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‘I Ain’t Passing [Expletive]’

4 Dec 2011

K.C. Johnson looks ahead to the opening matchup against the Lakers, focusing on the relationship and respect between kindred spirits Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose:

Come Christmas Day, Bryant again will show Rose respect by trying not only to win the season opener for both teams but to crush Rose’s spirit. Rose will return the favor.

It’s what assassins do, those unique players driven to win at all costs.

Bryant always has recognized this dynamic in Rose, which is why he pulled the 23-year-old aside at last July’s exhibition in the Philippines and offered him more pointers. Improve your post game. Find the areas on the floor where double-teaming is more difficult. Seek championships.

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