In a just world, the Lakers’ victory last night in spite of a brickeriffic 6–24 shooting performance from the “best player” in the league should give people some perspective on the Kobe Bryant legacy question. Robert Horry has seven championships with three teams, and Karl Malone has none but those are the breaks of the game not reflections of who was the superior power forward.
Fans of the losing team always complain about the refs, but I do want to note a complaint from a Celtics loyalist about “how the refs inexplicably decided to call touch fouls on the Cs in the 4th qtr leading to 21 laker FTs. That’s on pace for 84 FTs for the game.” I haven’t gone back and watched the tape or anything, but it was definitely my sense during the game that the officiating standards suddenly tightened in Q4 for no real reason. There are always a lot of complaints out there about the quality of NBA officiating, and I think they’re generally a bit overstated once you consider the inherent difficulty of the job. But it really is crucial that even if things sometimes get missed that people still feel there’s some kind of consistent theory of what the rules are, and I really don’t get that from the NBA.