Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Kick him when he's down? Sure!

(Or WSIHWAY? a.k.a. What Should I Have Written About Yesterday?)

Should've known better. Last week, I had some doubts about my Kobe Hatin'. But I knew it was only a momentary lapse. Based on that - and taking service time into consideration - the Kobe Haters Club (KHC) didn't feel the need to review my membership.

But really, it's Kobe himself whom I need to thank. What he did in Game 7 against the Suns on Friday might just supply me with a lifetime (or career-lasting) supply of Haterade. Three shots in the second half? One point? That's usually the first minute of a quarter for "The Mamba." Why did Kobe decide to crawl into his offseason hole in the ground during a game? (Even worse, it was a Game 7!)

For everything I've said about Jelly Bean's son, I never expected him to go down without shooting. Once the Lakers were down by 17 at the end of the first quarter, did he decide he was finally tired of carrying his team (whose depleted roster he helped create) and let them drown their way to a 31-point loss?

Or did Kobe have other intentions? Was he trying to make a point to those (such as myself) who have criticized his play, showing that the Lakers can't win unless he takes 40 shots a game? Was he making a case to the Lakers' coaching staff and front office that just making the playoffs isn't good enough? Was he giving the finger to those who gave their MVP vote to Steve Nash instead of him?

In today's Los Angeles Times, T.J. Simers said Bryant "can no longer be trusted" in big games. At this point, how can you argue with that? How do you know he's not going to bring some kind of agenda into a game? What defense could you possibly offer for that performance?

It was a baffling end to a series that really could've re-defined Kobe in the eyes of his detractors. Had he led the Lakers past the Suns, I probably would've poured my Haterade down the sink. He would've proven he could win both by making his teammates better and dominating a game when it was necessary.

But maybe that's just it. Maybe Kobe doesn't want to re-define himself. He probably doesn't feel he has to. And surely, he thinks he shouldn't have any detractors. How dare they?

Simers brings up another good point: Can we now officially end the Michael Jordan comparisons with Kobe? Jordan never would've gone into a second-half pout and given up a game. Even if he was going to lose, he wouldn't have stopped fighting. And if he wanted to make a point to the front office about the team assembled around him, he would've done it off the court to Jerry Krause's face.

I'd like to apologize to my fellow Kobe Haters for my lapse of faith. I shouldn't have let a couple of clutch shots bedazzle me. As Shepard Smith once said, "I have no idea how that happened, but it won't happen again." Surely, you won't mind, however, if I direct most of this week's Haterade toward David Blaine. Man, I hate that guy.

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  • At May 14, 2006 7:17 PM, Blogger TeamPlayer said…

    Don't worry, your membership in the Kobe Haters Club is not being reconsidered. Everyone has a lapse in judgment every once in a while. We value fellow haters, as they, unlike Kobe Lovers, are capable of rational thought. One thing to keep in mind that one game (or even 2 or 3) does not change a thing. Kobe Hating is a product of 10 years of selfish and arrogant behavior.

    Kobe proved us all right in Game 7. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to his 2005-06 season.


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