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On Kobe Bryant: Love him or hate him ... or maybe just love him

Recently, BK and I did a video clip about the glowing coverage of Kobe Bryant's Olympics and how the notion that Kobe still stirs mostly negative feelings, whether from non-Lakers fans or the media, is something of an outdated concept.  As BK put it, "perception not quite catching up to reality."  Yes, detractors remain (as is the case for all athletes), but on the obvious whole, Kobe's image and coverage over the last few years (and particularly in 2008) has grown predominantly positive. Well, AOL Sports recently put up a poll asking people to crown a winner among "The 50 Most Hated Sports Figures," a list ranging from athletes to coaches to Chris Berman. Guess who didn't make the cut.

That's right: Dwayne Mitchell. 

Or Kobe, for that matter. Which kind of emphasizes what we were saying. Nobody claims that literally no reporter or fan harbors a dislike for Kobe or sees him entirely as the early decade "version" (or "perception," depending on your take).  But the tide is undoubtedly turning, which is a good thing. 

For those who didn't see the video, we posted it again below the jump. Also, as an FYI, it's being widely reported that Kobe will announce his pinkie surgery date on his website (kb24.com) this Monday. 

Oh, and if I voted from their choices, I'm taking Bill Belichick.  Can't stand that dude. 

AK

 
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Kobe will report that he had the bad pinky replaced by a bionic digit, and he can now complete over 1000 pinky swears in a minute.

Vman,

The one thing that Bill really made himself beyond the realm of even the Captain was the he was the coach of the celtics in his last few years as a player too! In his last 3 seasons he was the Head Coach of the Celtics along with being the captain of the team as well.

In his last two season (67-68 and 68-69) Bill won both years the title. His first year he coached was the only year he lost legit to Wilt (he was injured in 1958 so he couldn't really play in that game). Did the Cap ever coach or Moses or Shaq or David along with being the captain of the team?

Nope.

Wilt i already explained in an earlier post was simply dominant and in my opinion if he had been less nicer and more meaner would have been undisputed most dominant player over Jordan (I still rank Wilt and Bill over Jordan). During Wilt's 50 points season, the best the Celtics could limit him was 38 points that game, which would have been still an NBA record had Wilt "only" averaged 38 points per game, Jordan's highest average was 37 points per game.

Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell are the two guys who are on another plane than any other NBA player (Jordan is with them but still would get beaten down by those two).

Dan

"The only reason I put Wilt at #2 was because dominating at scoring was something he was supposed to do. Like michael h. just posted, there were only a small handfull of big men back in those days, and Wilt was just such a beast...how would you EVER stop that guy?? Well, Rusell did!! Not only one lucky tgime, but again and again."

To take Blitz' argument one step further. I believe that Wilt's numbers were just as impressive against Russell as anyone else.

I agree that Drew stil has much to prove -- But my bet is that he will. The guy has "it".

KL

For me it's more than just being bitter at Shaq -- Shaq underachieved in my eyes. It's hard for me to put someone like that ahead of Wilt, Russell, Kareem -- I can see an argument where he falls number 5. But what a waste of dominance. Let's be real -- Shaq was dominant against the overmatched east -- Kobe was the MVP in the western conference playoffs during those years.


KL,
"do you think guys like ron harper, rick fox and robert horry would join LA had shaq (and the opportunity to win championships) weren't in LA? they sure weren't here to play with baby kobe at 17-years of age."

Actually, Horry was traded to the Lakers (as in, he didn't make the call one way or the other) and Harper didn't join the Lakers until a 21-year old Kobe was in his fourth season and undoubtedly at least "a" reason that Harper, at the tail end of his career and looking for more titles before retiring in 2001, thought this team could win it all. And honestly, Harper's relationship with Phil Jackson might have played a bigger reason to join the team than Shaq OR Kobe.
Seriously, man. I can't emphasize how much it would help you to do five minutes of fact checking before posting. Or just own up to the fact that you're a Shaq fan who'll always bear a permanent grudge against Kobe because the two didn't get along, which is both your right to bear and will stop a lot of pointless discussion in its tracks.
AK

lmao...again the Kbros COMPLETELY shutdown any point KL tries to make. He's like the guy trying to convince everyone that the sky is falling. VERY annoying. You have tried to change our minds for years, if it didn't happen then when we were getting knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, why would it happen now when we were 2 games from a championship without the BIG HOMICIDAL?

