From his comfy seat behind the mic at ESPN, Jalen Rose now feels okay admitting he probably took Kobe Bryant out on purpose during the 2000 NBA Finals. Let’s set the scene: Game 2 of the Finals, the Lakers are up 1-0 and looking like a sure bet to take home a ring because of the way Shaquille O’Neal was devouring Pacer body parts throughout the first game. Nine minutes into Game 2, Rose was just beginning a 30-point night when he stepped underneath a Bryant jumper. You know what happens next: Bryant leaves the game with a rolled ankle, misses Game 3 in Indiana as the Lakers get beat, and then returns in Game 4 to save them in overtime. In a video with Grantland, Rose admitted he thought he did it on purpose, and said he would’ve been happy had Bryant missed the whole series because he’d have a championship ring. Rose joked that he and Bryant are close, but now when Kobe learns his Fab Five buddy once took him out on purpose, they might keep it moving the next time they’re in the same room. Bryant also dropped 81 on Jalen a few years later, so maybe they can call it even … While it’s obvious you can purposefully injure someone by doing this – in fact in basketball, it’s probably the easiest way to take someone out – that doesn’t make it the No. 1 no-no in hoop etiquette as Rose thinks. Sometimes it’s impossible to stop yourself. If you’re closing out at full speed, you can’t always stop. There’s momentum. There’s the fact that not every jump shooter comes down in the same place he took off at. If you’re trying to make varsity, and the coach notices you closing out weakly because you’re not trying to undercut anyone, well, you might as well not show up the next day. It sucks when it inadvertently happens, but it’s a part of the game, along with bailout jumpers and klutzy Blake Griffin post moves. Not everyone is Bruce Bowen, who probably has 17 ankle tendons stashed in his trophy case at home … The Harlem Globetrotters have announced their 2013 Rookie class, which has two girls. They’ll be joining former stars Special K Daley, Big Easy Lofton, Flight Time Lang and Dizzy Grant (why can’t NBA players have nicknames like these anymore?) … In case you missed it yesterday, we posted another feature from the current “Kobe” issue. We gave you the 10 names who will shape the future generation of basketball, and the list includes a Peter and a Rob, a Derrick, two Andrews, a Jabari, a Kyrie, an Adam and Anthony, as well as a Damian. How many can you name correctly? … And a few weeks back, we showcased one of the first releases for the LeBron X lineup – a sick sneaker that’s since been coined the “Fireberry” (or, as other more simplistic people are calling them, the “Dr. Peppers”). Now, theshoegame.com is reporting they’re set to release this Saturday for $270. This colorway is coming as a Nike+ joint, so get your paper up … Keep reading to hear what Blake Griffin expects from the Spurs this year …
Smack / Sep 18, 2012 / 11:37 pm
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