4 February 2006
The Kobe show
Everybody talks about Kobe Bryant's bazillions of points, but it's almost just as important to the Lakers that he's second on the team in assists, and with Lamar Odom out, it fell to Kobe to feed the rest of the offense. And he certainly didn't hog the spotlight. (Well, there was that hissy fit in the third quarter that got him a technical, but he got over it.) But four minutes into the fourth, Phil Jackson pitched a fit (and got a T of his own), and pulled his starters in disgust. He thought better of it after four minutes more, but it didn't matter by then: the Hornets, who shot almost 57 percent from the floor, sent the Lakers on their way, 106-90.
Attendance was reported as 19,344, 181 over capacity. Chris Paul pulled yet another double-double 19 points, 13 assists and five other Hornets pulled down double figures. Rasual Butler hammered it home with a trey (he was 3 for 3 beyond the arc) with six seconds left; Desmond Mason started out strong and finished with 21 points.
Oh, and Kobe? 35 points and 5 assists. Good numbers, but this time they weren't good enough.
The Bees, now 24-22 and seventh in the Western Conference, next head for New Jersey; they'll be back at the Ford at midweek to meet the Sonics, and later the Knicks.
Posted at 9:33 PM to Net Proceeds
Tonight was our first time to go to a Hornets game, and it was amazing! I still think it was a bit tacky that the first offer of assistance we gave after a major disaster was "hey, we'll take your team", but I can see now why it's such a big deal.
I'm hooked! If they had any openings for overweight, 40-year-old Honeybees, I'd be quitting my day job!
I'm starting to think, rank heresy though it be, that had Katrina never swept the coastline, we might still have wound up with this team eventually: the NBA doesn't like to see its teams in recurring financial trouble, and the Hornets, despite the lowest payroll in the league, were losing money in the Big Easy. (Official attendance average for last season was in the 14,000 range, and it's rumored that these numbers are padded worse than Cindy Lou's brassiere.) Berry Tramel at the Oklahoman figures that the difference between a home game at the Ford and one at the New Orleans Arena was somewhere in the vicinity of $440,000.
And no, it need not have been the Bees; according to various reports with not all that much corroboration, the Sonics, the Kings and the Trailblazers have all been contemplating life in Loud City in recent months. But Hornets owner George Shinn was something less than content with his lot even before the winds tore the roof off the Arena; he'll never say so, of course, but I think he'd have jumped if we'd made the pitch.
Speaking of Tramel, he popped this one out this morning:
"Kobe had 35 points and five assists; that's 45 points. [Chris] Paul had 19 points and 13 assists. That's 45 points."