Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played an entire career in low top shoes. Quietly, Steve Nash and Gilbert Arenas tried it out in the last couple of years.
But nothing Kobe Bryant does is quiet. He likes it that way. It’s not a coincidence that Kobe decided to unveil his new Nike Zoom Kobe 4 in a nationally televised game against fellow gold medalist Dwyane Wade and the Heat.
And it’s drawing a lot of interest that they low tops, with the conventional wisdom being players are more likely to roll their ankles in that kind of show. Kobe says hogwash — his ankles will still be taped and if you jump and land on another guys foot, it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear. (For the record, he didn’t use he word hogwash, but you get the idea,)
While the world and ESPN is focused on the Wade vs. Kobe battle, and wondering if either of them can ever win without Shaq, the real game will be taking place in the paint.
The starting from line of the Miami Heat is Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony — none of them taller than 6-9. The Lakers have two legitimate, long seven footers in Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Los Angeles should be able to pound away at the Heat inside and dominate the glass. Of course, they should have been able to pound away at the New York Knicks inside for the same reason a few nights ago but they didn’t, actually getting out-rebounded for the game. Tonight we’ll see if the team learned its lesson.