Smack / Feb 2, 2010 / 5:30 am

Taming of the Mamba

O.J. Mayo, Dime #52

Score a few more votes for Lionel Hollins in the Coach of the Year race, because he may have just figured out the best way to guard Kobe Bryant at the end of a game. Last night the Grizzlies were up two on the Lakers with 21 seconds left when Mike Conley blew a chance to ice the win and bricked two free throws. Then it was Kobe’s turn, and as he was going into his move to get space for his trusty mid-range jumper over O.J. Mayo, Marc Gasol switched onto him. The 7-footer kept his arms up the entire time, and was quick enough on his feet to stay in front of Kobe long enough to force him to pass. Kobe did find Ron Artest wide open on the wing, but he missed and Memphis won. The next time this situation comes up, don’t be surprised to see the opposing coach bring his most athletic big man out on Kobe and take his chances … Before that, Kobe was basically unstoppable. He dropped 44 points (16-28 FG), and in the process passed Jerry West as the Lakers’ all-time leading scorer. In the first quarter Kobe was already working the refs when Memphis’ color commentator snapped on him for barking after every call or no-call: “Why don’t you just not complain about EVERY single one? I’m so tired of that from the superstars.” The play-by-play replied simply, “Indeed.” … But the ref-baiting must have worked, because at the end of the first half one of the refs was seriously trying to give the Lakers the game. Can’t remember the guy’s name, but he completely killed all the momentum the Grizzlies had generated while building a double-digit lead, as Kobe went to the line EIGHT times in the final 1:35 thanks to some ticky-tack fouls and a couple technicals. The tech against Zach Randolph (22 pts, 17 rebs) was especially fishy, since all Z-Bo did was take his headband off. “This referee has gotten out of control,” one announcer said. “Somebody needs to reign him in.” Quick advice for aspiring refs: When you find yourself becoming the headline story, think twice about what you’re doing … Suns/Hornets was a reminder of the importance of mismatches. Looking to seal the deal down the stretch, Steve Nash quickly found his mark: Peja Stojakovic, who was guarding Grant Hill. First Hill lost Peja on a screen and hit a jumper while being fouled, pushing Phoenix’s lead to five. Next possession, Hill gave Peja a little stutter-step and stuck another J that was essentially the dagger with about 30 seconds left … The Hornets did alright for themselves without Chris Paul. They should at least be able to hang around with most good teams if Darren Collison (16 pts, 14 asts) and Marcus Thornton (25 pts) keep playing with veteran savvy with young legs … After the Bucks beat Miami in the first part of a home-and-home over the weekend, Brandon Jennings (of course) was among those hyping up Charlie Bell as the “D-Wade Stopper.” So yesterday in Miami — in front of approximately 285 fans — naturally D-Wade came out on a Destroy Charlie Bell mission. Midway through the first quarter Wade had an 11-0 lead on Milwaukee by himself, but the Bucks soon found their offense and Wade didn’t score again until almost halftime. He was then held to three points in the third quarter, and finished with 23 in another loss. The Book of Ruben Patterson tells us not to get too caught up claiming one guy holds the key to shutting down a particular superstar, but C-Bell deserves a ton of credit. He took Keyser Soze‘s best shot and came out on top … Other stat lines from Monday: Kevin Garnett had 19 points and passed Larry Bird for 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in a win at Washington; Deron Williams put up 18 points and 15 assists to beat the Mavs; LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 and eight boards to help Portland get past Charlotte; and Kenyon Martin posted 24 points and 12 rebounds in Denver’s sans-‘Melo win over Sacramento … Remember that epic Texas/Oklahoma State game in 2007 where Kevin Durant and Mario Boggan (100% “Where Are They Now?” subject in the making) were trading heart-stopping buckets through like three overtimes? Last night’s Texas/OSU game didn’t match that kind of drama, but Longhorns forward Jordan Hamilton did a pretty good KD impersonation. The 6-7 freshman dropped 27 points in 19 minutes of UT’s win. His playing time has been spotty — he saw just two minutes in Texas’ last game — but we’ve known Hamilton since he was high schooler in Compton, Calif., and if nothing else, the kid can get buckets. Keep an eye on him … We’re out like Ruben Patterson …

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  • ToAn

    i’m surprised that other teams allow kobe to shoot at the buzzer…besides Fisher i’m not sure if Odom, Artes or Gasol ever made a buzzer-beater….let them prove first they can hit them before you watch kobe shooting (and making) them.

  • the_don_mega

    Ruben Patterson is a good subject for “where are they now?”…

  • alf (from melmak)

    Memphis is fun to watch again although the loss to New Orleans is still inexcusable. They just need the right PG and make sure to resign Rudy Gay in the summer.

    The Jazz also have me giddy these days. Its like Panda in Kung Fu Panda finally seeing all his potentials.

    Anyway, off topic again. Found this YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE1BOXZ1Wnk where Roger Mayweather claims Pacquiao is using some sort of ancient steroids that makes 45 caliber bullets bounce of the body of its users and makes them three times stronger. I almost fell of my chair laughing when I was listening to it.

