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More from Mac 06/17/2010 - 6:00 PM

Cover.HardcourtConfidential Today, Pat McEnroe, U.S. Davis Cup captain, ESPN color commentator, and author of Hardcourt Confidential (with an assist from yours truly) is going to share some of his thoughts and experiences in that Inner Sanctum, the ATP locker room. This passage is preceded by a lengthy one on Jimmy Connors (if you remember, Connors' storied run in 1991 began with a remarkable comeback win over Patrick), which is why the material below begins with him. 

-- Pete


Jimmy was adept at mind games. He was so keen to keep himself distant from the pack that he would often avoid the locker room altogether, changing and killing time conspicuously apart from his peers. Top players often have what you might call a “locker room strategy,” from aggressively dominating the inner sanctum of the athlete to avoiding it altogether. One of my brother John’s big beefs was that tennis is the only sport where you share the locker room with not just the guy you’re going to engage in intense, one- on- onecombat, but also with someone to whom you might have a deep,genuine aversion. I guess golf is the same way— but then it’s a stretch to call golf a sport.

John disliked Ivan Lendl, and you could feel the tension when they had to inhabit the same locker room. Granted, John liked to strut around, scowling, his body language demanding that you give him wide berth. That could be intimidating. But he didn’t engage guys in the same way as Lendl, who actually talked trash and needled people— sometimes mercilessly. When John Fitzgerald (who was actually a friend of Lendl’s) came into the Australian Open locker room shortly after having his first child, a daughter, Lendl said in his mechanical, clipped Eastern European accent: “Congratulations, John. Maybe next time you vill be man enough to make a son.”

In conclusive proof that there is a God, Lendl ended up having five children of his own— all lovely daughters.

I watched as Brad Gilbert and Ivan Lendl almost came to blows in the locker room in Tokyo one year. Now a lot of guys found Brad’s endless prattling (usually about sports) irritating. But even more glowered at the way Ivan Lendl was constantly razzing and putting others down.

Somehow, the two of them got started on a game of one- upmanship. Brad suggested that he would clean Ivan’s clock in a game of one-on-one basketball. Not to be outdone, Lendl said he could skate rings around Brad in a hockey rink.

“Oh, yeah,” Brad shot back, sticking out that Sgt. Rock jaw of his, “You want a piece of me in a batting cage?”

I could hardly believe my ears, these guys were taking it to another level, like a couple of kids in the schoolyard, until some other players intervened to talk both guys off the ledge before it came to fisticuffs. It was idiotic; clearly, it had nothing to do with either guys’s skill at bowling or beer pong. They just had their backs up and neither was going to back down.

102161069 Wimbledon has two locker rooms, a spacious, well- appointed one for seeded players, and a more bare bones one for everyone else.Yet, Andy Roddick, a three-time finalist at the event, insists on hanging out in the B locker room, so he can be with buddies like Sam Querrey, the Bryan Brothers, Mardy Fish, and James Blake. He just feels more comfortable in there.

Of course, you can’t have individual locker rooms for all 128 players at a major. But at those events, as well as smaller ones, the locker room during the early stages of an event is like a cross between a crowded train station at rush hour and a class reunion. The camaraderie level is high. When whoever won the last tournament walks in, almost everyone slaps him on the back or drops by in front of his locker to say “Well done.”

Friends who haven’t seen each other in weeks say hi and catch up when they meet. At the 2009 US Open, Roger Federer watched the scoreboard as Marsel Ilhan, the first Turkish player (although he’s originally from Uzbekistan) to compete at an Open-era major, won his first- round match. Later, Federer went up to Ilhan in the locker room to congratulate the young player and introduce himself. The journeyman couldn’t believe it.

Carl, the locker room attendant at the US Open, doles out the assignments at the start of the tournament. Over time, he knows which guys like to be near each other, and he generally groups them by nations. It works out well, although the tone in the temple of Ben- Gay changes dramatically later in the event. When it’s down to the finals, the atmosphere in the locker room is almost oppressive.

You’ve got one guy huddled with his team in one corner, his opponent and friends in the other. The tones are hushed. You can almost cut the tension with a knife. It wouldn’t be such a bad idea for tournaments to give the finalists different spaces on that last, critical day. Roger Federer is probably the most relaxed guy I’ve ever seen in the locker room; he’s nothing less than a prince— it’s like he owns the place, but in a good way, like the proud proprietor of a Swiss fondue restaurant.

