suns, but all I want is a good series.

  • Jake

    Kobe’s a shark and there’s blood in the water…I need to go buy a dvr because I have a feeling this is gonna be a historic series.Also,it will be fun watching Jarron Collins attempt to guard Bynum or Gasol.

  • http://www.sovainmag.com Sovainmag.com

    I dont believe the Suns will get swept by the Lakers. Even though all the prognosticators believe the Suns have no shot. The Lakers will own the inside and dominate the series, hopefully–but Kobe always performs well against the Suns. His best buzzer beater of all time was against the Suns, Game 4, 1st round series, in Overtime–when he wore #8. He fades away, bang

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    @Eboy – “Kobe’s averaging what, 25 points a game this playoffs?” Actually against OKC and injured, he averaged 23.5 PPG, and healthier against the Jazz he averaged 32 PPG. And way to set up a straw man by claiming others are saying Kobe will average 40. I don’t think that. I think he will average 70 points a game against the Suns.

  • memyselfand9

    oh he wants his haters to forget that he tanked and left his team hanging in an elimination game???

  • ALEX80

    Bring it up lil beetch !!
    Anytime ,anywhere Kobe and the Gaykers

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    kh: I agree on the solo cover. Hey, who knows? Maybe if he’s the Finals MVP in June… uhm

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai

    If Kobe is seething angry and wants to take every shot to vindicate himself, well, that’s just about the best thing that can happen to the Suns… Even though the Lakers have things like ‘size’ (unless Robin Lopez plays) and ‘experience’ (except that the Suns team has way more vets) and ‘depth’ (even though Phoenix has been described by just about every broadcaster in the world as the team with the best bench in the playoffs), if Kobe wants to ignore Gasol and Bynum and just shoot the hell out of the ball, go right ahead Kobster. Gun it.

  • jay

    da mamba returns!!! la in 5! i can see kb droppn sick numbers in this series. i hope jrich mouths off again like his days in GS…adds more fuel to the fire! i think phx will give a fight..la is too tough..i do not see bynum do much..shann made some big shots last night..hope he can duplicate and the la bench is atrocious!

  • Noel

    @jukai you think kob is still that immature? Vindication comes through winning, he’s smart enough to know that. And the lakers still have “size” if lopez plays, no disrespect to the young’n

  • http://slamonline.com Jazzygirlfresh

    A lot of Kobe hate and Laker hate still running rampant on here, then people have the never to complain about others getting hated on here, don’t hate fellas just enjoy the scenery lol. Laker hate every turn, what a sight for sore eyes lol. But seriously the Suns found another gear so I know for sure it’s not going to be easy ride for the Lakers. The Lakers have trouble guarding the 3 ball for whatever reason, I don’t know why. And well know pheonix and Orlando are 3 point machines so in other words if they can’t guard the three they’re gonna have a tough series. Derek Fisher has trouble guarding the other team’s point guard but we’ll see how well he does this series, hopefully they learn how to guard that 3 ball.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/CathedralsRecords?feature=mhw4 Earl

    Go knock them suckas out Kobe.

  • erich

    When the Bulls finally routed the Pistons it was a revenge.
    They went at each other every postseason for about three or more years when the Bulls finally made it past the Pistons.
    Here three years have gone by since their last series.
    Media and Kobe try to create something.

  • Atrain

    pullin for the Suns wanna see Nash make a Finals once in his career

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai

    Noel: Robin Lopez is the same size as Bynum… Amare is shorter than Gasol but their jump is about the same.. Hill and Artest are the same size… Richardson and Kobe are the same size… Nash and Fisher are about the same size… where is the size problem? If you mean the Lake-show has a serious advantage in the post, you’re right… but I wouldn’t say size is going to be that tremendous of an issue. After all, the Spurs had a ‘size’ advantage over the Suns and the Suns still outrebounded them 167-160 for the series, including 40-34 on the offensive glass… and that was while using Jarron “placement holder” Collins for ten minutes a game.
    And is Kobe still that immature? Probably not. But I was more responding to Mutoni’s “Bryant will be out for blood, which spells trouble for the folks in the orange uniforms” comment.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    He’s going to win this one for all the haters who just got over the Finals last year…time for a relapse.

  • BostonBaller

    Kobe is a Beast. Nash is a Beast also. Kobe is on the cover enough and Nash has been on there a couple of times..give it to someone else.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    @Jukai – don’t forget Odom, even if he forgets himself sometimes

  • http://www.nba.com/bobcats Anton

    Where are Dallas and Denver? The two teams that were going to crush the Lakers? Where are the Spurs, the only team left that will beat the Lakers? You guys are jokes every years. Gotta love the Laker and Kobe hate.
    I am glad I am not a fan of Bron anymore. It’s good to be on the Laker bandwagon!!

