Red Sox starting pitcher Curt Schilling, who watched last night's Game 2 from courtside seats at the Garden, today blogged some interesting thoughts on Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.
"Who doesn't know Kobe Bryant right?," asks Schilling. "I only know what I have heard, starting awhile back with the entire Shaq debacle. I don't really have an opinion one way or the other on or about him other than to know that people feel he might be one of the 4-5 greatest players to ever lace it up. What I do know is what I got to see up close and hear, was unexpected. From the first tip until about 4 minutes left in the game I saw and heard this guy bitch at his teammates. Every TO he came to the bench pissed, and a few of them he went to other guys and yelled about something they weren't doing, or something they did wrong. No dialog about 'hey let's go, let's get after it' or whatever. He spent the better part of 3.5 quarters pissed off and ranting at the non-execution or lack of, of his team. Then when they made what almost was a historic run in the 4th, during a TO, he got down on the floor and basically said 'Let's f'ing go, right now, right here' or something to that affect.
"I am not making this observation in a good or bad way, I have no idea how the guys in the NBA play or do things like this, but I thought it was a fascinating bit of insight for me to watch someone in another sport who is in the position of a team leader and how he interacted with his team and teammates. Watching the other 11 guys, every time out it was high fives and 'Hey nice work, let's get after it' or something to that affect. He walked off the floor, obligatory skin contact on the high five, and sat on the bench stone faced or pissed off, the whole game. Just weird to see another sport and how it all works. I would assume that's his style and how he plays and what works for him because when I saw the leader board for scoring in the post season his name sat up top at 31+ a game, can't argue with that. But as a fan I was watching the whole thing, Kobe, his teammates and then the after effects of conversations. He'd yell at someone, make a point, or send a message, turn and walk away, and more than once the person on the other end would roll eyes or give a 'whatever dude' look."
Observing the Celtics' efforts, Schilling was clearly impressed with Kevin Garnett and how he handles himself on the court. "His eyes are on the floor, or the ball, all game," writes Schilling. "What an incredible pleasure it is to watch and be a fan of. I am blown away in that he came out of high school, something that can be a huge disadvantage, and has ALWAYS maintained who he was purported to be ...
"Last night KG goes to the line, Lamar Odom (who I became a fan of last night) is saying 'Hey KG why don't you help on the ball down here?' Pointing to the paint, and I am guess referencing the fact that KG wasn't down in the paint mixing it up. He says it again, loudly, KG doesn't even acknowledge him, and sinks both. Impressive, total focus."