Kobe Bryant and Mike Brown call out Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum

Kobe's "Flu Game" wasn't quite like Jordan's, and he's (rightfully) blaming his teammates

5/11/12 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

May 10, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts during the first half of game six in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIREIf you watched the Lakers game last night, you probably heard that he was sick with flu-like symptoms, almost to the point that it made YOU sick. Every two minutes, someone reminded the audience that Kobe was sick. Every time the camera panned to the bench, you saw Kobe there, with his eyes rolling back in his head and putting up an Oscar-caliber performance to let the world know just how sick he really was.

I'm not doubting his sickness, or trying to take anything away from Kobe. He clearly wasn't feeling his best, but he still gave his maximum effort. That's a LOT more than you can say about some of his teammates in game 6.

Lakers coach Mike Brown wasn't afraid to say it, either.
"We’re going to need more out our two bigs. They’re our second- and third-best players. We’re going to need a lot more out of those guys in order to win the series. But not just scoring wise. Defensively. Defensively to follow the game-plan discipline and do it with some effort and some energy and really just lay it out on the line."

Clearly he was specifically calling out Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, both of whom struggled last night, to say the least. Bynum had 16 rebounds, but he only went 4-11 from the floor, while Gasol was only 1-10.

Kobe was also frustrated, and let his teammates know after the game. When asked if his teammates showed as much heart as he did, he replied "no, of course they didn't."

Bryant's 31 points led the Lakers, and no one could possibly question his heart or his desire against the Nuggets. Yet his teammates clearly weren't on the same page, and looked completely lackadaisical at times.

Fortunately for Kobe and the Lakers, their old friend Ron Artest, AKA Metta World Peace, will be back for Game 7, and Kobe made no secret that he's looking forward to it.

"I expect [Artest] to come out and play with the tenacity that he's known for. He’s the one guy that I can rely on night in and night out to compete and play hard and play with a sense of urgency. And play with no fear. So, I'm looking forward to having him by my side again."

When Ron Artest, perpetually the craziest man in the room, is the only one you can trust, that's a serious problem.

That having been said, Kobe's right. No one on that team is willing to work as hard as Artest, no one will be as determined as Artest, and no one will do whatever it takes to win at all costs quite like Artest.

We'll see if Artest provides the difference that the Lakers need to finally finish out this series Saturday night in LA. However, if Bynum and Gasol play the way they played in game 6, it might not even matter.

May 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts during game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 102-99. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIREIn other Kobe Bryant news...

Everyone wanted to compare last night's game to Michael Jordan's infamous "Flu Game," when Jordan scored 38 against the Jazz to take a 3-2 series lead in the 1997 NBA Finals.

Unfortunately for Kobe, the Lakers lost. That put a serious damper on it, despite the fact that Kobe himself played great.

Michael Lev of the Orange County Register was already preparing for inevitable Kobe-MJ comparisons when he wrote this piece on Wednesday, detailing exactly why Kobe will never be Jordan, even if he wins his 6th title, tying him with Jordan.

He's right. Kobe is great, and he has done a great job of coming through in the clutch, which has put considerable distance between himself and LeBron James among active players. LeBron still has time to catch up, but it's hard to believe he'll ever match Kobe's resume in clutch situations, especially with his early career failures.

But Kobe still isn't Jordan, and he never will be.
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6/30/12   |   rick_ross95   |   8 respect

Pat wrote:
And... it's pretty clear that he's not catching Kareem OR Russell. Sucks for him.

He would have to pass Jordan to get to Kareem or Russell

6/26/12   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

And... it's pretty clear that he's not catching Kareem OR Russell. Sucks for him.

6/25/12   |   rick_ross95   |   8 respect

This whole article was written with a Jordan Biased almost as if he paid you himself! Kobe said when he was 18 that Being Jordan isn't good enough as far as Rings he's chasing Russell as far as Points hes Chasing Kareem. The only people that are afraid of Kobe is paranoid Jordan fans, you guys are the only ones who still havent come to the realization that on court play accolades aside Kobe passed Jordan years ago