Kobe Bryant’s Subtle Gesture Silences the Phoenix Suns

Kobe Bryant turned to Phoenix Suns' head coach Alvin Gentry after hitting a critical fadeaway jumper over Grant Hill, that was ridiculously well-defended, and gave him a light tap on the back side.

It was a sign of sportsmanship, respect, and a clear signal that the Los Angeles Lakers had just defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals.

Gentry had few words to describe Bryant's 37-point clutch performance or the Lakers 111-103 victory, and his silence is a definite change of course from the ill-timed comments which plagued the Suns for the majority of the series.

Steve Nash started the sound byte parade by hinting San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was a better coach than Lakers' coach Phil Jackson, when Jackson mentioned Nash's tendency to carry the ball.

I suspected Nash's words could back-fire on the Suns, and they did, to the tune of 128 Los Angeles Lakers' points in Game One, and a decisive victory to boot in a series where Phoenix were the decided underdogs.

Amar'e Stoudemire followed in Nash's footsteps when he said Lamar Odom's 19-point, 19-rebound performance in Game One was purely luck, and he would be surprised if Odom could duplicate the feat.

Phoenix reserve Jared Dudley felt the need to chime in by saying the Suns would view tape of Ron Artest's and Odom's contributions, and see if they could do the same thing in Game Two.

Well, the Lakers scored 124 points in Game Two, and matched their 58 percent shooting percentage from Game One, while Odom had yet another double-double in a dominant Lakers' victory.

The Suns had little to say after Game Two, and most of their conversation centered around recovering from their two-game deficit, and finding a way to get back into the series.

Phoenix headed home with none of their previous bravado, but Gentry did have a plan, and his adjustment to the zone defense was a maste...

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