Some might think that the luster has come off of Kobe Bryant in the last few years, and that with the emergence of players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, that Bryant isn’t as much of an attraction as he once was. Bryant showed last night that he is still one the most dominant players and entertaining players in the league, wowing the crowd at the Garden last night with a dazzling array of dunks, three pointers and a buzzer beater to close out the third period on his way to 43 points in the Lakers 111-98 win over the Celtics. It was a little weird hearing the Boston crowd cheer for a Laker, but Bryant was worth the price of admission last night.
Peter May notes that while fans might’ve gotten what they paid for last night, a Celtics win was most certainly not part of the deal as the club slumped to its franchise tying 13th straight loss. Steve Bulpett looks at the team staggering into the record books with the loss. Lenny Megliola has Bryant coming up huge after having had to sit out the night before because of a suspension. Robert Lee has more on Bryant playing angry after sitting out against the Knicks.
Jackie MacMullan has lunch with Bryant who laments never having played in the old Garden, and wishing he could’ve taken part in the great Celtics/Lakers rivalry from the old days. Dan Duggan has a game-by-game look at the current losing streak. Bulpett has an update on Tony Allen, rehabbing his knee and looking to come back strong. Bill Doyle has the losses starting to get to the Celtics as they pile up.
May’s notebook has Tony Allen making his first appearance in the locker room since his knee injury, and vowing to be ready for training camp next fall. Bulpett’s notebook has Bryant offering advice to Gerald Green after the game. Green scored 22 points on the night and had a couple brief duels with Bryant in the course of the game. Doyle’s notebook has Allen not playing the “what if” game when it comes to his injury.
Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman have Daisuke Matsuzaka holding court in California on the state of his workouts and getting ready for spring training, now just two weeks away. Jeff Goldberg also reports on the press conference a couple other Sox items.
Jeff Horrigan has Jon Lester showing up for spring training to get a couple of extra weeks of work in. Tony Massarotti says that Curt Schilling is worth the Red Sox making an additional investment in. Nick Cafardo has more on Schilling, and notes that the Red Sox don’t need another public negotiation.
Dom Amore has Roger Clemens saying that he is “failing miserably” at retirement.
Michael Felger has Chad Jackson’s high school coach saying that Jackson will come around and develop into a player for the Patriots. Mike Reiss has Ty Warren showing up at the Super Bowl festivities. John Tomase has Bears receiver Muhsin Muhammad still smarting over his loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII while with the Carolina Panthers. Matthew Postins has Dan Klecko making his father jealous with the success his teams have had early in his career.
Bill Doyle has Jim Nantz getting excited over calling his first Super Bowl this weekend.
Buddy Thomas takes joy in taunting Patriots fans and emailers.