Watching Kobe pout about not getting the last shot in game 2, after he basically shot the Lakers right out of the game in the last three minutes, was the master class in Kobe-criticism.
It’s one thing for Kobe to play the way he does - he always has, more or less, and it more or less has worked well for him. There are times he goes into hero mode and he turns out to be the hero. Other times, the Lakers lose.
But it’s the visible pouting that was the killer. Steve Blake was wide open in the corner. He’s a decent enough three point shooter. They caught Russell Westbrook leaning and looking the wrong way. Blake was in the corner, which is a typically higher percentage shot.
So, it didn’t go in. It’s basketball. It happens. But it was the right pass and the right shot given what the Thunder made available.
Kobe knows that. And he can be mad about losing. But he can’t do what he did out on the floor like that. That will always be why Kobe is never going to be universally respected. He has the talent, and the success, but if he wasn’t such a gigantic tool, he might have been even more successful.