Chris Hester's "Mock" Interview with Kobe Bryant

Chris HesterSenior Analyst IJune 14, 2008

Mock Interview with Kobe Bryant After the debacle also known as the NBA Finals Game 5, Chris Hester sat down (in his own imagination) and interviewed Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Hester informed Mr. Bryant that during this interview he would like to throw the term P.C. right out the window and for Kobe to really express how he feels, no holds barred. Let’s take a listen to how that went:

Hester: Well Kobe, there’s no way around it, what happened out there?

Bryant: Weren’t you watching? You know, it is hard for this team to win when I am not scoring every time down court. I don’t mean that in a selfish “look at me” way, I mean that in the most honest way possible. My team basically quit and then came to me in the 4th quarter and said “ok Kobe, we’re in trouble, help”.

Hester: You think your guys quit or was it the Boston defense like many in the media are saying?

Bryant: They quit. Period. Did you see my guys once we got ahead by 20? We looked like the NBA players in Space Jam once the aliens took over their bodies. We just walked it up court, passed it around until the shot clock got low and then threw up a prayer. What kind of offense is that? We looked like Duke out there running the Four Corners offense and how has that been working out for those guys recently?

Hester: So you are saying it was a coaching mistake?

Bryant: Coaching? What’s that? I think Phil stayed in the locker room after halftime. I mean, honestly, anyone in the crowd could see where we were getting exploited on defense and lazy on offense. How did “coach” handle the situation? He put in Luke Walton and let him chuck up three pointers. That was a great plan.

Hester: Ok, so on to…

Bryant: I’m not done with this topic yet. In the first half when we went on our run, who sparked it, do you remember? Wasn’t me, wasn’t the poor excuse we have for a front court, wasn’t D-Fish. Trevor Ariza. Let me tell you right now, that dude came in and was like a ball of fire! Look at his stat line; he had six points, five rebounds, a steal and a block in eight minutes. So, as Hall of Fame coach, when you see your team struggling and simply ‘going through the motions’ wouldn’t you put that kid back in? Wouldn’t you go back to the guy that gave your team energy in the first place?

Hester: Poor excuse for a front court?

Bryant: Oh my Lord, don’t even get me started on those two guys right now. You know, I kept hearing it was the Lakers Big Three (myself, Odom, Gasol) against Boston’s Big Three (KG, Ray, Paul). Unfortunately no one told my other two guys to show up this series. Honestly, after all of the criticism the Grizz got for “The Trade”, I would almost rather have still had Kwame on my roster right now then that waste of space we have in the middle.

What happened to that dude, honestly? When he got here I thought, “Finally, a big man that can help me out (one not named Shaq). He did it all; he could score, rebound, block shots, and run the court. I thought “this is it; this is the guy that will put us over the hump in the West”. Well, I guess he did that much. I guess no one told him that after the Western Conference Finals there was still another pretty important series to play. He has been a lane clogging nit-wit out there against Boston and it’s starting to get embarrassing.

Hester: And Odom?

Bryant: Lamar may be the worst REALLY talented player I have ever seen. This guy can do things with the ball that you should only see out of 6’ 4’’ guys, not 6’ 10’’. He has all of the skills to be one of the greats in this game but he is missing one key ingredient; heart. As soon as things start to get a little rough, he disappears. As soon as things start getting a little harder, gone. It’s amazing, it really is. The guy shies away from pressure like no one I have ever seen in my life. During the first half of game 4 he took the ball to the rim and had his way with the Boston defenders. What happened in the second half? Did he forget where the rim was? Was he too tired from working so hard in the first half? I have no idea, but it was all jump shots and passes after the intermission. Thanks coach for calling a time out and reminding him why he was so successful during the first half.

Hester: Ok, final thought. Where do the Lakers stand in the series now and give me your final thought on game 4.

Bryant: Where do we stand? Well, I could tell you what you want to hear. “This is not over. We still have a fighter’s chance. All we need to do is win three in a row, we’ve done that hundreds of times. It ain’t over til it’s over.” This one’s over my friend. I hate to say that, buy my team is beat, mentally. How can you expect this group of guys to come back from what you saw the other night? It can’t happen. They don’t have the…manhood to do it and I hate saying that, but it’s true. The Celtics have beat my team into submission and I can’t pull them out. Game 5 I haven’t decided how I am going to attack quite yet. I may score 80; I may not take a shot.

This team can’t win without me scoring, without me dominating, that much is obvious. I was MVP for a reason this year. This team would be lost without me and everyone knows it. As for my final thought on Game 4, well, this team needs some major retooling in the offseason.

They may want to get another guy in here that isn’t afraid of the moment. They may want to get me another scoring option that can help when a team runs three defenders at me. Coach Jackson probably should’ve done something to help when he saw the path we were headed down.

Last but not least, Game 4 is over, there is nothing we can do about it now. All we can do now is look forward to one more game and then going fishing. In closing I just want to say, go Yankees.