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai

    Jackie Moon: Odom’s a bench player and is about as big as Louis Amundson. He plays bigger than he actually is. So, still not cutting it.

  • andre anglais

    @niQ. Yes, I was trying to point out that everyone thought the spurs would dismantle the suns, too, and look how that turned out. It seems pretty obvious that the lakers will will this, but when the game starts…

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    @Anton: i never said the nuggets wud beat La, im their biggest critic and they clearly dindt have the pieces to contend… That being said, its kinda sad to see u on the la bandwagon

  • Buschfire

    This is going to be a fun series to watch, I’m rooting for the Suns, but prolly LA will pull out on top due to the mismatches, but I think if Nash, Amare, and Jrich step it up along with Dragic, and Frye and Dudley draining 3′s i don’t see why the Suns can’t beat the Lakers…. I hope Suns in 6 coz I HATE THE LAKERS

  • http://Egotastic.com Michael

    Lakers in 5. The suns can’t gaurd the Lakers 4 best players. Kobe, Odom, & PAu consistently destroy the Suns.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    @Anton – I know you’re not the real Anton, but you’re funnier!

  • Jose

    Logic tells me the lakers should be able to smash, but after watching phx throughout the playoffs,i think this is up in the air

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    Wow, Anton surprised me too. Co-sign Jukai. But hopefully Kobe’s idea of Veangance will be guarding Nash and punishing.. (smirk) Jason Richardson.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Careful Kob, last time you were out for blood she turned out to be a litigating virgin.

  • blackmamba

    I love the Laker hate it lets me its time for the rings lol.Suns are overmatched Amare never has a good shooting series agaisnt us and we are one of the best at defending the 3pt shot. i forget who said we have a problem with it but umm we dont there is a reason why we beat orlando last year lol silly man. People always forget the physcological edge. Kobe gets in anyone who is guarding him head. Fans dont even react when kobe hits big shots cuz its expected Amare admitted he cant guard Bynum or Gasol already. and LO always beast the Suns i mean always its like his one consistent thing lol. Ron will have a good series mark my words and Fisher always gives it to Nash. i predict 5-7 Shanwow dunks too lol(this series not one game)

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper


  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Blackmamba rides the short bus

  • usocuh

    lakers in 5 no question
    suns suck on the road, LA kills them everytime. if fisher plays nash like he did d-will its fine. pau will handle amare. as for bench of phx LA has the best defensive backcourt out of any remaining playoff teams, with lamar helping to defend phx big men shooters should be no problem.

  • Marco

    usocuh I don’t think that a team that won back to back games in the bat-cave sucks on the road

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    @Anton – she definitely wasn’t a virgin …

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Kobe will murder anyone that they put against him from the suns. The Suns are a better defensive team than the Jazz, but I still think that LA will get them in 6. 7 if PHX shows up and plays ball.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    “Despite whatever rage may be coursing through Kobe Bryant, his Lakers are the favorites heading into the series against Phoenix. Their size, depth and experience give them an undeniable advantage.
    That being said, I don’t think the Suns can take comfort in any of the above. Starting next Monday night, Bryant will be out for blood, which spells trouble for the folks in the orange uniforms.”
    No way Mutoni is a Laker fan. Oh, wait.

  • Vikturus

    i’d say the Lakers has a huge size-advantage but the Suns bench is MUCH better then the Lakers (Jordan farmar aka EAR JORDAN, oh noeees!!).

    Amare will probably put Pau in foul trouble with his quickness.

    However, guys gaurding Gasol will also get in foul trouble, though Robin Lopez could make an average job on Pau if he’s back in good shape.. (Pau will still prolly score 20+ ppg though).

    There’s a chance this goes down to 7. Let’s all hope so, it will be basketball entertainment at its highest level.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe is upset, yes and I want Kobe playing mad driving to the rack. Plus Kobe is mad about Steve “overrated” Nash taking one of his MVP’s from him. I hope my Lakers sweep this pathetic los suns team that wanted to trade Amare just a while ago. Now he is balling for a contract, when he gets it trouble for the Suns. Also I truly believe that the suns roster is good and could have gotten this far without Nash. Kobe will average 30pts, 7rebs, and 6assists and play Orlando again in the FINALS and the Lakers will win in six games. Kobe will walk around with a shirt that has five rings on a hand and the haters will have to shut up again for another summer.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com doyouwantmore

    Orlando is going to beat them this time.