    My meal allowance right now is pointing towards Burger King. I am hungry.

  • jzsmoove

    pacquiao is on straight up corn and rice combo shit, nothing more. representin. I hated Kobe’s face when he won the boston game. i wouldve loved to see his last night.

  • Jay

    Tame and Mamba doesnt even belong in the same sentence…GTFOH! LOL…Your writing license has offically been revoked. Kobe is obviously banged up from head to toe, doesn’t have the lift or speed he once had due to these injuries and still drops 44 with an opportunity to win the game but decides to pass the ball. I understand the whole rooting for the underdog in this column and the underachieving stans who identify w/ said underdogs but lets keep it 100.

  • Diggity Dave

    Puh-lease. Wade was playing with severe back spasms. The Heat play the Bucks again on 2/27. I feel bad for Bell.

  • JRav

    Ruben Patterson = sex offender

  • Eduardo

    God, That’s why I love Dime…Great reference to the Shakespeare comedy;) That’s great stuff, right there…Just the title..;)

  • Kirk

    I’m happy my Grizzlies finally beat the Lakers. The refs did everything they could to help them win. The refs limited OJ by making sure he picked up every foul in the world. Everytime he breathed in Kobe’s space he was charged with a foul. Same for Marc on his brother Pau. I’m happy that the bench finally did something. Zach and Rudy came up big. EAT THAT KOBE!!!!! AND PAU!!!!

  • Chris

    Damnit, DimeSmack. Why no props to the Jazz?

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    The Shrew would be a good nickname for someone if it wasn’t meant for a woman lo.l.

    Gotta be some type of write up on Kobe today (as it is all over the world) about him possibly being the greatest Laker ever.

    Course I spect DIME will put a twist on theres.

    Um, oh yea Free Deron Williams!

    All coaches should be fined for not double teaming Kobe with a big and forcing the pass at the end of every game. You know Stern always looking for whatever fine he can find.

    D-Wade probably got his suitcase packed. They really gonna have to bring in someone worth to keep him in MIA. Almost feel sorry for a talent like that not having any help. Dude getting that T-Mac treatment right now.

    Wishing the Washington Bullets I mean Wizards would go on and let Caron go to Houston. Stop trippin and free that man and tank your other games and get more lottery balls lol.

    Free Andre Iguodala

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Last nights Laker/Grizzly game was more of getting bitten by the mamba and surviving than taming of the mamba.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla


    you don’t have to do a “Where are they now” feature on Ruben Patterson, all you have to do is look him up on the “sex offender” website, better hope he’s not in your area if you have a teenage daughter. instead of the Kobe stopper his nickname should have been “R.Kelly” or “Age ain’t nothing but a number”

    Can Darren Collinson get some ink for what he’s doing this season everytime he plays significant minutes. Seriously, kid would be rookie of the year if he played for lets say….INDIANA!!! I’m a big fan of Tyler Hansbrough and Larry Bird, but what the hell? Collinson was sitting right there! So was Dru Holiday.

  • ShowKase

    D-Wade is just saving his energy for Super Bowl Weekend. Gonna be partyin with Chris Paul on crutches.

  • Cha-Ching

    Phil Jackson just wanted the game to end so they could get on the plane. Enjoy a day off in LA. Thats why he didn’t call any timeouts at the end. He didn’t care, maybe Kobe does some superman stuff or not. Beating Boston was the big deal. Kind of made up for losing against cavs and toronto. Still need to do better thou.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    Roger Mayweather is cleary on drugs (Heroin) so i wouldn’t put much into anything he says. Anyone losing their teeth like that, getting abnormaly skinny, and erratic behavior.

  • Dean

    I can’t believe Ruben Patterson isn’t in the league! Guy can play.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    what do we all have to do to get a Grizzlies vs Thunder playoff series?!!?

    I dont care about seedings this year. I wanna see them two young teams go at it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • the_don_mega

    @ Chicagorilla – “Age ain’t nothing but a number” – lol… my fault i forgot about him goin’ R. Kelly… lol

  • http://dime eyes

    Mike Conley is useless & shameful excuse for a starting let alone N.B.A. player. The Grizzlies could have had any starting guard they liked. Why not trade Conley now while he has some value. If you mold your game after Conley or Duhon you will be BAD. I would leave to see these two try to survive in summer or streetball. It would be must see TV. Is the talent pool that bad that these guys must start. Props to Coach Hollins & the rest of the Grizzlies.

    Why the Brandon Jennings hate. Whichever dime writer that is. He wants to believe in his team & instill confidence. Why not also highlight the fact he stated. He wanted to make Andrew Bogut an All Star this yr. He’s sacrificed his stats to make this bad team a good one. He’s the closest thing to a true PG in this rookie class aside from Collison. Which will bode well for any team or roster that has him. Everyone from commentors to fans,analysts,dime has turned on BJ. People only seem to concentrate on his negatives and statiscal drop. Half the season is coming to an end. If people haven’t learned anything from the lead BJ had on the R.O.Y. race. Calm down anyone deserving can actually win the award. Let’s just say most of us was wrong on our prediction on overall talent this draft class. It has turned out to be one of the best sleeper drafts to date. Also the players will have lasting impacts into the next decade. There will be a few All Stars next year helping their teams climb into playoff contention.

