Standing Up for Kobe: Cooling Off Yahoo’s Over-Heated Miami Fan

When it counts.

When it counts? Is Charles unaware Kobe Bryant has hit game winners which clinched divisions, won playoff games and even Finals games? He does realize, whenever anybody polls NBA players, “Who would you want taking the last shot for your team?,” Kobe Bryant always receives more votes than everybody else combined?

In what world has Dwyane Wade out-performed Kobe Bryant in the playoffs? Could you imagine if Kobe had gotten the calls Wade got in the Dallas-Heat Championship against Boston? Good Lord, Kobe would have averaged 50 a game.

Let me know when Dwyane Wade is dropping 48-16’s in a pivotal Game 4 of a conference finals game against one of the best teams to never win a title. Let me know when Dwyane Wade takes over an overtime Finals game on the road with Shaquille O’Neal fouled out (on a bum ankle). Let me know when Dwyane Wade is dropping daggers into the heart of division rival with a crunch time lineup that featured Smush Parker, Sasha Vujacic and Kwame Brown.

Hell, let me know when Dwyane Wade is doing anything in the playoffs besides riding through a sub-par Eastern Conference (and it was pitiful in 2006) and getting gift-wrapped a Finals victory by going to the line anytime he was sneezed at.

And the Olympics? This guy wants to talks about the Olympics and when it counts?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised a Miami Heat fan doesn’t know about the “history” of basketball. We are talking about a franchise that retired Michael Jordan’s 23 and Dan Marino’s 13.

He wants to talk about WHEN IT COUNTS? With Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade?

August 24, 2008. Spain vs. United States, Gold Medal game. Up until now, the Americans have coasted. They’ve lived up to their name: The Redeem Team.

However, Spain wasn’t giving up their chain without a fight. Late in the fourth quarter, Spain cut the lead to four, as the Americans devolved into what had killed them in international play: isolations.

Enter the alpha dog of the team: Kobe Bryant. It was Bryant who rose when it counted, hitting two key three-pointers (including a four point play over Spain’s MVP of the Game: Rudy Fernandez) to give the United States a cushion they would eventually see them through to the end.

That’s how you figure out things like this in basketball, Charles. When the going got tough—the Redeem Team turned to Kobe Bryant, and he was there when it counted. (But yeah, stat-heads, KOBE ISN’T CLUTCH ‘CAUSE STATS SAY SO). Dwyane Wade deferred to Kobe Bryant because he knew this was his moment, his time.

While in Beijing, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade were fantasizing about running roughshod over the NBA in three years (I’d pay millions for those tapes), Kobe Bryant had just lost in the Finals in six games to the Boston Celtics.

He could have taken the summer off, and honestly, who’d have blamed him? But he wanted to play for his country, because it meant something to him. He knew he was the alpha dog, but Sensei Kobe let the young dogs get theirs—he resigned himself to locking down the other team’s best player every night (which might explain the stat discretion between Wade and Bryant, perhaps)?

And when the team needed him the most? There he was, just like everybody (including Wade) hoped he’d be.

Let the young bucks have stats—Kobe Bryant is chasing things that are far beyond stats.

Next: Dwyane Wade is no Kobe Bryant
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