People love Kobe Bryant’s mental approach to the game as much as they love his scoring prowess or five rings. It’s part of the aura he has over the league now. Kobe’s an assassin. Kobe’s the greatest player since Jordan. All of that may indeed be true, but the Oklahoma City Thunder could give anything but a damn. If you haven’t been keeping score at home, this budding rivalry between Kobe and the young guns from OKC is an interesting subplot in a season that has plenty of them.
About a month ago, following a blowout loss, Kobe threw a jab to the Thunder telling them while their present day success is cute, they still had no right to “sit at his lunch table.” It turns out Oklahoma City heard the comments and instead of letting Bean have his way, they got right in his face and jabbed back. Where James Harden served as Kobe’s foe last time, Thabo Sefolosha assumed the role following a foul in the second quarter. From there, Kobe gets in one of those zones flying off at the mouth which would have been gold if Marv Albert and Mike Fratello hadn’t been talking the entire time.
The only part truly audible was Kobe telling someone to keep their “mothaf*ckin’ mouth shut.” Outside of that, it’s dope to see the young guns ride out together and collectively punch Kobe right back. Sefolosa actually gave Bryant hell the entire evening ensuring he never found his offensive rhythm while OKC completely blitzed the Lakers in the second half led by Russell Westbrook’s 36 points, six assists and one turnover for a 102-93 victory.
Don’t look now, however, but the team formerly known as the Supersonics blasted the Heat on Sunday and washed L.A. on Thursday. If they drop the hammer on Chicago come this Sunday, the OKC bandwagon will be the finest vehicle on the open road. That said, the intriguing aspect about Durant, Russie, Harden and company is even though they appear damn near unstoppable right now, they’ve got just as much to prove in the playoffs as any team not named Miami.
Bonus: Since it’s probably illegal in 46 states to have a Thunder post and not mention Kevin Durant, the man who many feel is now the frontrunner for the MVP put Pau Gasol on a poster.
Oh, and they even kicked it with Kendrick Lamar following the game. Good to know young talent runs in packs.
Respect: @Jose3030 (He basically wrote this entire post)