Out into the coldest night in Chicago, Kobe Bryant stayed there until the bleachers are all empty. The noise finally died down as the clock ticked past midnight. Another painful loss and everything is slowly sinking in. This team is dipping, and when everybody thought, this would be the Los Angeles year; a smack on the face called reality is creeping in. Chicago reminds Kobe of what he was after… six championships, a perfect 70 win season and immortality next to jersey no. 23.
And now it seems so far, so distant and yet too painful to ponder. Salvaging the season to an eight playoff spot wherein the Lakers are seven games below the .500 and four games below Utah, seems to be their only viable goal.
Kobe never felt this threatened… this insecure, as the six championship banners sway across the United Center. It is not too late… forty games left, and the Lakers can still make a monumental 360-degree turn. If Kobe wanted a Cinderella story all the way to his six championship ring, this might be it.
He needs all the help he can get from Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash.
Adversity… this is what shapes a team. Winning could change everything… and if bringing back Phil Jackson could do the trick then they should do it now.
At age 34, this could be Kobe’s last championship run. Dwight might be heading to Dallas next season, and Gasol could be traded long before this season ends. When every puzzle was getting into place, each piece came out different in the mold.
Kobe had to stay longer on some cold night in Chicago… thinking, trying to fathom what really happened, and then looking for possible solutions. This isn’t how he envisioned his career would end…not now… not ever.
Those embarrassing losses have got to stop. They are still a championship contender; Kobe still believes on that thought. One win at a time… one goal to get the team moving.
As the cold wind envelopes Kobe’s body it reminds him of the cold reality…
This might be his last opportunity…