  • http://myspace.com/dontdiecindy Bryan

    jukai : inch for inch isn’t the issue. It’s the overwelming rebounding advantage that the Lakers have. Amare’ grabbing 7 boards a game and Grant Hill leading the team in rebounding isn’t going to cut it against the Lakers. Plus tall or not Amare and Lopez are going to get abused down low, and if Odom is locked in he is the guy the Suns will have no answer for.

  • topo

    nash is one of my favorite players….but the suns are going to get pounded. lakers in 5

  • http://yahoo.com Kevin Armenta

    Those years the suns won,the lakers didnt have phil or deep team they have now.Dont be suprise if the lakers try to slow the suns down bye putting them to grown,just like the spurs did in ’07.Lakers are gonna be real physical.

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai

    Bryan: It’s an overwhelming post and inside presence issue. I hope the Lakers aren’t depending on rebounding to win this series, cause I’m telling you: the rebounding is what is most surprising for this Suns team. Ignore Amare here, Lopez was grabbing nine a game and Hill/Richardson SKY for these rebounds. They were grabbing them from Duncan’s hands.
    I think people say things like “size” and “depth” and “experience” they don’t want to just downright say the Lakers have a SKILL advantage. They have superior PLAYERS. I think it makes Kobe and the Lakers accomplishments seem greater that way? I don’t get it. The reason the Lakers are going to win is cause they have superior skilled and athletic players. End of story.

  • http://www.youtube.com/ The Promise

    I think its gonna be an interesting series. Not a blowout like everyone is thinking. If Kobe tries to do it by himself, the Suns will beat them just like in the past. If he makes sure Pau and Ron get their touches, it will be nearly impossible for the Suns to keep them under 100 points, which I think is essential to them winning, because the Suns basically have to score over 100 to win in any game, so what the Lakers have to do is keep them under 100, which the Spurs did to them in the past, and it worked, they lost every time. This year, their defense allowed the Suns to score over 100 in all 4 games, and in 3 of those, they allowed 110 or more. The Lakers cannot do that if they want to advance to the Finals. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Suns take the series in 7, but if the Lakers hold them under 100, they take it in 5. Should be an awesome series. Sit back and enjoy.

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Lakers have depth? Really? La is 6 deep thats it. Notricks shannon, faulty machine, and luke I have worst tats in league and goofy looking bushy hair walton dont count. Maybe a lil shannon

  • Shem

    You guys mistaken size with skill. Being a 7 footer isn’t gonna cut it. Jukai said it himself, Spurs had size but Suns outrebounded. Pau Gasol, Bynum and Odom bother other teams because they rebound, block, post and they’re just very active big men. So the suns will have trouble with the skill of the Lakers big men. Kobe’ s underestimating the Suns because of their previous playoff exits. Nobody’s buying into the Suns right now because let’s face it on paper they aren’t the best team. But which team has the best record since January?? Not the Lakers, but the Suns.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear


  • http://freeones.com jbn74sb

    Despite the fact that Phoenix has nobody for Artest to guard, if Bynum is remotely healthy, the Suns will be watching the Finals with eboy and Wade faster than you can say KobeBryant.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    @Kevin – Phil Jackson did coach the teams the last two playoff series the Lakers lost to the Suns

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    What’s Kobe upset about? In the time since, his team has gathered all-star after all-star and have won a title. The Suns repeatedly got bounced from the playoffs and went thru the Terry Porter era. Revenge, really?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    You can write an Esay about how good the suns look in this matchup, you can bust out a pile of really cool stats that look really impressive like your logic is going to somehow help will the suns past LA, you can take a page out of Charles Barkley’s commentary and share your uncanny genius, about how Kobe Bryant will be the reason the lakers lose to PHX, By hopefully, being that Kobe Bryant from last years finals. If you use really BIG words and maybe type in an intelligent tone, you’ll definitely sound like you know what you’re talking about. The only problem is, that you can’t re-write history. You know those pesky stats about championships n’ what not. And how Every one of the lakers has been a part of one, or 2, or 4 or whatever. But yeah, how many finals has Nash or Amare or JRich or one of them guys been to? Really O? Guess I’ll go against superior logic and put my chips on that old ass Broken down Kobe Bryant doin that same ol’ immature thing he does so well.

