The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed for the home stretch of their regular season while still sitting atop the N.L. West division standing ahead of the rival San Francisco Giants.
With the Dodgers considered a legitimate threat to make the World Series, the pressure is on manager Don Mattingly to keep the boys blue playing at a high level. Mattingly recently spoke about the stars he has on the squad and how two or three of them are comparable to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.
According to Janis Carr of the OC Register, Mattingly said the following:
Mattingly hopes Dodgers play like Kobe has done in playoffs. "We have 3 Kobes — Ramirez, Kemp, Gonzalez." He didn't mention Puig.
— janis carr (@janiscarr) September 1, 2014
Oddly enough, Mattingly didn’t mention arguably two of his best players in ace Clayton Kershaw and up-and-comer Yasiel Puig. There’s no question that Kershaw is in a league of his own becoming possibly the best pitcher in the MLB, but not mentioning Puig is surprising.
Apparently, Mattingly is a big fan of Kobe’s ability to come through when the pressure is on. The Dodgers manager also had this say about the five-time NBA champion, according to Michael Lananna of MLB.com:
Mattingly's talking about how great Kobe is when the pressure's on. Wants his stars to be like Kobe down the stretch.
— Michael Lananna (@mlananna) September 1, 2014
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Kershaw and company have a good shot at going the distance this season much like the Los Angeles Kings did a few months ago. The Lakers, on the other hand, will have a tough task ahead trying to compete in a highly competitive Western Conference with an aging superstar and the franchise going through a rebuilding process.
Kobe Bryant Trash-Talking With LeBron James, Old Text Message Revealed