Random Man Cave Thoughts – Edition #3

Topics for this edition: Kobe Bryant’s injury, Selena Gomez singing, and Sergei Bobrovsky leading the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kobe Bryant Injury: As an Oklahoma City Thunder fan who was extremely excited to potentially play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, I’m sad that Kobe Bryant got hurt and will be out until next season. Granted it made the first round easier for the Thunder, but it’s not as sweet beating the Lakers if they don’t have their best player and one of the best of all-time on the court.

Everyone had to see this coming though.

In the past month or so, Kobe had either missed a couple of games or needed to be pulled out of the game for a few minutes due to some type of leg injury. And yet he kept playing over 40 minutes a night and carrying the team on his shoulders down the stretch. Mike D’Antoni ran Kobe into the ground, because without Kobe controlling the offense, the team had no offense. Without Kobe scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, the team wouldn’t even be the eighth seed right now. D’Antonio needed Kobe and Kobe wanted to win. That made for a deadly combination that now sees Bryant on the shelf for 6-8 months.

It should’ve never come to this. The Lakers, with all their talent, should’ve never needed Kobe like they did. He shouldn’t have had to take 20-25 shots a game and dominate the ball on every possession while guarding the other teams best scorer. The Lakers, with all their talent, shouldn’t be fighting for the final playoff spot against a team like the Utah Jazz. Kobe, like Kevin Durant and LeBron James, should’ve been able to take the 4th quarter off multiple times this season because his team had a 15-20 point lead. He should’ve been able to joke with Jack Nicholson and the other celebrities that sit court side at the Staples Center during the fourth quarter. Not try to split double teams, get to the hoop, take contact, and try to finish off a three point play at the line. Mike D’Antoni, like Greg Popovich with his stars, should’ve been able to rest Kobe and Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard during this last month or so because they locked up the division already.

Instead Kobe had to play every minute down the stretch for the majority of the season and it finally caught up to him. Including the injury game against Golden State, Kobe had played over 40 minutes in seven straight games and was averaging 45.2 minutes per game in April. In January, Kobe played 10 straight games at over 40 minutes. By comparison, Kevin Durant’s longest 40 minute game streak this season is four games, and he did that once. During the Miami Heat 22 game win streak, LeBron James played 40 or more minutes just nine times.

D’Antoni can say that minutes weren’t the cause of Kobe’s injury, but we all know that they played a part in things. Kobe is already an old 34. He’s played 16 seasons in the NBA. When you factor in the postseason and international games, it comes close to nearly 20 NBA seasons. And Kobe doesn’t play easy minutes. He plays minute one of the regular season like it’s minute 48 of Game 7 of the Finals.

Kobe isn’t playing these minutes under Phil Jackson. Not because I think Jackson would have this Lakers team securely locked into a playoff spot (he would) but because Jackson has Kobe’s respect and understanding to where if he says, “you need to rest right now,” Kobe would come out and rest. Jackson wouldn’t be afraid to pull Kobe. D’Antoni was afraid. Afraid that the team would lose. Afraid that the team wouldn’t make the playoffs. Afraid that Kobe would be angry with him. Afraid that the LA media would question him. Afraid that he wouldn’t be coaching the Lakers next season. D’Antoni was afraid of his star player and now his star player will sit on the bench during the playoffs with a frustrated look on his face, knowing he’s helpless as the Lakers bow out in the first round.

Selena Gomez Singing: I like Selena Gomez. I think she’s cute as a button, an average actress in the right role, and successfully broke the Disney mold without going completely crazy.

But she needs to stop singing. Her performance at the MTV Movie Awards was cringeworthy. Even though I actually find some of her songs catchy, she’s a simplistic writer with a below average voice who is only singing because every single Disney actress thinks they’re a singer as well. This started with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and has continued throughout the years. And how many of them have found success? Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale tried singing and failed miserably. Demi Lovato has had success (and is actually really good) but she went crazy in the process. Miley Cyrus just went crazy. Lindsay Lohan went extra crazy. Hilary Duff flamed out quickly. Hayden Panettiere tried singing, failed, and but found a great role on Nashville. And the Michalka sisters have drug their feet through the singing waters to no avail.

So Selena will either fail or go crazy.

For a number of reasons, the worst thing that ever happened to Ms. Gomez was her relationship to Justin Bieber. The main reason it was the worst thing to ever happen to her though is because when they broke up, and we all knew that they would break up, Selena had a million stories to tell and the best way to tell those stories are through music. Taylor Swift makes writing about ex’s look easy. Selena is proof that it’s really not that easy. Due to their friendship, Selena thought that she could just write the song and people would listen because it’s about Bieber, someone who everyone in the world knows. It’s not that simple though. If the song sucks, even if it’s about a well known figure, people aren’t going to just listen to bad music. In fact, it could backfire on Selena because people won’t hear the message, they’ll just hear her autotuned voice and terrible lyrics.

If Selena wants to talk about her relationship with Bieber or the rumors that she hooked up with Gucci Mane, she can go on Oprah. She doesn’t need to write a song to express her feelings just because she’s been told that she can sing and she’s made a few records that failed to sell a million copies.

She needs to stick to acting, because at least she has a future in that. She can play the sweet and innocent girl next door or, thanks to her role in Spring Breakers, can now play a sexy bitch. She broke out of her Disney shell in the perfect way, by just going for it but still remembering where she came from. At the same time Spring Breakers was released, a new Wizards of Waverly Place special aired on Disney. Selena managed to attract the older and more mature demographic while still appeasing her tween fans at the same time.

It’s clear that Selena is a smart girl with a good head on her shoulders. When people try to sing and act at the same time, the quality of one usually suffers. In Selena’s case, the quality of her singing isn’t very good to begin with.

Sergei Bobrovsky Dazzles: When Sergei Bobrovsky was on the trading block after the Philadelphia Flyers signed Ilya Bryzgalov, I desperately wanted my Colorado Avalanche to trade for him. This was after the dreadful Avs season that saw them deal Craig Anderson and then let Brian Elliott and Peter Budaj leave via free agency. Instead the Avs dealt for Semyon Varlamov, which was a fine move that I still approve of.

Before the season started, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded for Bobrovsky. Going to the worst team in the league didn’t seem like the best case scenario for the goalie, but so far this year he’s absolutely dazzled and helped keep the Blue Jackets in the playoff race.

To start the year no one had Columbus as a playoff team. And with good reason. The roster didn’t look good on paper and the team is still pretty young. But thanks to the help of Bobrovsky, a full season under Todd Richards, and new general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen, the Jackets have become a team that now believes in themselves. They became buyers at the trade deadline, acquiring elite scorer Marian Gaborik to help their lowly ranked offense.

This still doesn’t look like a great team on paper. It’s filled with New York Rangers cast offs, young players, and, before Gaborik, no stars. But they’ve bought into what Richards is selling and Bobrovsky has given them a sense of confidence. He’s fifth in goals against average, second in save percentage, and tied for second in shutouts.

Usually, for a team to make the playoffs they need a top goalie. If the Blue Jackets make the playoffs, Bobrovsky should be considered for the Hart trophy as the league MVP, because without him Columbus would likely be in the basement of the league once again.


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