Despite it all its pretty amazing to see how things have changed. From Kobe being called selfish when shaq left to now Kobe being this immensely popular figure not just in our city or country, but in our world. While at the same time shaq is constantly disgracing himself. Its kind of funny how things could turn in a couple of years, now the whole world is seeing what us lakers fans have seen all along.

AK/BK: I'm still hanging on to the perception that there is a ton of Kobe hate still out there, and I'll explain. While the numbers of haters might be dwindling, the intensity of the Kobe hate is not. If anything, it's increasing.

More people may hate Belichik, but they don't hate him with half the intensity of those that hate Kobe.

The formula for the density of the haterade has to be something like (# of haters) X (intensity of hatred).

Also, Mayor of Kobe Town made me snort out loud with his comment about Kobe's bionic pinky.

Kobe = MVP

Lamar = Laker for Life

GO LAKERS

AK/BK,

Nice video and of course the topic. It does look like in black and white. A nice background and lighting would have added some dimension. Unless you wanted a retro look. Still, appreciate the effort and thanks for the blog.

Amazing-

Better analysis through chemistry? (haha)

BK

Aloha Blitz

while I respect your opinion(I have Wilt/Russell 2 and 3) I still believe Kareem was the greatest of all time. for the 1st part of wilts carear he was a freak. a huge man playing against men of Small forwards of today. Kareem got his numbers against guys like Willis Reed, Bill Walton, Moses Malone, Robert Parrish, Nate Thurman, Artis Gilmore, Wes Unseld, Bob Macado, Bob Lanier, Hakeem the Dream, Patrick Ewing, Dave Cowans etc. If you look back at both Wilt and Russells numbers you will notice that they began to drop as mose quality big men entered the game. Dont you think that Kareems numbers would have been staggering had he come along when Wilt did? It is hard to compare eras but for me the competition level for Kareem was so much higher.

MH

Jon K,

according to the OC article, Lamar was resting his knees from tendinitis and got food poisoning yikes. He did however, manage to work out with Paul Pierce and Baron Davis in Vegas and keep in shape combined with running a basketball clinic. Seems to be 100% ready for training camp.

Jordan as you know was in Israel for a bit running basketball camps and he was with Coby Karl and Sasha working out his shot.

Trevor I haven't heard from though last thing I heard is that he would gain 10 lbs, Radman I haven't heard from anything neither Walton though he did have surgery to get some bone spurts from his ankle so he might have been doing some rehab. Sun you already know, Josh Powell I haven't heard much of, and I haven't heard from Chris Mihm either (I really hope he stops doing those offensive fouls and 3 second violations) As for Dwyane Mitchell and Joe Crawford, I haven't much either.

-blitz

Maybe it's because of living in southern California, but I had no idea people hated Pete Carrol. I always saw him as being one of the more well liked guys in sports.

I'm not really familiar with Becky Hammon, but she was on the list because she played for the Russian national team at the Olympics, despite not speaking Russian. Isn't that kind of what Chris Kaman did playing for Germany? I don't hate him for it and it doesn't seem like anyone really does. He wasn't going to ever make the US team and he was just seizing an opportunity to play in the Olympics. What's different about Becky Hammon that makes her so hated?

I was also surprised to see Tony Kornheiser on the list, but not Skip Bayless. Isn't Skip Bayless pretty much hated by everyone?

Mayor of Kobe Town -

Funniest thing that I've heard all day/weekend!

Why wasn't Joe Morgan at the top of the list? I voted that I HATE Joe Morgan. Yes! I friggin HATE Joe Morgan!!!

DavyJonze -

Yes, Skip Bayless is hated by everyone and should EASILY have made this list.

As for me, Jay Mariotti is my #1. What a snarky little biotch.

