Head Men's Basketball Coach – Pratt Cannoneers
Circulating around the internet the past few days is the hypothetical question which game would you rather have court side seats for tonight: Kobe Bryant’s final game or the Golden State Warriors attempt to make history with their 73rd win?
To me it’s a no-brainer: I’m watching Steph Curry and the Warriors make history.
Think about the scenario when you get the Staples Center tonight for Kobe’s final game. The Lakers (going for their 17th win of the season by the way…) will surely put on a spectacular performance…pregame. The video montage and pregame introduction for Kobe will be spectacular for sure. There will be a standing ovation and a raucous, reverent crowd may even delay tip time by a minute or two with their respectful cheers. But then the clock starts and you have to watch the Lakers play basketball.
And oh by the way, watching Kobe play basketball is not that much fun anymore!
Need I remind everyone that this is not the 2005-06 Kobe that averaged 35.4 points per game. This is 37-year-old Kobe Bryant, with 19 seasons and over 48,500 minutes on his tires! Kobe is currently averaging 16.9 PPG, which is the fewest points he’s scored in a (healthy) season since 1997-98 – his second year in the league! And not to mention how hard those almost 17 points per game have come. Kobe is shooting 35.4% from the field and 28.5% from three-point land!!
I get it – I’m a heretic, because I don’t worship at the altar of Kobe Bryant. The Mamba. Number 8. Number 24. Mr. 81 Points in a Game. The Second Coming of Michael Jordan.
Wait…Rewind. The second coming of MJ?
See, that’s my issue with Kobe. It’s not him – he’s an unreal player and was a ton of fun to watch, but there’s nothing more obnoxious and grating than Kobe fans talking about Kobe. He’s not the next MJ and he’s not better than LeBron James. Are we all forgetting that of Kobe’s five NBA Titles, he was only the best player on two of them? Kobe owes Shaq a very expensive thank you gift for those. It’s just so annoying hearing everyone say that Kobe is this and Kobe is that and the greatest and people come out with videos comparing Kobe to MJ and it’s just too much.
But the chance to really see history – that’s where it’s at tonight. At 10:30 PM I’ll be tuned in to the Warriors fighting for history and a chance to LEGITIMATELY be put in the same sentence as Michael Jordan (or his Bulls team at least).
This is going to sound like the analysis of a four-year-old, but allow me for a second just to remark that 73 wins is SO MANY WINS. That means the Warriors would have lost only nine games all regular season!! You can count that on your fingers and still have one to spare! That’s ridiculous.
Picture 30 years from now when you are sitting down with your children or grandchildren and they ask you about the greatest sports moment you had ever seen. Is it going to be that you saw Kobe Bryant’s last game (and really it’s just the regal, yet well planned ass kissing in the pregame that you care about) or will it be the greatest NBA regular season team of all-time. The Warriors have a chance to break a record that Bill Simmons confidently called unbreakable in his Book of Basketball. The Dubs are the only team in NBA history to have not lost multiple games to any single opponent in a season and they did not have a single – losing streak all season!
We all should remember Kobe Bryant fondly and respect his legacy – he’s one of the greatest basketball players of not only our generation, but of all time. But anyone who has the control of the remote control tonight and chooses to say sayonara to Kobe over watching the Warriors make history, well, that’s a bad choice.