Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA drops this little nugget in a piece on Kobe and the Lakers kicking it into high gear:
Last year, the Lakers had the 39-point Finals embarrassment at the hands of Boston to use as motivation. This year, they’ve battled complacency because all they see in the rearview is confetti pouring down at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at the end of their parade route. Bryant said that feeling was jolted out of them in the first round against the hungry Thunder.
“We’re there,” Bryant said. “We got it. The competition from Oklahoma is probably what did it.”
That’s because Kevin Durant and Co. put the Lakers in a 2-2 headlock. Deron Williams and Co. have merely wilted to sweep fodder.
First, I have no idea why Kobe continues to refer to the Thunder as just “Oklahoma” but the fact he continues to pour praise on our young team is flattering. There’s no denying Kobe’s greatness. And he definitely saw something that impressed him from the Thunder.
And through that, we woke up the beast I guess. Sorry Western Conference. But I guess that means we get to take part in the celebration, if it happens, right?