It was 2006. The Phoenix Suns, loaded with Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, Boris Diaw and co. gave the Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money as the team from the City of Angels led the series 3-1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Suns them clothes-lined them (and Kobe Bryant) and not only won the next three games, they annihilated them in game 7 to win the series 4-3. The Suns faced them again in 2007 and took care of them 4-1 in the quarterfinals. The Lakers eventually got their "revenge" in 2010, and with the help of Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest), the Lakers went on to win the Western Conference crown against Phoenix and took down their arch rival Boston Celtics in seven. The Suns roster has been gutted out over the last year, and only Steve Nash remains from the 2007 roster, and to make things sweeter for Los Angeles, they have only one once at Staples Center since early 2008 when former Laker Kwame Brown nearly single-handed them a victory and was booed off by the hometown fans for it.
Even though the Suns are not what they used to be, Kobe doesn't care. The bitter taste in his mouth will always remain.
Kobe keeps saying how much he hates the Phoenix Suns.
But there’s almost nothing left from the Suns teams that knocked the Lakers out of the first round of the playoffs in 2006 and 2007. The coach is gone, the general manager is gone, every other player is gone ... there’s even a different guy doing tricks in the gorilla suit. The only one who remains is Steve Nash. The same Steve Nash who won the Most Valuable Player award over Bryant in 2005 and 2006.
So really, whom else is Kobe supposed to hate? Channing Frye? Hakim Warrick? He sure doesn’t hate Shannon Brown, his former teammate whom he embraced in a tight hug right after the buzzer sounded.
It’s gotta be Nash.
Those 48 points Kobe scored during the Lakers’ 99-83 victory were his most since he scored since March 22, 2011 -- against the Phoenix Suns. *And as Dave McMenamin pointed out, the last time Kobe scored more than 48 was when he put up 49 on March 1, 2009 -- against the Phoenix Suns. This can’t be a coincidence. Kobe is too cold and calculating for this to be coincidence.
“I don’t like them,” Bryant said of the Suns. “Plain and simple, I do not like them. They used to whip us pretty good and used to let us know about it, and I. Will. Not. Forget. That.”
Even though most of the guys from that team are gone?
“I. Don’t. Care,” Bryant said. “I won’t let it go.”
I did attend the game last night (as a Phoenix Suns fan), and I too am a little bit confused by all this. There were very few Suns fans in attendance, and I was left alone when I cheered on my team. Every basket Nash scored, I yelled. Every three Channing Fry hit, I let the crowd know who made it. In response, I got nothing from the stands.
This has definitely got to be a personal thing.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
5:33 PM No comments