All this news too about Andrew has me itching for the season to start. I can't wait to see him and Pau on the court together. Just the thought gives me butterflies.

add Doc Rivers and Mike brown to that list

add Michael Wilbon to that list as well

Bill Plaschke comes off as more of a clown than a journalist but he doesn't appear nationally as much as Marrioti

I've always maintained Kobe was misunderstood. It didn't help the propaganda Shaq was skewing out there. And of course Kobe's growth has a lot to do with this too.

I just hate the whole patriots team altogether. Not just Belicheck lol.

DavyJonze,

"I'm not really familiar with Becky Hammon, but she was on the list because she played for the Russian national team at the Olympics, despite not speaking Russian. Isn't that kind of what Chris Kaman did playing for Germany? I don't hate him for it and it doesn't seem like anyone really does. He wasn't going to ever make the US team and he was just seizing an opportunity to play in the Olympics. What's different about Becky Hammon that makes her so hated?"

A couple comments...

1. She played for Russia who we don't have the coziest of relations with right now.

2. I think it's implied that she's not borderline retarded as Chris Kaman is suspected to be and thus CHOSE to play for Mother Russian instead of being duped into playing for Germany by Dirk Nowitzski.

3. I'm personally very displeased with Chris Kaman's decision. If I were not a Clippers fan, I would find him very easy to hate for doing something so stupid and unpatriotic.

4. The Olympics are all about national pride. That's why they were created. It's not about just going to be a part of the party. You're representing something--yourself as a representation of the potential and passion of one's country. Not someone else's country. It makes me sad that some people don't get that.

5. I wasn't particularly impressed with AOL Sports list. It seemed rather haphazard to me.

GO LAKERS!

Funny a year ago I would have included Jim Buss in that list. I no longer hate him but I have a tentative "like"/apathy LOL.

Michael Wilbon isn't very hated. He's among the most respected journalists in the country.

Nobody from wrestling?

michael h,

"I went back through the rosters and I am pretty sure there are only 5 starting centers that big. Yao, Shaq, D Howard, Kaman and Perkins."

I don't see it that way. I said center's weighing 270 and more who play defensive philosophy. I meant to say who's teams play defensive philosophy.

I see those teams to be: Boston, Detroit, Phoenix and Houston.

Howard's team doesn't play team defense. Kaman's team doesn't play team defense. Those team's centers can do well against Bynum but they still won't beat the Lakers because they don't have enough defense to stop the rest of the Lakers.

Only Boston, Detroit, Phoenix and Houston have centers who weight 275 and up and will play with a defensive philosophy next season.

Bynum will dominate all other teams but it's against these teams that we will see just how good Bynum really is. And we'll also see how sound the Lakers' philosophy of ball is.

mike t.

AK/Bk

Do not forget that your perspective on the "positive press" Kobe is receiving is just that......"your perspective"

In my judgement there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that Kobe has been pretty consistent all along.........maybe the media is changing? Have you ever thought of that?

For example...on that AOL poll who sets the parameter? Who determines what names go on the poll? These are the people who subtly CONTROL the thinking of the masses. I think Luke Walton's name should have been included on the poll. Everybody I know hates his salary stealing azz.........but that's another story.

People have to realize that "AOL" is just a bunch of guys (mostly failed athletes who decided to get a degree in journalism) sitting around and ARBITRARILY deciding who goes on polls, who is the most hated, who is selfish, who is a real "heady" player..............These editors are no different than anyone else with hangups, prejudices, pathologies, issues........they just have the platform to "influence" an increasingly dumbed down populace.

Once a person or player is labled THAT lable becomes the "culture" in the media newsrooms and blogosphere.........generally without investigation

In Kobe's "phenomenon" as the misnomer goes.............is actually the FIRST time Kobe has played outside of L.A. and Phil Jackson and Tex Winter's criticism. It is the FIRST time that Kobe has played a series of games WITHOUT the CULTURE of media negativity surrounding him.

Bill Plashke hasn't changed really.......he just couldn't find the fodder for a negative story in Beijing to write about Kobe.

