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Kobe Bryant A player You have to be very careful what you ask for in life-you just might get it Just ask Kobe Bryant May 12th 97 The Delta Center Salt Lake City UT Los Angeles Lakers vs the Utah Jazz Game Five Theres 113 seconds left in regulation and the score is tied 87-87 In the words of De La Soul stakes is high Not only because the Jazz are leading the Lakers 3-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals but because things have gotten personal Its the little things a sneaky elbow here a trip there the hard stares the merciless picks But for now all that is secondary The Lakers are in big trouble A minute earlier the big guy Shaquille ONeal fouled out with 23 points and 13 rebounds Harsh words were exchanged between him and Karl Malone after a flagrant foul committed by ONeal early in the third quarter led to Malone receiving a technical Robert Horry meanwhile gave Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek a rough forearm earning himself an ejection But this is nothing compared to the tension between Laker coach Del Harris and his point guard Nick Van Exel In Game Four Van Exel had been pulled by Harris for waving off the coachs instructions screaming vulgarities as Harris waved an admonishing finger in his face Tonight however Van Exel is having a hell of a game hitting key jumpers from all over the floor His hot hand has saved them in clutch situations before but now the ball is about to go to someone else for the game-winning shot The 18-year-old rookie Kobe Bryant The Golden Child A lanky charismatic 6-6 200-pound prodigy Kobe had led little-known Lower Merion High School to the Pennsylvania state title the year before This year he was being asked to carry an NBA team to the Finals No problem Give me the ball coach Bryant says Ill drain it The clock
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