What a game. What a team.
As a colleague put it afterwards, “the Rockets sure are playing well, aren’t they?…and they’re the youngest freaking team in the league!” The Lakers jumped on Houston early, but the Rockets buried them with 3’s and darts to the hoop. It was too much of the usual from the good guys. The scary part is that you know they’ll get better. As always, some rookie will step up from the shadows or some trade at the deadline will pay dividends. It always happens. This team needs to just avoid injury.
I waited about an hour to capture the above footage as the subject of the recording took his time in gracing us with his presence. For anyone else, I wouldn’t have done it. But…it’s Kobe.
I knew he’d come out of one of the doors from the training room as he always does. So as time passed, I flinched at any movement from that direction. At least five times, when I thought Kobe Bryant was emerging to speak, it turned out to be Antawn Jamison.
A funny moment which I wish I had caught on tape: Someone asked Steve Nash, with regard to tallying his 10,000th assist, how much further he thought he could climb on the all-time list. He responded that he wasn’t really sure of where those above him stood. Someone said, “well Stockton is at 15,000″ to which Nash reacted with a blank look as if to say, “yea, that’s not happening.” We all laughed.
Nash was a joy to watch tonight in the first half, on several plays schooling Toney Douglas with pullup jumpers. Overall, there were stints early where the Lakers backcourt seemed like characters in a video game, showing off assortments of moves and ball-handling. But all of that flash and aesthetic was not enough against the Rockets’ high-octane attack.