Rafael Nadal, as nice a kid and good a sportsman as he is, gets into the mind games a bit, wittingly or not. He makes his opponents wait on him, not just between points (for which he gets criticized) but in the locker room and on the sidelines as well. When the tournament officials call Nadal’s match, he goes to take another piss, making his opponent stand there, waiting. When the umpire calls them out to the center of the court for the coin toss, Rafa will often stay in his chair, fiddling with towels or his bottles while the other guy walks right out— and has to wait.

I can understand how Toni Nadal, Rafa’s coach and uncle, tried to drill it into the young, impressionable eighteen- year old of a few years ago that it was important for him to take his time, not feel rushed or obligated to do anything until he was comfortable and well- organized. But you have to grow out of that.

Rafa’s foot- dragging was behind that bad- blood incident at Wimbledon between Rafa and the Swedish player Robin Soderling. Ticked off by the way Rafa had the habit of making an opponent wait, Soderling did some conspicuous stalling of his own, and he even mimicked Rafa’s compulsive habit of plucking at the back of his shorts. It wasn’t a smart thing for Soderling to do, and it didn’t make his life any easier— Rafa is genuinely liked and respected by everyone. Soderling ultimately was cast as a boorish gamesman, but many players felt that his was a point worth making, if not exactly in the way Robin chose.


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Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 11:40 PM

Pierce with 4 points in the 4th. Way to come up big, Paul.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/17/2010 at 11:40 PM

NP and Sod's friend: No worries. Appreciate the importance of the night. I just left a post on Testing the Bounce that I prefer our way of doing things to some other sites that have Draconian rules about posting. On one site, you are not allowed to comment about a certain person. period.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 11:40 PM

Just reading the poster who thinks Rafa jumping up and down and sprinting to the baseline is his singature thing and that makes him a star? okay fine lol!

Gamemanships is soo lost on some people.

Posted by Sherlock 06/17/2010 at 11:42 PM

Doc Rivers is an idiot. Pau is the only guy that can beat you right now. Double him and make Artest or Odom throw up another brick.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 11:42 PM

Phew Pau got that one

About time they got off Kobe there are other Lakers plaers that can shoot goals

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 11:43 PM

my gawd!

look at that fire in pau's eyes!

76-70 laker lead! 1:30 to go!

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 11:44 PM

thanks annie vamos!

hey, if lakers win, your friend rafa would be happy and that is a good thing, no?

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 11:46 PM

Annie, good to know.

sf, yeah, but this entire series has been a disappointment. Neither team has played their best at the same time. Not even once.

And finally we see some 3s. Too bad Kobe didn't make his.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 11:48 PM

2-possession game lakers by 5, 25.7 to go!

keep your focus lakers, let's close it out!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 11:49 PM

Still to close for me

Dont stuff this up Lakers

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 11:51 PM

which dumbass laker left rondo ungarded when he ran with the rebound to that 3-pt corner?

now only 2-point game, with 13sec to go. we have possession, thoug, and i hope the in-bound pass is not effed up!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 11:53 PM

I feel sick on my stomach

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 11:53 PM

mr sharapova to the rescue?!

4-point game again! 11.7sec to go!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 11:54 PM

Okay

*faints*

Posted by Arun 06/17/2010 at 11:55 PM

Maria's lapdog... :D Looked like a badly played match, though the final quarter was good. Glad the Lakers won!

Congrats, NP and Sod's friend.

Sorry, 'lock.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/17/2010 at 11:56 PM

am,

enjoy! i luv you!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 11:56 PM

NP Phil Jackson is now not a

Moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 11:57 PM

So the Kobies get the job done, . Congrats. I wish I could work up more enthusiasm, but this game frankly leaves me with a bittersweet taste.

Posted by Pspace 06/17/2010 at 11:57 PM

Congrats to NP, sod's friend, AM, and other Fakers fans. Commies to Celtics fans. Ho hum...nerves got the better of every1 in this game, and it was only about D. Once the Lakers started to make their FTs it was all over. Perkins was sorely missed.

