TPT – Working harder wasn’t enough. I had to study this man maniacally. I obsessively read every article and book I could find about AI. I obsessively watched every game he had played, going back to the IUPU All-American Game. I obsessively studied his every success, and his every struggle. I obsessively searched for any weakness I could find. I searched the world for musings to add to my AI Musecage. This led me to study how great whites sharks hunt seals off the coast of South Africa. The patience. The timing. The angles. On Feb 20, 2000, in Philadelphia, PJ gave me the assignment of guarding AI at the start of the second half. No one knew how much this challenge meant to me. I wanted him to feel the frustration I felt. I wanted everyone who laughed at the 41 and 10 he put on me to choke on their laughter.
Of course Kobe Bryant studied the killing techniques of a completely different species that lives underwater in attempt to gain an advantage in a basketball game. Of course he did. How the hell that correlates into making him into a better defenseman, I have no idea. But then again that’s why Kobe is one of the greatest athletes and competitors of our time and I’m sweating bullets at noon over our first Barstool Intramural Basketball game at 9:15 tonight. Maybe if Coach Nate gives us material to study on how other creatures take down prey it’ll translate to the hardwood. Spiders trapping flies. Snakes eating man. The more out-there the better. Give us detailed literature on how Minotaurs fought Centaurs I’ll end up defending the court more viciously than Cerberus guards the gates to Hades. I’d at least get more strategy out of that than watching a fish, with zero equatable characteristics to the human body, take down a pup of the sea.
Here’s Kobe explaining the time that made him go full Fatal Attraction on Iverson, as well as footage from the game itself.
Good gravy that was a walk down memory lane. Iverson, George Lynch, Theo Ratliff, Matt GEI-Ger. And the pure electricity of that early 2000’s Sixers crowd. I can wait for that feeling to come back full-time when this dynasty hits its stride in 2082.