Coach K wouldn't give him any fodder on anything that could be interpreted as such (unlike Phil and Tex). Plashke couldn't find the negativity coming from Kobe's teammates because all of them were secure enough to acknowledge Kobe as the best in the game and said so on every chance they were given.

Plashke or nobody in the American media could find anything negative to write about Kobe in China because the Chinese as David Becham so eloquently stated love Kobe because he is a great sportsman.

It appears they do not have the same prurient nature that pervades the American media.

AK stated in the video blog that maybe Kobe will always be a little "polarizing". How did you come to that conclusion? He certainly wasn't that in China. Maybe that's just your opinion stated as fact. Let's see how he was received on Oprah before we make that leap.

What you could say AK is whenever there is the success card, the jealousy card is right next to it which results in "polarization"

Kobe has been scapegoated continually by the "Credible" Phil Jackson probably since Phil first came to the Lakers........thus influencing the media...........first he did it to appease Shaq then he did it to shift focus from his inability to coach.

But everyone is slowly beginning to question Phil as well they should because the scapegoating will no longer work and it's hard to blame Kobe now because the covers have been removed.


Isn't it interesting that 3 ex-Pistons are listed (Isiah, Laimbeer and Rodman)? I could add Mahorn to that list .
Others on my list would include: Johnny Most, Red Auerbach, ML Carr, Danny Ainge, Steve Nash, Tom Heinsohn, Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Barry, Hollywood Henderson, Lou Holtz, Bobby Knight, Ed "SuperFan" Bieler, Will Clark, Mike Tyson...
I wonder who the most hated Lakers would be (chosen by Lakers fans)? I guess Smush and Kwame would be close to the top.

Pfunk36,

"Do not forget that your perspective on the "positive press" Kobe is receiving is just that......"your perspective" In my judgement there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that Kobe has been pretty consistent all along.........maybe the media is changing? Have you ever thought of that?"

Uh, yeah, I do think the media is changing (in part because of Kobe's own growth and in part because of their increasing recognition of that growth). Which is why I actually said that. You must have missed that part- some might call it "what I was talking about"- when you were busy formulating this long-winded diatribe in your head.

By the way, the "overwhelming evidence" that suggests Kobe's perception has been positive all along: Care to share any of it, or are you just gonna run with your normal tactic of vagueness masquerading as genius?

"AK stated in the video blog that maybe Kobe will always be a little "polarizing". How did you come to that conclusion? He certainly wasn't that in China. Maybe that's just your opinion stated as fact. Let's see how he was received on Oprah before we make that leap. What you could say AK is whenever there is the success card, the jealousy card is right next to it which results in "polarization"

Well, I came to that opinion for a few reasons. Over the years, his actions on and off the court have always divided basketball fans and analysts. The good people at Nike seemed to agree, since they thought that whole "Love me or hate me" slogan would sell a few sneakers. And tons of readers on this blog (including you) have complained for eons about how Kobe is so "hated," despite (or even because) of his greatness. Greatness, which could possibly breed resentment, which breeds polarization, as YOU said (i.e., you're actually saying what I'm saying, but in such in a hurry to "disprove me" that you don't realize you're actually helping make my argument)

As I said, I think this effect has lessened considerably over the years (especially now). But I don't think it's gone entirely, based on certain articles that do come up and hearing NBA fans (and even some Lakers fans) talk about him. And sorry, the positive reception I'm betting he'll get- deservedly- from one Oprah studio audience doesn't equal the feelings of the entire basketball watching world. Thus, my opinion that he may always be a little polarizing.

And yes, you're right. It is my opinion and nothing more. Just as what you're saying is your opinion and nothing more. What's your point? Am I not allowed an opinion? I never claimed my opinion was iron clad "fact." If you don't agree, don't agree. If you want to discuss it, fine. But if you're gonna bring up the idea treating one's own words as the intellectual gospel to end all intellectual gospel, dude, I'm not even in your stratosphere.

Also, an FYI, consider doing a little research. During the period when Kobe and Phil weren't getting along, his most vocal supporter among the coaching staff was Tex Winter. I know you're not big on letting the whole "accuracy" thing get in the way of a good speechifying session, especially when it comes to a member of the evil "triangle family," but just to throw that out there.

