LN: How long have you been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers?
KE: Ever since the Showtime days. The first memory I have of watching the Lakers play was back when I was about nine or so (about 1990) and my Grandad let me stay up and watch game that went into overtime. Once I got my first taste of watching Magic play I was hooked!
It was basically the end of the Showtime era and the beginning of the rebuilding process, but I really got into watching Nick “The Quick” Van Exel, Eddie Jones and the early days of Shaq in LA. Those guys put on a show every night and I loved every minute of it. RAISE THE ROOF!!
LN: What made you want to become the Kobe Bryant Examiner?
KE: About five years ago I created a blog about the Lakers called Lakers4Life. Once I had about 200+ Lakers posts on my resume, I hooked up with Examiner.com and became the Kobe Bryant Examiner. During high school and even throughout most of my college days, I really wasn’t that interested in writing, but once I started writing about the Lakers the words just started pouring out and I realized that this was for me!
LN: Who is your favorite Laker besides Kobe (past and current)?
KE: Right now I would say it would have to be Derek Fisher. Even though I believe Kobe Bryant is without doubt the best clutch shooter in the game (despite all the recent articles saying otherwise), D-Fish is the man when the game is on the line and seems to be one of the few players left in the league with true passion for the game.
Back in the day, I would say Magic Johnson, but I really didn’t get to see him in his prime. With that being said, it would have to be Nick Van Exel. The Lakers never really got that far in the mid 90s, but Van Exel was a stud! Van Exel could dish, drain the three and throw sick alley-oops to Eddie Jones and Shaq! Even though he didn’t get much respect after his Laker days, he is still one of my favorite players of all-time!
LN: What do you think about the loss to the Boston Celtics?
KE: Like most of us Lakers fans, I can’t stand the Boston Celtics, but they played some flawless team basketball in the second half of that game and deserved the win. The one thing that the Celtics do well is move the basketball. Their ball movement was really impressive on Sunday and was in many ways the key to getting the win in my opinion. They didn’t settle for bad shots and kept the Lakers’ defense on their heels.
Along with the Celtics executing on offense, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum were worthless in the paint for the Lakers. They were getting beaten on defense and couldn’t do anything offensively. The Lakers advantage against the Celtics has always been in the paint and with Gasol and Bynum playing poorly, Kobe had to take over the game and then everything fell apart.
LN: Do you think the Lakers will be able to pull off the three-peat?
KE: At the beginning of the season I would have said there is no doubt in my mind as the Lakers were playing like the best team in the league and close to unstoppable at times. Now they seem unmotivated and have shown some flaws on both ends of the floor. A lot has been said about the defense lately, but I don’t put much stock in it. Like Kobe said, the numbers don’t lie and I agree with that.
Much like the Bulls back in the day, when they won the six championships with MJ and Phil, the Lakers tend to turn it on in the second half of the season. So I believe if they can do just that after the All-Star break, they should be good to go, but if not they might be in trouble when they face teams like the Spurs, Thunder or Mavs in the playoffs.
This team needs to get motivated! They have a chance to do something that only a handful of teams have been able to do in the past and that should be all the motivation they need. Only the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers (Kobe/Shaq days) and Minneapolis Lakers have been able to pull off the three-peat.
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