Posted by Ruth 06/17/2010 at 11:57 PM

Annie: To borrow some words from the b=ball viewers, a player would have to be a MORON or an IDIOT to feel intimidated or distracted by Rafa's jumping up at the net during the umpire's instructions or his routine zig-zag running to the baseline. I think that most of his opponents are, by now, oblivious to those things or are trying very hard not laugh out loud. They probably don't smile or giggle at those ritualistic actions (as I do) because that might just make Rafa beat them more severely. LOL

Posted by NP 06/17/2010 at 11:59 PM

Arun, thx. But just for the record Artest was the real hero tonite.

AM, correct. He's no longer a moron... until the next season. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 11:59 PM

Ruth LOL!!!!!! exactly gee we see eye to eye

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:00 AM

Yes

Ron you are my Hero!!!!!!!

Well said NP

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:00 AM

just to make it official: 2010 CHAMPSSS!!!! yes!!!!!

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:01 AM

thanks arun and pspace.

and, btw, it's not "fakers," pspace. they just proved that they are for real! :-)

Posted by Joe 06/18/2010 at 12:02 AM

I can't believe Celtics have lost after to have the ring almost in their hands
Home sweet home

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:02 AM

P, I don't mind anyone calling the Kobies Fakers tonite. This game was a stinker, in almost every way imaginable.

AM, anytime.

Posted by Arun 06/18/2010 at 12:03 AM

NP: Agreed.

Kobe and Ron were involved in some spat during last season, right? How things change!

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:03 AM

yes, indeed, am. ron artest is a hero.

he fought for this ring! key 3-pointer toward the end. 20-points overall, and he kept us in it when the going was tough in the first 3 quarters!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:03 AM

Psapce Thanks

Dont worry you have Rafa's Pink shoes etc as a consolation

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:06 AM

hey, am and all the women out here.

how best can shrieke thank mr sharapova (sasha vujacic) tonight? oh, never mind, she's in london prolly prepping for wimby.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 06/18/2010 at 12:06 AM

Boo hoo!!:( I'm too cranky now, AM.....I'll congratulate you in the morning!:) good night...sniff sniff

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/18/2010 at 12:06 AM

AM: first of all, you can call me by name and not "the poster" and secondly, I wasn't saying it wasn't gamesmanship, I was saying it was a signature move that several commentators have said brings excitement to the game. It really wasn't necessary to be rude to me. lol!

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:06 AM

sonya, welcome back.

Arun, I wouldn't characterize it as a "spat." Just a few tempers flaring between two opponents.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:07 AM

Gee Phil Jackson has Dimples

Who Knew??

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:08 AM

Annie Gee "people in glass houses hey"

enough thank you.

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:09 AM

Why couldn't Kobe repeat his last performance against the Suns tonite? Ugh! This award feels so empty.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/18/2010 at 12:10 AM

I'm going to enjoy watching a movie with my wonderful son.

'nite all.

Posted by Carol 06/18/2010 at 12:10 AM

Annie, you're the best. Thanks to answer so great to the ones that alway are looking something to critic to Rafa and trying to find out WHY he plays so good and WHY he can win
+100000000000

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:12 AM

NP how did you find the game? It was a bad one in my opinion but I'm so happy the Lakers hung in there, very proud.

Posted by rafadoc 06/18/2010 at 12:13 AM

I agree with Annie: That is a signature "Rafa" move and commentators often talk about it fondly.

I remember Rafa's first match back after injury last year and as he sprinted back to the baseline he was grinning from ear to ear.

Awesomeness. :)

And...did I hear Artest thank his psychiatrist? *Floves* :)))

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:14 AM

kobe has a beautiful family, can anyone dispute that?

i like how kobe gave pau enormous credit in his mvp speech - " i can't say enough about that spaniard. he is an incredible person, and we couldnt do this without him!"

Posted by rafadoc 06/18/2010 at 12:15 AM

Oh...and congrats to NP and fellow Laker's fans. Great to see Pau Gasol have a good game and you could see how much it meant to him.

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:17 AM

You know, if not for Kobe I really wouldn't have minded KG, Pierce and Allen getting their 2nd ring. Would be sweet to see Nash and Nowitzski get their ring someday. Too bad they have to deal with Kobe, Pau, Artest, Fisher and the rest of the Lakers.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:19 AM

np,

some sleep will do you a lot of good. our win tonight was not pretty, but it was solid and it showed that our team has heart and hence true champions.

the scoreline (89-79) says it all - stiffling defense. defensive wins are mostly ugly. besides stripping balls and fouls, offensive shots are missed because of the constant pressure and players just give up trying.

so give our guys huge credit: they hung in there.

kobe said it well: "this was the sweetest" (as ugly as the game/prolly whole series was.)

so sleep over it, and savor the victory in the coming days.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:20 AM

oops... scoreline mistype. it's 83-79!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:22 AM

Well congratulations to the Boston fans

This game came down to the wire

They can hold their heads up high.

