Kobe Bryant can try as hard as he wants to down play the bitter rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Bryant as many announcers like to point has a rather high basketball IQ and just flat out adores the game its self. Yet, what Spike Lee failed to tap into his Kobe mini documentary was Bryant’s love for revenge. That age old dish best served cold to those who wronged us in the past and deserve their comeuppance. Each night he takes the court, Bryant is out for vengeance and more or less, has modeled his post Shaq/”24” era after the Quentin Tarantino film, Kill Bill.
Assuming the code name of Tarantino’s vengeful heroine, Beatrix Kiddo, Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant has finally come out of his basketball coma and ready to go to battle with his Bill, the Boston Celtics. The Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce) and the fiendish Rajon Rondo may have shown their masochistic side with the 131 -92 beat down in the 2008s finals, but is the Mamba ready to avenge? He may have ripped and roared his way through the Association in the last two years, but can Bryant this wise squad?
Yet, the Bryant/Kill Bill do not end with the Bill/Celtics comparison, Bryant ripped and roared many, many of his foes and created new enemies on his journey to this fabled rematch. Bryant has own his set of Deadly Vipers that needed vanquishing the potentially climatic showdown.
In the opening round of this year’s playoffs, Bryant met his Nikki, the daughter of Vernita Green/Copperhead in OK City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant. Witnessing that last second Pau Gasol tip in has to be a lot like walking in on your mother’s death, so it’s only fair to assume that Kobe expects Durant to one day get his revenge on him and can only wait for his eventual and fateful basketball demise at Durant’s hands. Will Durant gain the strength and power to usurp Bryant? We can only hope. Regarding Kobe’s Copperhead, well, that’s Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz, of course. A gnawing, annoying presence that the Black Mamba has to face every year in the playoffs and much like the cinematic Copperhead, the Jazz attempt to make an engaging play with their rough physical play, but Bryant has learned how to quickly remove the Jazz from his teacher, Phil ‘Pai Mei’ Jackson.
While it’s easy to make comparisons between characters from the film and teams around the league, there’s one striking and bizarre real life similarity between the film and Bryant’s play. In the film, every time the theme from “Iron Side” played, the audience expects to witness a serious amount of ass kicking and whenever that Kobe Jaw jaunt makes an appearance, the audience expects to witness Bryant go supernova and attempt to beat whatever poor unfortunate soul that happens to stand in his way single handily.
We do make a big deal of Kobe Bryant attempting to defeat his enemies all by myself but more often than not especially on this current road to revenge, Bryant needed help. He needed assistance from his Hattori Hanzo, Ron Artest. Artest’s game during the regular season may have been frustrating and ugly to the Laker faithful, but it’s beginning to shine when it matters. We can only wait and see if Ron Ron steel is strong enough to help the Black Mamba defeat the Celtics.
Ron Ron Steel proved his worth by aiding Kobe in the defeat of a long term ‘24’ era rivalry, Steve Nash & the Phoenix Suns aka O-Ren Ishii & the Crazy 88s. Of all the Deadly Vipers, O-Ren is the coolest and the same goes for Nash. Nash is a skillful assassin with a gang of maniacs standing right behind him like his protégé, Goran “Gogo Yubari” Dragic, Amar’e Stoudemire & the Crazy 88s, and coach Alvin Gentry as Sofie Fatale.
As Nash and Bryant dueled in game five, snow should have descended from the rafters of Staples providing ideal setting for such a climatic battle. Back and forth, shot after shot. Yet, the Mamba vanquished Nash and Gogo and Amar’e and the vaulted defense of the crazy 88s, only leaving Alvin Gentry in his wake to tell the tale of Mamba’s revenge.
While Bryant hasn’t face this particular vermin on his current quest to avenge the wrongs that has done to be, Shaquille O’Neal will always be the nagging Ellie Driver, the California Mountain Snake to his Black Mamba. While it remains to be seen if Shaq will turn on his Cavs teammate LeBron James this off season, Shaq has made dragging Bryant in the mud an art form and more or less, turning Bryant’s triumphs into media opportunities for himself. Their legacies will linked together for the rest of time, no matter how hard Kobe tries to avoid it. Kobe could pluck Shaq’s last eyeball, but it does not mean he won’t come back at some point. It’s a lingering and nagging bit of business that may be resolved for Bryant on his ultimate quest for revenge.
Now, Bryant has ripped and roared his way back to this climatic showdown with the Celtics, yet has enough time lapsed for Bryant to achieve his vengeance? Is he stronger? Has he gone through to earn this shot? Will Bryant discover that his once missing off spring Andrew Bynum can actually ball when it matters? Will Ron Ron steel push him over the top finally? Will Kobe Bryant be able to finally rest peacefully after toppling Shaq in terms of rings?
Will Kobe Bryant kill the Boston Celtics?