    Why are the Lakers so bad aside from the loss? LakeShow do you really enjoy watching this team play? I don’t know how you do it. If Jordan Farmar can’t take Fisher’s starting spot. He’s just Capital T.

  • bsteezy3

    LOL @ the announcers for the Grizz game. I agree with him 100%. Every Kobe or Lebron game (and they are certainly not the only ones), I can’t help but notice the non-stop bitchin’/whining about every call/no-call. I’m tired of that shit too. That’s why the refs call so many soft fouls…jeez…

  • QQ

    Good to see Peja finally playing defense…. OH SHIIIT.

  • Claw

    With CP3 out for the All Star game who takes his place?

    I’m going with Billups, guy has been maintaining the Nuggets position with Melo out and hitting daggers in the process.

    What surprised me of the Gasol switch on Kobe is that he actually passed the ball, I always thought you double him because he would shoot no matter what, surprised he actually passed.

  • Dave

    Poppi Gee, Free Deron Williams? You’re killing me! I think maybe you should work on getting TMac out of solitary confinement, or freeing Yao from the Chinese govt tax on his salary, but I think Deron is doing just fine in Utah muchas gracias.

  • LakeShow84

    Lol i mean no time out Phil?? For reals?? i saw Conley brick and was like “ok now lets set it up baby, ITS A WRAP” but Ron looked at the bench took off and i was like “oh fuck here we go” lol.. You know Phil and his antennas for zen energies kinda make me scratch my head at times lol..

    Those Memphis guys were on it last night.. I aint never heard 2 guys CRY so much.. but then when the refs started proppin up Memphis they eased back and agreed with damn near every call.. keep in mind Memphis fans the refs kept u guys in it in the 4th.. everytime we went for some cushion late in the 4th the whistle blew..

    BOTTOM LINE last night was a HORRRIIBBLLLYYY officiated game on both ends.. by the end of the night they didnt know what the F they were callin..

    @ DIME

    How do you hand the game away in the 2nd quarter?? Lol even with all that BS it was still a TIE game.. And sorry but Marc hit all wrist on Kobes 3.. the other 3-4 calls?? ehhhhh i guess we’ll take them lol..

    Pau Gasol is shrinking fast on D.. he must be hurt somehow because if he has ANY presence on D no one cares.. or it could im actually watching him closely and over observing but damn.. he had 2-3 good rebounds yesterday just come out of his hands.. Low passes in transition.. one was a costly turnover in the 4th.. Honestly he looks shaky like its in his head..

  • QQ

    Kobe is garbage and classless. I wouldn’t even trade Vince Carter for him. Seriously. Someone put kobe in the same cell as the “kobe stopper.” They deserve each other.

  • LakeShow84

    @ QQ

    i dont blame you for saying that.. i bet everytime you see the “pirahna” face you cringe..

    You wouldnt trade him for Vince?? Damn talk about pride bruh..

  • Claw

    Phil Jackson was a little tiffed at halftime, saying they needed to spread the ball more (translation Kobe quit jacking shots) and said once Kobe got the record maybe the offense will flow better.

    QQ – Might be taking it a little too much with the VC trade, what happened to Vince? He has wilted away in Orlando, they should have kept Turk.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    In Kobe’s defense, I watched that game and it looked like he started jacking after it was clear nobody else on the team had come to play. The Memphis announcers even defended him for shooting a lot.

  • LakeShow84

    No point in explaining AB, some people dont get it..

    Thats been the case all season.. no one else is really HUNGRY.. think about it.. who is really HUNGRY on our team?? I would say RonRon but hes defensively hungry lol plus hes lost in our system..

    But all the stats really say is that Kobe is jacking and Pau aint getting his touches..

    *In the 2nd quarter yesterday when Kobe was on the bench Pau was out there in the game.. i watched us pass the ball around and EVERYONE touched it once and made the extra pass.. After all this and about 5-7 seconds left on the shot clock the ball came back to Pau.. u know what he did?? Handed the ball off to a guard and let him shoot a rushed 20fter*


    Hes been playing so timid lately..

  • LakeShow84

    @ DIME

    Got the shirt today too.. Right on fellas..

  • QQ

    Dammit here we go again….

    You fucking classless losers trying to use my name again.

    @ LakeShow:
    That was not me, bro. That was a faker. You know how I love Kobe’s game. If I were not a Magic fan, I would be one of you. Because of Kobe.

    Dammit Dime. Serously. Can’t yall just fucking regulate the site so that things like this won’t happen? SERIOUSLY? Aren’t there administrators to stop people using the names of other people?

    If these things continue to happen, I have no choice Dime fam. I have to leave these forums. And I’ll always blame the administrators for that.

    @ AB: Holla at a long time reader, bro. Seriously. I know you could fix things of these sort. Holla at me, bro.