Bad luck tonight

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:24 AM

sod's friend exactly!!! especially since the lakers are not known for their grittiness, this was unexpected and sooooo sweeet. still on cloud 9 :)

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:25 AM

sonya, I think my post above yours says it all. :) I do feel good, but still wish Kobe hadn't sucked so much in the very last game of the season.

rafadoc, thx. Yeah, this obviously means a lot ot Pau. He must've caught the Rafa bug from RG.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:26 AM

and oh, commies to celtics fans. seriously.

i can empatize with your pain - my man got walloped in rg2010 after a strong run to the final. it hurts, but better luck next time - you guys came very close, and if this final was played in boston, i have no doubt you'd have won.

so commies. really.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:27 AM

Though in saying that,

Yahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Lakers Fans

Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Posted by rafadoc 06/18/2010 at 12:27 AM

NP: True. :) Pau was very emotional, like his good friend the RG champ. :)

And commiserations to Celtics fans.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( time for artest to get his nba ring! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:28 AM

sonya welcome! we never met - sounds from the comments from others that you are an old poster re-surfacing for this special day!

well, nice to meet you, and let's celebrate our lakers together!

cheers!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:29 AM

sonya Hi you have not been here for ages

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/18/2010 at 12:29 AM

Ah well, the team with superior talent won. Would've liked to seen Perkins in there as Gasol had a HUGE game, which I wonder he would've had with another big, active body in there. (Sorry, I don't consider 'Sheed very active this stage in his career, but hey, Gasol's a wonderful player, regardless.) Horrendous shooting game by Kobe, but to give him credit he pitched in big on the boards. But yeah, agree with Pspace: he's no Jordan, though then again, it didn't take this game for me to figure that out. Bottom line: he'll never be Jordan, and moreover, I'd still rate Tim Duncan the best player of Kobe's era, though that's a debate for another time, and Kobe has narrowed the gap the last couple of years.

Back to tennis. I don't think gamesmanship and ritual have to be mutally exlusive concepts. Nor do I think that many players can't like and respect Rafa but occasionally be annoyed by his rituals/gamesmanship. Really, I don't think P-Mac was breaking new ground here with the Rafa stuff. And for those who don't want the locker room code of ethics broken? Hmmmmm ... were I a player, I might agree. As a fan, puhhhlease. Give me all the "Ball Four" stuff you can. Plus, that Lendl "maybe you'll be a man next time and father a son" line is a story that's been known for some time. On top of that, I'm guessing Lendl and BG would chuckle about P-Mac putting their smack in print.

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:30 AM

I know NP it was certainly surprising to see that. I think he may have been tired...

Posted by rafadoc 06/18/2010 at 12:31 AM

Congrats Sod'sfriend. This must feel good. :)

USA v. Slovenia at 9AM CT in World Cup action. Will have to DVR it since I am working. I am loving World Cup!

Off to bed for me...

Draw time soon! Look forward to joining the discussion at some point tomorrow. :)

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:31 AM

sf, I know I'm not being rational. A a fan I just wish Kobe had played better, that's all.

sonya, I AM glad we won. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:33 AM

Dear Mr and Mrs D I promise I will be gentle ok

See you in the morning bright and early

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:33 AM

np,

if you're still around:

i know it's too early yet, but do you think we can 3-peat?

i think we can, if...

1. both kobe and bynum go under the knife to get prim

2. phil returns

3. our players don't lose their hunger! (kobe and pau, they want it, for sure. the others? not so sure.)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:34 AM

NP I can understand your feelings about Kobe

Look at the bigger picture of things in the series though

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:36 AM

Hi sod's friend and AM! yes i am so happy I had to share it with you guys!

I hope Rafa's happy and can draw inspiration from Pau for the next 2 weeks!

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:36 AM

A = as

rafadoc, Pau should spend less time with Rafa and more bonding time with Kobe.

sonya, maybe. Replace this game with Game 5, but have it still played at home. It would've been the perfect ending.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:37 AM

rafadoc,

u have no idea. it feels muchos awesome !

winning cures a lot of ills.

