Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers: The Soap Opera...For the Men

Daniel YiContributor INovember 9, 2010

Someone once told me that my life is too dramatic. I used to hate hearing that word, but recently, I’ve come to embrace it. I got a text message this morning regarding the Kings game last night.

Man its kinda boring to watch games now. I’m used to drama and come from behind wins.

As much as I scream, yell and beg the Lakers to stop straining my heart with turnovers and bad defensive plays, they never fail to keep you on the edge of your seats. Sometimes, I expect it. Most of the time, I dread it.

I’m a person who likes to gravitate toward stability and security, even though my life is anything but. Based on my personality, if I had to follow a team all over again, I would have gone with the Cavaliers of last year. LeBron James for MVP. No. 1 seed in the league. Beat the Lakers at Staples Center on Christmas Day. What could be more reassuring than that?

And the Lakers’ road to the championship has been anything but stable and predictable. When Kobe is bailing you out of close games against lower-tier teams like Bucks and Kings, you really wonder if that buzzer-beater is anything to celebrate over. These come-from-behind games are terrifying to watch, and you’d love to settle for teams like the Cavaliers that seem to cruise to 61 wins.

But in the deep recesses of my subconscious mind, I must admit… I look forward to these big game moments. The Heat, after winning their first title in 2006, always struggled early in the playoffs. So when they came to play on Dec. 4 last year, I didn’t pay much attention. I figured it would be an easy win at home, and I decided I had more pressing matters to tend to.

I missed the biggest game of the season, when Kobe hit a clutch off-balance, fade-away bank shot from halfway to halfcourt with Dwyane Wade sweating all over him. The look on Wade’s face was priceless.

And I had to witness the moment on Youtube after my Facebook home-feed got flooded by homogenous rants about Kobe’s miracle shot. It just wasn’t the same. Drama or not, I wish I hadn’t missed that game. It makes you feel like the loser at school who doesn’t know how to dougie. (I’m kidding. I hope I never learn what the hell that even means.)

Last night, the Lakers lost their lead three minutes into the second quarter. My heart sank. Well, it wet its feet in the pool of stomach acid momentarily. I was getting complaint texts about Ron’s defense, Evans tearing Fisher apart and loss of focus in the fourth, but I replied, “We will win. Watch.”

Fisher hit big shots, with a steal from Carl Landry and a drive to the hoop for an And-1. Ron shot a miraculous 7-11 with three threes to boot. And Kobe? Kobe dropped his 17th career triple-double in the arena that spawned a whole generation of Kobe-haters in the 2002 Conference Finals. The big payoff. This is what I live for.

We might be struggling defensively as younger guards blow past Fisher night after night. Odom might have to habitually start in place of Bynum due to injuries every season. The game might get close because, damn it, our team just has a tendency to lose focus and motivation at times. (Oh, my heart, be still.)

But despite our rocky journey, the Lakers have delivered the goods. It’s like watching Jack Bauer on "24." You get so frustrated when everyone thinks Bauer has betrayed his own country, even though for six freaking seasons, he’s rescued the world from total destruction. (Oh God, the Lakers are "24." Need I mention the uncanny symbolism in that specific number?)

Counter-intuitively, LeBron, in the verisimilitude of all that seemed to be promising and beautiful, failed to deliver anything in his seven-year stint with the Cavaliers, and eventually went on to start a summer of infamy with sidekick Bosh.

So you know what? I don’t need illusions of grandeur in the form of a three-man super team, puffed up with empty words and promises. I don’t care what the media hypes up, or downplays, whether it’s about Kobe’s aging knees or Bynum’s ever-growing list of injuries.

I don’t need seemingly solid, definitive answers that amount to absolutely nothing in the end. The Lakers have proven they’re championship-material, even if the road they travel is the most questionable path in the league.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Korean, and despite my American upbringing, there must be a deep, innate and cultural desire to watch drama in some way or some form. I guess, for me, this is it. Welcome to a brand new season of the Lake show. Soap opera for men, anyone?

Related

    LeBron, Davis Combine for 58 as Lakers Edge Out Hawks

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    LeBron, Davis Combine for 58 as Lakers Edge Out Hawks

    Megan Armstrong
    via Bleacher Report

    OKC Unlikely to Trade CP3

    NBA logo
    NBA

    OKC Unlikely to Trade CP3

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    3 Potential Trades Lakers Should Pursue

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    3 Potential Trades Lakers Should Pursue

    Matt Peralta
    via Lakers Nation

    Report: Heat 'Determined to Move On' from Dion Waiters

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Heat 'Determined to Move On' from Dion Waiters

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report