13 May 2009

An interesting look at why I hate Kobe

ESPN's Tim Keown wrote an article on why Kobe is so darn unlikeable (unless you're a Laker fan). I think he does a good job of articulating exactly what it is about The Black Mamba that I dislike.

The strangest moment of the NBA playoffs took place during Game 3 of the Lakers-Rockets series, when Kobe Bryant hit an 18-foot turnaround jumper from the left elbow with Shane Battier's right hand in his face. Bryant immediately began shaking his head with a look that indicated he smelled something really bad. This -- as you know -- is Kobe's dismissive face, the one he now makes after nearly every basket.

How can a guy with that much talent play with such little joy? Why does he feel he has to put on that phony tough-guy show all the time? Underneath all that pre-fab armor, who is he? Does he even know?

That sums it up. I've played with guys like this before, and no one likes them. You know who I'm talking about... the guy that struts back downcourt after making a 3-pointer, the guy that sneers at his opponents on defense. 

Normal people like players who just play the game. Sure, get exuberant after a made shot, but don't do it too often, and don't make it about your opponent. But other than that, run back on defense without addressing your defender. Let your game speak for itself and let others praise you if you're doing well. 

I guess when you've been a basketball prodigy for pretty much your whole life, being unassuming on the court doesn't come easy.

But if Kobe could figure out how to pull it off, he'd gain a lot of respect around the league.


Steve-O said...

I was glad to see him get a T when he ran down the court screaming at the scorers table about Battier, "He can't guard me, he can't guard me."

LaPaube said...

Believe it or not (you probably will, B), when I was in fifth or sixth grade I used to tell everybody that nobody could guard me when we were playing football at recess. I specifically remember yelling out at the top of my lungs, "NOBODY CAN COVER ME!" during a play, the result of which play was me catching a touchdown. So maybe I have a genetic predisposition to like Kobe. Maybe we knew each other in the pre-existence and we promised each other to snootily brag to defenders about how we're unguardable. I bet I could convince Lex de Azevedo that we did.

Brandon said...

That explains a lot, G. Hmm.

Josh said...

I just swat the crap out of kids like that. And send them to the floor legally

LaPaube said...

BTW, while watching the Cavs get beat last night I noticed LeBron doing a lot of strutting and chest-pounding and face-making. Does that angrify you too, or only when Kobe does it?

Brandon said...

Now that I think about it, G, I never saw you act that way at P-Day ball back at Ankatso.

In other late responses, I didn't see the game you were referring to, but if LeBron was acting like that, then yes, I disapprove.

LaPaube said...

Re: the first point-- yeah, by the time I was on the mish I didn't do a lot of gesturing to Doug Collins or yelling about who was capable of guarding me. In high school I kind of developed the opinion that the cool thing to do is just beat your guy whenever you can and keep your mouth shut.