Finally, some kudos. I didn't think you could manage to arbitrarily work Luke Walton into your speech, since he has nothing to do with the topic whatsoever. But gosh darn if your 24/7 agenda/obsession didn't allow you figure out a way.

AK

Houston doesn't play a defensive philosophy.

"But they have Ron Artest and Shane Battier :O!!!"

Two words: Raja Bell. Raja Bell was/is the Phoenix Suns defender and did that make the Suns a defending team during the D'Antoni era? No. Don't confuse just because a team has a defender means that they are a defensive team.

"Yao Ming!!"

If Yao Ming is a defender, wow his defense sucks.

"The Coach (Rick Adelman)"

The one reason why he was fired from Sacramento despite having good talent and managed to rally back in 05-06 into the playoffs: "He wasn't a defensive coach".

Thanks for playing.

While I agree the these olympics have solidified Kobe's image, to say that Kobe had no role in his being negatively labeled by the media is not the truth.

I'm as big of a Lakerfan as anyone, that also means I'm a Kobe fan. Let's be real though, Kobe did a few things in his day that were questionable as a player and a person. That's why he has a negative label in the media and in America in general.

But Kobe is a real man. He's the type of guy who will always strive to improve his life in whatever area that needs it. He's stepped up to the plate and has excelled in whatever areas that Phil Jackson has pointed out in the media that need improvement.

Kobe's growing up.

Phil Jackson and what he says to anyone has no effect on Kobe's media image.

Kobe needs another All-Star caliber perimeter player to prolong his career - someone who could create his own shots. We can't expect him to create shots for everyone for many more years.

I think the Lakers should try to clear cap space for 2010 to try to land LeBron or D-wade. Let Lamar go after the end of this season, and try to clear Pau's salary from the books before 2010 (perhaps you can sign and trade him for one of the two). Can you imagine a team with Kobe, LeBron, and Bynum?

Aloha Mike T

actually I listed all the starting centers that big that I could find, reguardless of team style. But this is why I am excited about this Laker team and why you should be as well. Lets just look at the match ups from the teams you listed.

First, its not going to be all about Andrew. Pau will play a big part of it. Lets look at Boston. Last year Boston was able to stop us by doubling KG down on Andrew in the regular season and Pau in the finals. with Pau at power forward KG will have to stay at home on Pau. And in the finals the one game KG had to guard Pau, Pau went 19 pg 13 bords 6 assists. So can Perkins handle Andrew straight up? Like you said it will be interesting. I dont think he can. But even if he can, who will stop Kobe with KG and Perkins both having to stay at home on there guys? They succeded last year by clogging the lane on Kobe and he had no where to go. Now they both will be occupied, so Kobe will either score a ton or get 10 or 12 assists.

Detroit really has no answers for a twin tower attack. They didnt do that well against last year. they barely beat us once without both Andrew and Pau. Yes they have Kwame and I suspect he will see more minutes off the bench against us, then most other teams. But even if he does well against Andrew, who will stop Pau? And if Kwame is playing center that means Wallace may be on the bench. Who will replace his offense? It wont be Kwame.

The Suns? A defensive team? Mike just because you bring in a defensive minded coach, you still have to have the players to make it work. Nash is not a good defender. Amare may be the worst defensive big man in the league. Shaq at 36? He was an inconsistant defender at 26. Andrew is much to quick for him now. Check that, almost everyone is to quick for him now. Seriously you didnt watch him play last year? The only guy they have is Bell. Hill once was a good, not great defender but he also turns 36 this year. Barbosa, zero D, Boris? ditto. I just dont see it.

Houston, could be the toughest for us, if Yao stays healthy. He is big enough to slow Andrew and score over him. Still, I just do not see them with an answer for Pau. In my opinion there just isnt any teams that can handle both Andrew and Pau. And if they focus all of their attention on our twin towers, there is still that Kobe fellow, I hear he is pretty good.

