It’s not quite as incongruous as Madeline Albright being dragged down to the Knitting Factory to see John Zorn, admittedly, but Bolton’s ‘stache is slightly more impressive than Albright’s.
While acknowledging the strong play of the Lakers prior to Kobe Bryant’s season debut last Friday night, one of Peter Vescey’s anonymous pen pals makes a case for L.A. being better without Bryant.
Last Friday, Kobe returned against the Sonics at home and the Lakers scarcely hung on to win “despite him,” according to perhaps Jackson’s biggest booster and Bryant’s biggest detractors. They then suffered their first loss in Sunday’s Seattle rematch.
“The offense was stagnant,” my friend e-mailed yesterday, his fantasy of a title summarily steamrolled . . . that is, until the Lakers launch a legit winning streak, anyway; 14 of their next 16, if you can believe it, take place in L.A. “Kobe is back playing the triangle as he sees it, which means it’s all about him.
“Kobe strangles the offense and more importantly the defense, which is not what it was just a few days ago. He’s slow (granted, he’s hurting) but his stranglehold makes the joy and excitement of the first two games a distant memory. It’s like the way the ball moved the first two games was Holzman-esque, and now, they have put Bob McAdoo in for Willis Reed.
“In the triangle, it only takes a split second of a guy holding onto the ball for it all to fall apart. It’s a rhythm offense. The captivating thing Sunday was it was like the end of the Phoenix series. Kobe knows he has to play within the offense, but his teammates are watching him . . . just enough so there is no flow (or trust).”
No, the name of my L.A. friend is not Tex Winter, but you’re getting warm