By Troy Sparks
Both Kobe Bryant and Shane Mosley better have their game faces on this weekend. This first week in May will tell who will come out on top.
The L.A. Lakers are down two games to none to the Dallas Mavericks. Can you believe that the two-time defending champions were beaten at the Staples Center—twice?
That isn't the kind of basketball fans are used to seeing from the Lakers. The Mavericks can either close it out on their court with a 4-0 sweep, or the purple and gold will rise from the dead and go back to L.A. with the series tied at 2-2.
So is it time for Bryant to step up to the plate and take control? Maybe Father Time is about to pass him by. You have to remember that he came into the league out of high school at 18 years old.
I certainly think that Father Time has passed Mosley by. If his fight against Manny Pacquiao goes more than six rounds, then he may have a chance to pull off the upset. However, if Manny gets to him earlier in a slugfest, then it's lights out for Mosley.
Mosley was good for two rounds in his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May. After that, Mayweather picked him apart. If Mosley listens to his trainer, Nazir Richardson, then I can see him getting the advantage. But if Pacquiao loses, I can see his camp demanding a rematch because the pound-for-pound champ can't go out like a sucker.
As for Bryant, crunch time is now. If the Lakers set aside their egos and show some guts, they can overcome their deficit and win the series. Maybe some of their players were looking past the Mavericks. Dallas is showing that they're not a bunch of punks.
Either way, Bryant or Mosley could have good weekends. One of them may have a bad weekend or both may go down in defeat.