Kobe Bryant's Response To the Phoenix Suns' Idle Chatter? He'd Rather Pass

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IMay 20, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates with teammate Lamar Odom #7 after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 19, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns' forward Jared Dudley said he would view the video from the Suns' Game One loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, and see if Lamar Odom and Ron Artest could repeat their performances.

Amare Stoudemire said Odom's Game One performance was "lucky," and went a step further to say Pau Gasol was someone he dominated until Gasol was traded to Los Angeles, and teamed with Andrew Bynum.

I'm sure Kobe Bryant was aware of each comment made by the Suns, including Steve Nash's "best coach" comment regarding Lakers' coach Phil Jackson, and his performance has been a testament to his evolution as a player.

Instead of taking the Suns' slights personally, Bryant decided to lay the onus onto the backs of his assaulted teammates, and he made sure each player was left in the position to succeed.

Bryant handed out a playoff career high 13 assists in the Lakers' 124-112 romp over the Suns, and one by one, each member of the Lakers' roster who was shown any disrespect by the Suns contributed to their demise.

There was Odom scoring 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. He didn't match his Game One performance, but he was "lucky" enough to record a double-double regardless.

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Stoudemire's boy-toy, Pau Gasol, was once again the best big man on the court, and his 29 points decimated the Phoenix Suns' defense, and he did it from each angle of the post.

Artest scored 18 points and made the Suns pay on the perimeter each time they decided to leave him open, while attempting to double team another player.

Orchestrating the whole symphony was Bryant, who recognized this moment was not for him, but was instead reserved for his teammates who had something to say.

Bryant recognizes the value of the players who surround him, and if there were people who doubted Bryant's trust in his team, Game Two should delete any such thoughts from your mind.

The chemistry was apparent between Bryant and Odom, and Gasol, and Artest, and it was evident the emphasis on this night was silencing the insolent chatter of the Suns.

Why else would Bryant feed Artest with one second left in the first quarter quarter, a situation that usually dictates a Bryant shot just based on general principles?

Why would Bryant disdain his fourth quarter thievery and trust Odom and Gasol to seal the victory with their dominance in the post?

Maybe it's because Bryant finally trusts his teammates, and on this night the Lakers were able to meet Bryant's trust with results, and that is the making of a championship team.

This series is far from over, and the Suns will certainly draw inspiration from their home crowd, but tossing insults towards the Lakers may not be the best recipe for success.

Maybe Stoudemire learned his lessons, because when pressed to expound on his theory of "luck" for Odom after Game Two, he chose to say his team would give a much better showing at home in Game Three.

Phoenix did everything a little better in Game Two; they shot the ball better from three, the pick and roll was working, and they got better production from their bench.

But despite the advances made in the Suns' efforts to draw closer to the Lakers, Los Angeles still managed to pull away, and they nearly duplicated their 58 percent shooting performance form the field in Monday's Game One.

It appears Phoenix will not be able to trust their defense to slow the Lakers down, and even though the Suns are a superior offensive team, Los Angeles is better in this category also.

Especially when the Suns decide to let their words take precedent over their performance on the court. If this series were to be decided by quotes then Phoenix would have won already.

But the fate of the series will be decided on the hardwood, and the Lakers have not only dominated, but they are now only two games away from their goal of returning to the NBA Finals.