Aloha

MH

Mike T,

I really don't get how you can say that Phx will have a defensive presence next year -- I mean they may, but that would be something new. What has happened with this group to make you believe they are changing? Their three best players are defensive liabilities.

1. Shaq was picked apart by the pick and roll against SA in the playoffs – and is now older.

2. Nash is an average defender at best. Chris Paul ripped him apart last year – and is now older.

3.Amare does not have full commitment on the defensive end and he self admittedly would rather score.

That is a recipe for defensive disaster.

Pfunk36

Great breakdown on Luke and Kobe! You are obviously a knowledgeable sportsfan who's mind has not been tainted by the oft times make a star, destroy a star media!

Case in point, 3 weeks ago a restraining order was issued for one Shaquille O'neal. For some odd reason this story has slipped into a media coma!

Had Kobe been linked to such allegations that story would have ran 24/7 on every network not to mention every news outlet villafying Kobe to no end! Shaq has been the media darling for espn and every other major sports media outlets that they are afraid of writing the truth about a oversized obsessive spoiled baby!

Shame on this distasteful type of journalism that has even made it's way into one of the nations finest news outlet's the LA Times! Yes the LA Times have journalist who have played into this type of unprofessional approach and it's sickening! I remember a commercial on TV that said a ' mind is a terrible thing to waste" I hope that those who have been guilty of this type of irresponsible and abusive journalism will come to there senses and report the Shaq story with the same vigor and relentless pursuit that you had going after Kobe!

H

"Detroit really has no answers for a twin tower attack. They didnt do that well against last year. they barely beat us once without both Andrew and Pau. Yes they have Kwame and I suspect he will see more minutes off the bench against us, then most other teams. But even if he does well against Andrew, who will stop Pau? And if Kwame is playing center that means Wallace may be on the bench. Who will replace his offense? It wont be Kwame."

Actually, I believe Kwame will be the starting center with Wallace at the 4 spot. So Kwame will be guarding Bynum and Wallace will be guarding Gasol.

Then you have McDyess coming off the bench.

This is a good match up because Detroit is all about defense. This of Kwame as the same as Ben Wallace. The Pistons with Billups, Hamilton, Prince and Wallace know how to win with a defensive center who doesn't score much. They're going back to that philosophy. You watch! Kwame won't be coming off the bench.

Fisher vs. Billups
Kobe vs. Hamilton
Odom vs. Prince
Gasol vs. Wallace
Bynum vs. Kwame

If Kwame and Wallace shut the middle down on Bynum and Gasol....interesting.

mike t.

For those underestimating the Suns as a defensive team. That's why D'Antoni was let go. The Suns are coming with defense first. YOu can't judge the Suns defense from last year because they didn't focus on it. They focused on offense.

Well, have to wait to see. You can't say no until you see. They already made it know that it's all about defense for them next season.

Even if Shaq only scores gets a 10 and 10....his big body clogs the lane no matter what.

Don't discount the Suns.

mike t.

This is far off topic, but I laughed pretty hard when I came across this video of Karl Malone "wrestling" Hulk Hogan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNXeMehcWjU

Kobe24Clutch,

Bruce just needs times off. Don't worry he'll come back. (PS. Don't tell him about me plz lol).

"Kobe vs. Hamilton
Odom vs. Prince"

Wrong, Wrong Wrong.

Offensively wise.

Kobe vs Tayshaun
Lamar vs Hamilton

Defensively wise

Kobe vs Hamilton
Lamar vs Prince

"This of Kwame as the same as Ben Wallace."

I'm more Math Major than English but I would think its "Think of instead This of".

And BZZZ wrong!

When Kwa-may Brown rebounding is more than 10 rebounds per game and 3 blocks per game along with 7 points combined with a 1st All Defensive Team then Ben Wallace comparisons shows up.

Michael Curry =/= Larry Brown

If Kwa-may starts I won't be surprised if Lebron sweeps all the Detroit Pistons game in the regular season and if they meet in the playoffs.

