What else could he do?
Perhaps more than anything, Kobe is trying to sell himself on the idea that this Laker team has a prayer.
I won't discount the team totally though. Kobe is good enough to lead them anywhere. However, tough as it is to believe sometimes, the man is human, and he needs some pieces around him.
And no, Shawn Marion is not the answer.
The Spurs enter the season as deservedly heavy favorites.
Looking past San Antonio, the league seems pretty wide open for five or six teams with the capability to win it all:
The Celtics, Suns, Pistons, Mavs, and Cavs.
Your 2008 NBA Champion will come from that group.
The Rockets aren't as good as people think and won't stay healthy. The Bulls could conceivably win the East but would never get past any of the West's powerhouses. And the Jazz, Warriors and Raptors are at least a year away from being contenders.
Seriously, if you could lay down even money on any the Spurs, Celtics, Suns, Pistons, Mavs or Cavs winning the title, how much would you bet?
Maybe your mortgage or your college fund?
The NBA is the anti-partity league. When was the last time we saw an NBA Champ that wasn't ranked in the top 5 or 6 in the preseason?
Don't get me wrong, I love the NBA more than I love any other league—and it will be a fantastic and fun season—but we won't be seeing any 2000 Rams or '03 Angels anytime soon.
One last basketball note: You owe it to yourself to check out the greatest dunk you've probably never seen here. It's from a real game—no And1 or Globetrotter nonsense here.
It's unfortunate that the best team in the National League didn't make the playoffs.
It's no possible excuse, but an incredibly ill-timed stretch doesn't take away several months of great baseball (well, actually it does take it away, but you know what I'm saying...).
But I have no idea why the Mets are hanging on to Willie Randolph.
I don't blame him soley for their epic collapse, but someone has to take the fall here—and the team is too good to blow up.
What happens next year if the Amazins are 5 games up with 10 to play—and they lose two games in a row? Their "September to Forget" will haunt them no matter for eternity—but retaining every piece of the fall may not be the most prudent option.
Three series open on Wednesday.
Angels-Red Sox promises to be well played, but without home field advantage, expect the Angels to lose in 5.
Cubbies-D'Backs is being marketed here in Chicago as an incredibly lopsided series—in the Cubs favor.
Now, on paper I'd have to agree with them, but on paper the Cubs should also have won close to 100 games. Also on paper—a team that gives up more runs than they score shouldn't have the most wins in their league. Arizona gets it done in 4—and Chicago fans turn to a Bears team that won't win 8 games.
Phillies-Rockies is a fantasic, exciting matchup between two blazing hot teams.
Jimmy Rollins (who will rightfully win the NL MVP), made good on his promise and is as close to unstoppable as anyone in the majors. Matt Holliday has continued to play out of his mind. The series will go 5 games and feature a tight finish.
My money's on the improbably Rockies—the joyous flipside of the '07 Mets—keeping their season going.
Oh, and No—I don't think Holliday touched home plate. Let's just say I'm glad the catcher dropped the ball.
Week 4 NFL commentary and the rest of the MLB playoffs coming soon.
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