When Stern/Kobe haters drink

YouTube contributor “JayBizzzle” posted this video after Game 7 of the Finals.

Warning — there is some seriously coarse language ahead. Definitely rated “R”.

He’s obviously taking some heat in the comments section, but to his credit, he fires back a few times as well. I particularly liked his first comment:

“im veeeeeeery drunk in this video”

However, I do agree with one of his points. The officials did call it a lot tighter in the fourth quarter, and that ultimately benefited the Lakers who basically won the game at the free throw line. I don’t mind a tightly called game, but the refs have to stay consistent throughout the entire game — not change things up at the start of the final quarter.

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Adam Morrison’s 2010 NBA Finals highlights

Everyone needs a laugh on Monday morning…

The greatest post-game press conference ever?

Ron Artest is crazy…crazy funny. Grab a beverage, sit back, and enjoy…

(The key moment is at the 8:00 mark when the FanHouse reporter asks a question.)

Was Kobe’s Game 7 performance worst-ever by game-winning superstar?

Kobe Bryant was brutal offensively last night, hitting just six of his 24 shots (25%) and turning the ball over four times. But he was great on the glass (15 rebounds) and found a way to get to the line in the fourth quarter, allowing him to score 10 points in the final period.

However, with a few exceptions, he took terrible shots all night long and had a couple of bad turnovers in the second half. It made me wonder — was Kobe’s performance last night the worst ever by a game-winning superstar in Game 7 of a Finals? Here’s a look at the last few comparables:

Kobe Bryant, 2010: 6-of-24, 23-15-2, 4 TOs
Tim Duncan, 2005: 10-of-27, 25-11-3, 5 TOs
Hakeem Olajuwon, 1994: 10-of-25, 25-10-7, 2 TOs

That’s it. There were just three Game 7s in the Finals in the last 22 years. Still, Kobe’s numbers don’t look too good. His shooting percentage was far worse than either Duncan or Olajuwon, but none of these guys had particularly good shooting nights.

Since box score data becomes more difficult to find the further back you go, I decided to look at all Game 7s (not just the Finals) from the ’00s to see how Kobe’s performance stacks up. (Note: I only included the conference semifinals and the conference finals. There isn’t as much pressure in Game 7s in the first round.)

Kobe Bryant, 2009 (WCS): 4-of-12, 14-7-5, 1 TO
Dwight Howard, 2009 (ECS): 5-of-9, 12-16, 3 TO
Tim Duncan, 2008 (WCS): 5-of-17, 16-14-3, 4 TO
Paul Pierce, 2008 (ECS): 13-of-23, 41-4-5, 4 TO
Dirk Nowitzki, 2006 (WCS): 11-of-20, 37-15-3, 0 TO
Steve Nash, 2006 (WCS): 11-of-16, 29-2-11, 4 TO
*Chauncey Billups, 2006 (ECS): 4-for-10, 12-8-3, 3 TO
*Chauncey Billups, 2005 (ECF): 5-of-15, 18-4-8, 1 TO
Kevin Garnett, 2004 (WCS): 12-of-23, 32-21-2, 2 TO (4 STL, 5 BLK)
*Chauncey BIllups, 2004 (ECS): 6-of-16, 22-2-7, 1 TO
Dirk Nowitzki, 2003 (WCS): 12-of-20, 30-19-2, 0 TO
**Shaquille O’Neal, 2002 (WCF): 12-of-25, 35-13-2, 3 TO
Ray Allen, 2001 (ECS): 10-of-18, 28-6-5, 4 TO
Allen Iverson, 2001 (ECS): 8-of-27, 21-4-16, 4 TO
Allen Iverson, 2001 (ECF): 17-of-33, 44-6-7, 2 TO
Patrick Ewing, 2000 (ECS): 5-of-10, 20-10-0, 1 TO
***Shaquille O’Neal, 2000 (WCF): 5-of-9, 18-9-5, 4 TO

I’ll stop there.

* It’s tough to pick the best player from the Pistons during this area, as they were probably the most balanced team in recent memory.
** Kobe shot 10-of-26, 30-10-7, 0 TO
*** Kobe shot 9-for-19, 25-11-7, 2 TO

There are some interesting lines in there. Look at Nowitzki’s lines (37-15-3 in 2006 and 30-19-2 in 2003)…wow. And Iverson’s 2001 line against the Bucks (44-6-7) was pretty epic.

While there have been some pitiful shooting nights — Tim Duncan in 2008, Allen Iverson in 2001 — no game-winning superstar has shot as bad as Kobe did in last night’s Game 7. Not in the last 10 years anyway.

What can we glean from this? Well, Kobe is very, very lucky that his teammates played as well as they did. Pau Gasol and Ron Artest really carried Kobe on the offensive end, while Derek Fisher and even Sasha Vujacic hit key shots/free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Moreover, the Laker defense kept the Celtics at bay once L.A. took the lead.

But no matter how poorly he shot, the Lakers won, and that’s all that matters in the end.

One thing is for certain — if Kobe doesn’t get the concept of team play by now, he’s never going to get it.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Game 7 reaction

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times: Struggling through one of their worst starts of the season, the Lakers finished with one of their greatest moments ever, climbing back from a 13-point deficit to defeat the Boston Celtics, 83-79, to win Game 7 of the NBA Finals and clinch their second consecutive championship. This is 16 franchise titles, perhaps none of them more difficult. This is five rings for Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, absolutely none of them as hard. This is redemption for the Celtics’ 2008 Finals beating, and can anything be so sweaty yet so sweet? “We wanted it more,” said owner Jerry Buss, simply, perfectly.

Gary Washburn, Boston Globe: In the end, a team that spent all season dealing with — but never solving — their fourth-quarter woes was done in by it. The Celtics fell short in their quest for NBA title No. 18 last night at Staples Center because they couldn’t finish off the Lakers. They watched a 3-point lead with 6:29 left suddenly turn into a 6-point deficit. The Celtics played a brilliant game up to that point, and needed a series of big plays to polish off a masterpiece. Instead, they missed shots, looked confused on offense, and were beaten to rebounds that set up free throw opportunities. They desperately tried holding onto the lead, desperately tried coming back, and then ran out of time. The 83-79 loss will go down as one of the most competitive and fiercest Game 7s in NBA history, but Celtics will take the excruciatingly long flight home realizing they were chased from behind and caught, passed because they ran out of gas.

Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated: The Celtics are willing to wait on Rivers, but there are other, more pressing concerns. Ray Allen is an unrestricted free agent and there are questions about just what kind of financial commitment Boston is willing to make to its soon-to-be 35-year-old shooting guard. Multiple league executives believe Allen will be seeking a three- or four-year deal between $8 million to $10 million annually, with teams like New York or New Jersey looming as candidates to offer it. It’s that potential price tag that had the Celtics shopping Allen at midseason. There could be another member of the Big Three on the market, too. Pierce has a player option for $21.5 million next season. But with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire next summer and a new one expected to significantly reduce player salaries, several prominent players (including Dirk Nowitzki and Amar’e Stoudemire) are planning to opt out of lucrative contracts in order to sign new deals under the existing agreement. Pierce, 32, could leave the $21.5 million on the table with the expectation that he could score a contract worth $50 million to $60 million in the offseason.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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