The NY Times Magazine has a 9 page article on Battier that I bet this blog's extensive readership won't read because of work, family, or relationship obligations that I don't have the fortune to worry about. So let me just give you the highlights.
1. Shane Battier is a selfless player with an absurdly high basketball I.Q.
2. Battier has been an undervalued player for his career because most NBA teams focus on the individual stats that don't indicate a player's worth to the team.
3. When Shane Battier guards you then you will have an off shooting night, like Kobe's 13-32 performance against the Rockets from early January 2009.
4. Kobe hit a deep 3 with under 30 seconds left to win that game against the Rockets. It had been the one bright spot for the Lakers in a game filled with Kobe over shooting. But that's the shot the Rockets wanted Kobe to take. As their stats indicated: "Bryant had taken 51 3-pointers at the very end of close games from farther than 26.75 feet from the basket. He had missed 86.3 percent of them. A little over a year ago the Lakers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers after Bryant missed a 3 from 28.4 feet. Three nights from now the Lakers would lose to the Orlando Magic after Bryant missed a shot from 27.5 feet that would have tied the game."
And really all of this is just a big "This is what I'm talking about" to my dad. I watched the Lakers lose against Utah with Pops on Wednesday, and I want to use the bully pulpit to say that the Rockets provide the stats that I assumed were out there. During that Utah game Kobe hit a contested 3 with under 2 minutes left. I was screaming "No" at the poor shot selection just as the shot went in. Pops laughed but on the next possession Kobe missed another contested 3 that he took early in the shot clock even though the Lakers were only down 2 and there was still a few more offensive possessions to be had.
So as I've been saying about Kobe, for some reason people just remember the tough shots that go in and forget all the missed ones. Kobe is good, obviously. And he's amazing when he's shooting in the lane or curling around the screen and shooting an open 15 footer. But we've seen how he plays against Battier or the Celtics D. As Lakes' fans there should be more indignation when Kobe's forcing contested jump shots all game because the statistics show that he's actually a detriment to the Lakers' offense when he does that.
So in conclusion, who else thinks that he probably sexually assaulted that girl? I mean, the guy is always forcing the action and doesn't seem to notice when the lane isn't open. Anyone?