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:40 AM

NP Im still pissed at game 5. seriously we should have won that.

Sod's friend, I AM certainly ready for it but this time it's going to be a 4-peat :)see how happy I am?? lol!

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:41 AM

sf, all those 3 are musts for a 3-peat. And that Artest stay with LA. Hope Fisher does, 2. He and Kobe = BFFs.

AM, I know. Kobe will have another shot next yr.

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:41 AM

sorry NP I meant game 4 of course, Celtics were much better in game 5.

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:44 AM

NP you are a better Kobe fan than I am. I could have cared less how many points he scored as long as we won!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 12:45 AM

Sonya Well nothing would give me more happiness for Rafa to win the title at Wimby

After the events of last year where he had to withdraw.Playing that expo before Wimby to see if his knees could do it still holds soo many bad memeories for me.I remember Rosangel being at the expo and she was soo sad to see him like that

Anway moving on Rafa reclaiming his title at RG was just the right medicine for him.I just want him to stay healthy for the rest of the season and to be competitve in all his matches.


Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:46 AM

sonya, correct, but it was in Game 5 where Kobe went on his biggest scoring spree of the series. The problem was, the rest of his team had all but disappeared, so that was the only option left for him.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 12:46 AM

4-peat - you're good sonya!

this crop of players can do it - i have no doubt.

we'll need a slight revamp for the aging ones - esp. fisher. brown ain't ready to fully fill fisher's shoes yet.

so we shall see what the lakers do in the off-season wheeling and dealing!

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:49 AM

sonya, that's why I'm the biggest Kobe KAD around here, just as I'm the biggest Sampras KAD as well (with the only possible exception of imjimmy).

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:56 AM

LOL, the best quote of the nite:

Q: How does this feel to you individually?
Kobe: I've won more than Shaq. [Laughter] You can take that to the bank.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/18/2010 at 12:57 AM

Hey everyone. :)

Guess the Lakers won, then? Congrats to Lakers fans and commiserations to everyone rooting for the other team. :)

*waves to sonya* So nice to "see" you here! Twitter woudn't let me accept your follow request - don't know why - but would you mind making another one? I've taken the protection off for now, too.

Love the excerpt. :)

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:58 AM

Eh, even as a Kobe KAD I can't put him definitely above Magic and Kareem yet. And of course MJ is still the king.

Posted by sonya (ready for the Lakeshow edition 2010) 06/18/2010 at 12:58 AM

AM right on I feel he's on the right track in terms of taking care of his body. For the rest I trust him to continue on improving his game.

Sod's friend you got that right.
Lol NP I will certainly give you the Sampras kad however for kobe, Im sure he was thinking like me, all about the W :).

All right see you guys, it's been a fun evening! I will try to join in sometime during wimbledon-especially if rafa is going good- good night amigos!

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 12:59 AM

j, Kobe is a pretty boring and dry interviewee. That's why that sound bite has more, well, bite than usual.

Posted by GB 06/18/2010 at 01:01 AM

I agree with Annie that Rafa's jumping up and down/sprinting to the baseline isn't gamesmanship. It's not even intimidating: I remember at RG one year the opponent (can't remember who) started jumping too and Rafa broke into a huge grin, plus he usually ends it with a 'good luck' before he does the sprint. I read an interview with Reeshie where he went on about how the good luck thing...

He's OCD as hell, or he wouldn't continue to do his most embarrassing ritual:)

Sure, if he takes too long between points, he should be called on it. And he was at RG. But, I sometimes think the focus on Rafa ignores the fact that other players (i.e. Nole & Delpo) are also guilty of it.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 01:01 AM

anybody else listening to kobe's live post game presser?!

unbelievably candid! (kobe is always candid, imho, but this is special - he seems freed now - i love this!)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/18/2010 at 01:02 AM

I meant the one in Pete's post, LOL. Always think the locker rooms must be interesting.

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 01:02 AM

Cheers and later, sonya.

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 01:03 AM

"I meant the one in Pete's post, LOL. Always think the locker rooms must be interesting."

Of course, what was I thinking. You still have no taste.