AK

"Uh, yeah, I do think the media is changing (in part because of Kobe's own growth and in part because of their increasing recognition of that growth). Which is why I actually said that. You must have missed that part- some might call it "what I was talking about"- when you were busy formulating this long-winded diatribe in your head"

This statement in a nutshell captures your neurosis. You believe based on the above statement that "the media" is this august body that possess the skills to analyze and acknowledge Kobe's growth. Is that what you believe?

Wow! What an amazing display of arrogance.........but it's not surprising. Because arrogance is really low self-esteem. It just means your diagnosis is at a critical state.
You are in desperate need of a paradigm shift..........I just hope it is not too late for you because your neurosis is dangerously close to psychosis ( a complete separation from reality)

Your inability to even consider that the media has grown as well as Kobe deeply concerns me. It suggest to me that it would be increasingly difficult for you to see yourself and the media as part of the problem. In other words......delusional


"By the way, the "overwhelming evidence" that suggests Kobe's perception has been positive all along: Care to share any of it, or are you just gonna run with your normal tactic of vagueness masquerading as genius?"

If you would read what I wrote I said Kobe has been "consistent" all along. This means his "performance" has remained consistent. He has averaged somewhere between 25 and 30 points during the Championship and contender years along with about 5 or 6 assists making him one of the best passing shooiting guards in basketball for the last 8 years.........is that right?

It is this consistent "performance" and not the "controlled" perception of his performance that has made Kobe a global icon and nearly god-like in China.

Kobe hasn't been perfect off the court but who has? If you were to place a microphone in front of most people that dis-like Kobe and ask them the source of their dislike I doubt they would be able to give a sound answer.

How can you dislike a person............that you've never met or know anything about? Most just repeat what they've read in the paper, or saw on television and then base their opinion on the interpretation of someone else...........and this "someone else" if analyzed may be the one with all the problems


"Well, I came to that opinion for a few reasons. Over the years, his actions on and off the court have always divided basketball fans and analysts. The good people at Nike seemed to agree, since they thought that whole "Love me or hate me" slogan would sell a few sneakers. And tons of readers on this blog (including you) have complained for eons about how Kobe is so "hated," despite (or even because) of his greatness. Greatness, which could possibly breed resentment, which breeds polarization, as YOU said (i.e., you're actually saying what I'm saying, but in such in a hurry to "disprove me" that you don't realize you're actually helping make my argument)


Let me give you some "inside information" about the "good people at Nike" . A good freind of mine who was formally at Weiden & Kennedy told me some Nike executives are at odds with Kobe because Kobe has the udacity to want to CONTROL his own image.

That Love or hate me idea was mostly Kobe........if you don't believe that........you can ask Kobe.

What Kobe was saying the Chinese would later bear him witness.........they loved Kobe in China for the same reasons he was hated by the media in America. It comes with the territory.

The Chinese deal in performance.........you notice nobody was chanting for Luke Walton.

more later on your Tex Winter comment

Mike T,

"Well, have to wait to see. You can't say no until you see. They already made it know that it's all about defense for them next season."

I think that was my point.

So the Suns now want to "focus on defense" –

1. Let's start with the fact that gave up 105 points last season. Their points allowed actually went up after the Shaq deal.

2. Nash is not a good half court defender and can't keep the point guards in front of him. Shaq/Amare in constant foul trouble.

3. Shaq can't play defense outside the key anymore and can’t consistently outrun the other bigs to their spots.

4. Focus on defense means the offense has to be more half court. Nash and Amare are less effective in the half court.

I'm discounting the Suns.

What, no SHACK on that list either??

Only in LA could there be legitimate concern about how popular a playa is. As if it mattered more than the ability on the court. Sheesh...

chuck23 sez:

"Case in point, 3 weeks ago a restraining order was issued for one Shaquille O'neal. For some odd reason this story has slipped into a media coma!

Had Kobe been linked to such allegations that story would have ran 24/7 on every network not to mention every news outlet villafying Kobe to no end! Shaq has been the media darling for espn and every other major sports media outlets that they are afraid of writing the truth about a oversized obsessive spoiled baby!"

