Keeping finals week in perspective

Keeping finals week in perspective

Jake Keeley

My unpopular opinion of the week: Finals week is awesome.

There have been many weeks of school to put work in and get the grade that you want. One test will not drastically change that grade. If you have been keeping up, then a quick review of previous assignments and notes should be sufficient to prepare for the test. If you haven’t been keeping up, it’s impossible to learn a semester’s worth of content in one week. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Unless, of course, you are presenting for your final, in which case you can put that together in a day. Don’t be surprised that I have successfully attempted that, as well. Thankfully, this semester I have been on top of my work and as a result, I had the time to watch history last Wednesday as the Golden State Warriors broke the single regular season wins record, while Kobe Bryant played his last game.

The Golden State Warriors are unlike anything I have ever seen. Growing up in the peak of isolation, hero-ball pioneered by Michael Jordan and reaching its peak with players like Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, with the exception of everyone’s favorite Pistons teams, this is all I knew. Yet the Warriors have enjoyed unprecedented success by directly contradicting this strategy. What made the 2004 Pistons championship great is that people said they had no superstars—they just made a great team. Sure, they had four all-stars, but that’s a different argument.

The Warriors, however, have two legitimate superstars in Steph Curry and Draymond Green. Three if you include Klay Thompson, yet none of them won last year’s finals MVP. That was Andre Iguodala, a star in his own right. The unselfishness this team plays with is what every coach preaches, yet no one can teach the shooting ability of the Splash Brothers. Anybody can move the ball like the Warriors, but they can’t shoot at the rate these guys do. Coupled with the incredible depth Golden State features, it is no wonder that they eclipsed the 72-win mark set by Jordan’s Bulls on their quest to repeat as champions.

Never to be outdone, however, arguably the bigger story on Wednesday was Kobe Bean Bryant going for 60 in his last game. What better way to go out for the Black Mamba then to put up 50 shots for 60 points? Furthermore, unlike some overrated, range-less shortstop for the New York Yankees who I will not name, Kobe’s farewell tour was done with class, and did not take anything away from the game.

Yet, for everything Kobe gave us, I feel that there was still so much to be desired. Perhaps hindered by his own insatiable desire to be the best, in my opinion he sacrificed an incredible opportunity to get more rings to enhance his own personal image. His inability to coexist with the Big Aristotle, amongst others, directly altered the path of what would have inevitably become one of the best dynasties of all time. Yet I can only hate so much. Kobe’s ability to make tough shots, contested, off-balance, long twos, often frowned upon by today’s analytic minds, was second to none. Whether No. 24 or No. 8, Kobe will forever be remembered as one of the greats. If not as one of the game’s greats, kids will carry on his legacy as no one will know what to yell when shooting a fade-a-way jumper.

So we’ll just stick with “KOBE!”