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Rip vs Kobe

An unhealthy obsession with Amir Johnson is not unique to Detroit: it's spread to the Pacific Northwest, claiming FreeDarko's Bethlehem Shoals as a victim:

So I tuned into Pistons/Lakers last night for one reason alone: To watch Amir Johnson, who finally has his spot in the rotation. He lived up to it, looking like he belonged and regularly wowing myself and others. Dude is basically everything every tall lottery pick of the last five years wishes he could be, and all that Bynum's got over him is a few inches and a (Kobe-inspired?) will to self-discipline.

Hyperbole? Perhaps, but it's still fun to read (well, maybe not for all of us). But if you couldn't tell from my title, the meat of Shoals' post is actually about the curious Rip/Kobe dynamic:

The Rip/Kobe relationship is endlessly fascinating to yours truly. You know how, whenever you get around your parents, you act like you're sixteen? It seems like these two All-Stars instantly revert back to their days of regional HG battles. You can see it on the court, definitely, where Rip's defense borders on zealous, his offense has an edge to it, and that reptilian glaze is decidedly absent. And Kobe, he almost loosens up in a way that's somewhere between foolhardy cockiness and backyard ease.

That pretty much nails it, if you ask me. Go read the whole thing; it's not often Shoals gives the Stones the FreeDarko treatment.