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 01:05 AM

sf, I was. Nice to see him loosen up a little. He'd been pretty glum throughout these finals.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/18/2010 at 01:08 AM

Anyway, is that Kobe trash-talking, or Kobe making a friendly joke? :)

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 01:09 AM

Good Morning Jewell

How do you manage the No Taste thing soo early in the morning

You are a Marvel

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 01:11 AM

Good Night Sonya and dont forget to come back okay

Also Yay Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/18/2010 at 01:12 AM

NP How old is the Saintly one now?

oops I have to write to the Pope for proper confirmation

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/18/2010 at 01:14 AM

'Night sonya!

LOL, AM.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 01:15 AM

np,

sorry i missed your resply to my what-to-do's for 3-peat.

all good points you add.

bottomline: we have THE winning team (kobe as core/king, pau as right hand man/queen, fisher as inspirer and emotional leader/knight, lamar and bynum as the castles, and the rest as valiant foot soldiers/pawns to do battle against any and all foes).

no major tweak needed. just nurture them. i'm glad kobe talked extensively about "fixing (his) body" in his presser. we are thinking alike!

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 01:15 AM

Here's my b-ball GOAT list, for those who care:

Tier 1 - MJ
Tier 2 - Oscar, Wilt, Russell, Magic, Bird, Kobe, Kareem
Tier 3 - West, Baylor, Dr. J, Shaq... and a few others (to be continued)

MJ is the Laver of b-ball: the GOAT in the mind of anyone with a serious interest in the game, and the knowledge to back it up. Oscar, Wilt, Russell, Magic, Bird, Kobe, Kareem = Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall, Borg, Sampras, Federer in tennis. And West resembles Lendl so much it's scary: with less fierce competition (Russell & Co.) he probably would've joined Tier 2.

Posted by Kenneth (marry me Susan?) 06/18/2010 at 01:17 AM

I really, really dislike when people talk on subjects they have absolutely NO fclue about. If your name isn't Susan, why are you worried about it? thebigapple, please keep my name out of your posts unless I specifically address you and yours, which will be never. I have never cyberstalked anyone, and certainly wouldn't do so on a board I have frequented for years.

On a lighter note, well deserved Laker victory. Wish the Celtics had downed more rebounds, but such is life.

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 01:19 AM

"Anyway, is that Kobe trash-talking, or Kobe making a friendly joke? :)"

Prolly a bit of both, maybe a little more of the latter.

AM, he's 31. That's normally not a retirement age in b-ball, but Kobe's put on so much mileage now (he joined the NBA straight from high school) the age can be misleading.

sf, great minds. :) You think Kobe will finally get his surgery done this time?

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 01:20 AM

ok, np, my basketball history iq is way below par, so i'll take your picks. of course mj is so recent i remember. magic on down, forget it! lol

Posted by NP 06/18/2010 at 01:25 AM

sf, my list is incomplete. Still lots of thinking and revision to do.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 01:26 AM

np,

i bet he would. that interview you just saw says a lot about where kobe is. he finally, imo, broke (mentally) out of the shaq shackle, the naysayers who belittle his achievements, and since he's still feeling it, he know he has a UNIQUE opportunity to equal mj in the 6-ring lead.

you can take this to the bank: he is doing everything humanly (and medicinally) possible to be in tip-top shape before next season.

buckle up, it's gonna be fast ride!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/18/2010 at 01:28 AM

Joe - I dunno how you get "P-Mac is a Nadal hater" from those comments. :) He took good care to be fair while making his criticism, no?

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 01:28 AM

i meant "6-ring league."

kobe even acts like mj many times - the way he talks, that tongue licking the lips back and forth, it's oh so mj!

Posted by rg.nadal 06/18/2010 at 01:29 AM

Hello all!
So many withdrawals - Ancic, Radek, Gasquet, Karlovic, Potro, Elena for now.

Posted by sod'sfriend ( ron artest get his nba ring ! yay ! ) 06/18/2010 at 01:32 AM

meant... "side to side." ok, that figures, it's time to call it a night.

what a good night (and day), really. i had a rough day that ended well, adn the lakers had a rough game (behind all 3 quarters), but in the end pulled through!

wish my good vibe will transfer to viking warrior extraordinaire robin soderling at wimbles!

Posted by zenggi 06/18/2010 at 01:32 AM

Good morning,

Congratulations to the Lakers and fans specially NP and sod'sfriend.
Sweet 16! Now you know how a certain Swiss felt about that magical number.

Sod'sfriend, I read your comment after coming back from the doctor. So you are also a pretender tennis player?. Good for you (and your ankle).

Commisserations to the Celtics and his fans. Another chance next year.

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