The Lakers started out slowly again falling down by 9 points after the first quarter but then opened the 2nd quarter on a 10-0 run and transitioned into the 2nd half with a renewed energy to send the Hornets home in desperation mode. And it was the ‘Bigs’ efforts to win the points in the paint honors by a dozen that was the difference again. That’s been my main postgame interviewing focus because when the Lakers win that battle-they almost always win the game!
And Kobe won his own personal battle to comeback from the injury like he always does and if you saw him walk into the building before the game like I did (very gingerly) you’d probably think this might not be his night?But wrong again, my friend…as he put up 19 points, 4 assists and a couple of his younger days-looking monster dunks in his 28 1/2 minutes and then talked to us media types to answer all the questions (some stupid ones as usual-mostly about his injury which was obviously not a factor). It certainly helped that he was in a nice winner’s playful playoff mood as well…
Kobe Bryant with Ted Sobel:
After Kobe walked out of the room giggling, he was stopped by TNT’s Cheryl Miller in the hallway as they recorded a few minutes for the network. He then got his wife and began to head out of the building where coincindentally alongide just happened to be little ‘ol me. And I jokingly asked him for one last question in which he replied with a big smile, “Please no more stupid questions! I’ve had enough of you guys tonight and it’s late already”. And so I came back with “Yeah but Kobe, I’m just trying to squeeze one decent 12 second soundbyte from you which isn’t always easy!”. And he playfully wrapped his long arms around me gave me with a huge bear hug, so much so that someone asked if he was choking me for some reason? Not hardly (thank God) as we seperated and both laughed at the exchange before I wished him a good trip hopefully keeping me from working a game 7 on Saturday.
The following are some of my other postgame locker room chats for your listening pleasure…
Derek Fisher with Ted Sobel:
Pao Gasol with Ted Sobel:
Andrew Bynum with Ted Sobel:
Hornets forward Carl Landry with Ted Sobel: