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Saturday July 14, 2007 7:30 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft Blog 2007: Round 1, Pick 2

Kobe Bryant is excited!
Fig Cap: Kobe is REALLY excited that I chose him… and apparently the other dude too.

So, I’m watching The Professional starring Jean Reno and Natalie Portman as I write this… kick butt movie.  However, aside from the great action scenes and brilliant Gary Oldman performance, there just isn’t something right about the relationship between Leon and Mathilda.  But, you know what it’s just a movie and I love it no matter what.  I sort of feel the same about Kobe Bryant - despite any moral apprehension I might have, it’s just fantasy basketball and I love the stats that Bryant gives me. 

I guess this makes me a Kobephiliac.

Seriously,  besides the fact that Kobe isn’t terribly professional himself (and really, what professional athlete is besides a small lot of them), having the chance to choose him for my fantasy basketball team gives me a tingling feeling deep inside my fantasy basketball heart.  “Wait, D, how about all the controversy with the trade demands?”  So.  Listen (or read as it is), the guy is not going anywhere besides straight for the opposing team’s jugular.  Bryant can’t opt out of his contract after this coming season the way that Kevin Garnett can, hence the team not having to do crap with him except to allow KB24 to take the court with one star-level player (Lamar Odom) and a collection of “okay” players.  And, if you’re crying that I didn’t say that Luke Walton is more than an “okay” player, Bill… stop. 

Also, if there was anyone on the court more competitive nowadays than Bryant I’d ask if Michael Jordan decided to go for Happy Unretirement #3, but that ain’t happening.  So, the thought of Kobe mailing it in this coming season should be dispelled.  I’m talking, “Abracadabra, go bye-bye.”  Would he hold out?  Like the guy doesn’t have enough image issues to deal with.  No, he won’t.  If anything, he’s going to audition for his next team for the 2008-09 season because he’ll be able to opt-out after next season. 

And, if you’ve been playing fantasy basketball for a while, you know this much is true - taking a superstar that, in reality, plays for a bad team is a good thing because he’ll pile up the stats.  And one of the paragons of this theory is Mr. Black Mamba himself.

So, what exactly has Bryant put up in the last few seasons?  Why, take a look:
2004-05: 66 G; 40:42 Min; 43.3 FG%; 2.0 3PTM; 81.6 FT%; 5.9 RPG; 6.0 APG; 4.1 TO; 1.3 SPG; 0.8 BPG; 27.6 PPG
2005-06: 80 G; 41:00 Min; 45.0 FG%; 2.3 3PTM; 85.0 FT%; 5.3 RPG; 4.5 APG; 3.1 TO; 1.8 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 35.4 PPG
2006-07: 77 G; 40:47 Min; 46.3 FG%; 1.8 3PTM; 86.9 FT%; 5.7 RPG; 5.4 APG; 3.3 TO; 1.4 SPG; 0.5 BPG; 31.6 PPG

Can you see why I’m a Kobephiliac from a fantasy basketball perspective?  The purple clad crybaby produces.  For the most part, I’d consider Kobe durable, so he’ll play in most of his games this coming season.  And the fact that he plays about 41 minutes per game is okay with me since it just means more time on the court to put up more potential stats.  And before you ask, no, I’m not worried about Bryant getting older and having all of those minutes eventually take a toll on his performance.  I mean, not this coming season anyway.  So, come back in a few seasons and my answer might change.

As far as the hard numbers go, Kobe has led the league in scoring the past two seasons and that’s good, right?  Yes, folks, that was sarcasm.  In any case, the treys are there… despite mostly being a perimeter player, Bryant’s FG% has actually trended upwards the past three seasons… so has the FT%, but Kobe was always good from the charity stripe… the rebounds are excellent for a guard… Bryant be dropping dimes… ripping rocks, too.  Unfortunately, the turnovers hit your fantasy basketball team like a slap in the face.  But, that’s the price you pay for all the good stuff.

Now, most people know about my man-crush for Shawn Marion, who actually led me to last season’s Dropping Dimes Experts League championship, as well as a few others.  Why not draft him again?  Because I’m more afraid of him getting traded (to Minny, for example, for KG) than I am of Kobe being shipped off.  And despite the man-crush, having All-Star level point guards (Stephon Marbury and Steve Nash) helps you put up the offensive numbers when you can’t create your own shot.  Sorry, Matrix, still got love for you, but I don’t see any All-Star level lead guards on Minny.

So, I have to go with the player embroiled in controversy at the moment - Kobe Bean Bryant.  Hopefully my theory of the chaos actually being a good motivator for Kobe doesn’t go the way of Leon… although it would be apropos. 

Oh, here’s what I said last year about Kobe during our first mock draft blog!  Man, two years in a row… I really am a Kobephiliac!

Previous Picks This Round:

1.1. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

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Comments:

No women, no kids!

Great movie.

I would’ve taken Kobe #1 (again).

I have someone different that comes to mind when you say “purple clad crybaby.” That guy doesn’t always produce though.

Nice summary of his stats. Both his FG% and FT% have risen in the last few years and that’s a no-brainer good trend. And considering all the shots he takes, it’s pretty impressive too.

The durability is debatable but he came back strong from off-season surgery last year.

He was definitely better than ‘Bron last year. ‘Bron still has a big ceiling he can rise too. Either way, can’t really go wrong.

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