  • Justin

    It doesn’t have to be a revenge series but as long as Kobe believes it is, then it is. What I mean is, Kobe is going to look for any motivation to step up and play well. MJ used to do it all the time whether it was warranted or not. You don’t think the Orlando/Bulls series was a revenge series? Of course it was and in this case if Kobe believe it, than it is

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai

    Negetivekreep: Someone probably said the same thing for the Suns v Spurs series…

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Joel: All-Star after All-Star? Really? Pau Gasol is the only one.Period. Granted, Pau was the missing piece to get Mr.24 his fourth bling. Ron Artest is NOT an All-Star, same thing can be said of Fish, Brown, Morrison…don’t ya think. Nobody can win championship’s alone, not Kobe Bryant, not Michael Jordan, not LeBron James…Great players seek motivation were they can, if Kob feels that there’s unfinished business with the Suns then I would be concerned if I was the Phoenix Suns…Michael Jordan was cryin’ after his third championship that there’s nothing more to win, he retired…Pop’s murder, baseball gone wrong, Orlando Magic, “you are too old”, “you don’t dunk from the free trow-line no more?” happened-BOOM! 3 more rings and legacy was ready…Point being these superhuman athletes NEED motivation, and IF they find it, get out of the way! Hopefully LeBron finds his before Game 6.

  • Justin

    I was just thinking the same thing Jukai. Good call

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @Bigi: Artest was once a fringe MVP candidate. Lamar Odom is an all star. Bynum is an all star center in a world starved of true centers with PFs masquerading as them on every other team. The Lakers have 5 all stars level players. They traded rubbish for Gasol. They essentially “traded” Ariza for Artest. They had Bynum develop. They have Lamar doing everything in between. If they don’t win another title this year, and they might not, it is an “epic fail” given how stacked they are, man. I’m not saying that MJ or whoever has done it sans supporting cast, nor am I taking anything from Kobe.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    But hey, (manufactured) motivation is (manufactured) motivation, no matter how contrived it seems to everyone not supporting the Lakers. Whether it’s saying that they are “underdogs” against the Thunder or trying to draw on the fact that the then-vastly outgunned Lakers lost to those super Suns teams.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    How contrived is this? Kobe has nothing to be upset about with losing to the Suns in 06 and 07. They were wholly outmatched – Kwame was their best “inside presence”, and they had a flaccid point guard. They were really over achieving, and playing their butts off. As a REAL Laker fan those 2 series have to fill you with pride. There was no utterly shame in losing. So talk of still “seething” about it seems a bit flat to me. And now with a ridiculous uber-stacked team he’s going to show the Suns what’s up as “revenge”? Come now.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    *utterly no*

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Joel: The only All-Star is Gasol. Period. Go tell Kobe that there’s no shame in losing. Come on now! Manufactured or not, whatever it takes to get back in the Finals, I’m cool with that. Lakers in six.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    @Jukai they probobly did, but isn’t there a big difference between LA and SA? For starters, Tony Parker is not himself right now. The RJ experiment didn’t work, And Tim Duncan is not a superstar anymore. A guy put it better when he said ” At the end of David Robinsons career he needed Tim Duncan to win a chip, Now Tim Duncan needs another Tim Duncan.” As much as I like the guy, DeJaun Blair is not the man to fill those shoes. George Hill and Roger Mason are good young players, YOUNG players So basically you’ve got Crazy a$$ Manu. The Spurs are a great org, Great coach, great system, but not enough of the right pieces for that system to still dominate, or for them to be champs anymore. Not until they realize it’s time to rebuild at the Top. PHX on the other hand in Nash has a HOF veteran that’s playing as well as he ever has, they have Amare a player SA has nobody to answer with and plenty of finley esq vets like Hill n JRich and a much better bench all of wich you already pointed out. Meanwhile, championship experience is the only thing SA has in common with LA. R u really going to ignore the fact that LA has been to the finals the last 2 yrs? That’s a big difference. And all they have to do is win 4 more games to make it a 3rd. Those are some pretty big stats to just brush under the rug. I’m not saying I don’t like PHX either, they have a much better team than the casual fan realizes. But what have they done yet to prove they can get past this Laker team? And while the lakers do have greater sucess Statistically when they share the ball instead of just feeding Kobe, they have also closed out series and won the finals last year buy doing just that so… Like I said, unless you re-write history I can’t see how PHX will have the advantage against a championship team whose players are still in thier prime including Kobe Bryant.

  • Andrew Mossighi

    From Jerry West to Kareem Abdul Jabbar to Magic Johnson to Shaquille O’neal and now to Kobe Bryant, these players have all gave so much to the Lakers. But no one, more than Kobe, has seen the big picture. He wants revenge on the Suns. In 2006-2007, they stunk up the plate. But now with a supporting cast of Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and Shannon Brown. He is ready and Phoenix can’t win. The are too old and begging for mercy, especially Steve Nash. So, Kobe now studied how PHX plays, and is ready to take his team to another Western Conference Championship and most likely and NBA World Championship.

  • rafael

    Suns beat LA in game 6 peiod. Kobe is a chalk artist. He needs too much help to to win a title. I hope Ron Ron turns psycho against his own teammate esp. on Kobe. Paul is to soft to stop Amare n Bynum is to slow to play uptempo. Phoenix will rise again!