The Lakers have been playing well of late, but are still a below-.500 club. The Mavericks aren’t playing for anything this season. Watching Sunday’s game, you would never have guessed either of these two statements, as Los Angeles fought to defeat Dallas 103-99.
It was a bit of a throwback game. Kobe Bryant dropped 38 for the Lakers (not surprising at all), and Dirk Nowitzki paced his team with 30 points and 13 rebounds. We haven’t seen these two aging stars duke it out like this in some time, especially for Dirk. The game should serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the league. His numbers (15.4 points per game) don’t reflect the career of a former Finals MVP, but as his knee continues to heal from a surgery that zapped him of the first half of the season, he has continued to play better, averaging 21.6 points per game. A point below his career average, look for him to continue to improve as Rick Carlisle gives him more minutes.
The win also represented more than a step towards .500, at least for Kobe. Mark Cuban, visible owner that he is, made a feather-ruffling statement last Friday on a Dallas-area radio show, bringing up a situation in which the Lakers amnesty their star guard to save money. Neither the Lakers or Kobe took kindly to the comment, and following the win, Kobe took to Twitter to speak his mind:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 24, 2013
If you’re a rival executive, it’s probably for the best that you keep the Black Mamba’s name out of your mouth, lest you want him to haunt your team. Or at least wait until after your team plays him to speak ill of him.