The laker fan obsession with SHACK is insane! I've never seen such sensitive fans, it's like, until kobee wins a ring without SHACK, the Big Diesel's shadow is forever looming across Staples Center!

We in PHX SUNS land simply understand he's a delightful personality who is easy to hate when he's not on your team. but easy to love when he is. Well my friends, SHACK is in your division and aims to knock the lakers' collective heads off this season.

You get to see his sweaty head filling your TVs at least 4 times this season, and even though it's months away, already your collective trembling and bawling is rising to a caterwaul!

Andrew K sez:

"And tons of readers on this blog (including you) have complained for eons about how Kobe is so "hated," despite (or even because) of his greatness. Greatness, which could possibly breed resentment, which breeds polarization, as YOU said (i.e., you're actually saying what I'm saying, but in such in a hurry to "disprove me" that you don't realize you're actually helping make my argument)"

First, let's define "greatness" as it relates to basketball. Sure, we all know kobee is talented, but as it stands, Jason Kidd has more gold medals and Steve Nash has more MVPs and SHACK has more rings than kobee. I don't necessarily hear of their "greatness" inspiring resentment.

The perception in laker land is that kobee is so freaking awesome that people get jealous, or something like that. The reality is that kobee is dislikable because he comes off as a preening, pretentious, arrogant jerk. And that's limiting things to the court.

His berating of teammates, the bodyguards, the attitude...he's a total prima donna. As far as a basketballer, he does not have the credentials to get away with such behavior. KG or DWade are likely just as proud and even arrogant at times, but they come off as good guys who aren't consumed with their popularity or perception by the public.

We've heard how kobee disparages teammates off the court (bynumb), how he is an enfant terrible (Phil Jackson's book), and because he got a gold in part thanks to Mike D'Antoni and DWade and others, we're supposed to assume he's changed?

We're smarter than that. And I'll say it again: kobee is the best playa on the court on most nights, but also the biggest liability...his attitude is not yet the attitude of a true champion.

HmrHed sez

"For me it's more than just being bitter at Shaq -- Shaq underachieved in my eyes. It's hard for me to put someone like that ahead of Wilt, Russell, Kareem -- I can see an argument where he falls number 5. But what a waste of dominance. Let's be real -- Shaq was dominant against the overmatched east -- Kobe was the MVP in the western conference playoffs during those years"

You laker fans are something! SHACK is a PHX SUN and you can't stand it!

SHACK has those Finals MVPS...deservedly so.

SHACK underachieved? According to ESPN, he's got the highest PER of any other great HOF center in NBA history! That means he's more dominant that kareem (which kind of puts byenumb at a disadvantage), wilt, Russel, Robinson, etc.

SHACK is the most dominant ever, the MDE, and he will be remembered as one of the true greats alongside MJ, Nash, Wilt and Bird.

kobee? As it stands, he belongs in another category - alongside the Dennis Johnsons, the John Stocktons, the Karl Malones and Gary Paytons...a good playa, no doubt, but not a dominant playa.

Butler -- sorry dude, Shaq played here for 7 years -- I saw it first hand -- and guess what, you will too next year -- you will go on your blog at AZ Central and complain about how Shaq is not living up to your expectations. The Suns won't see a ring -- guaranteed.

Pfunk36,

What exactly are you arguing? It always seems that you just want to be a contrarian and disagree with whatever AK/BK say. Are you trying to say that perceptions of Kobe hasn't changed? And it's arrogant to suggest that the media acknowledges that change and as a result his growth is arrogant? Really? Wow. You need to calm down dude.

HmrHed,

Mike believes that having a brute in the middle is the key to defense. Despite the fact that teams like Detroit and SA have been played without huge brutes in the middle and been among the best defensive teams in the league. He even said Perkins was they key to the Celtics great defense and not the arrivals of KG and defensive coach Tom Thibideou. It's an indirect way of saying a team with Kwame should be the best defensive team in the league if they play with a "defensive philosophy." Which is why he somehow believes that Kwame will be starting ahead of an player who's actually effective in McDyess.

BUTLER,

"SHACK is the most dominant ever, the MDE, and he will be remembered as one of the true greats alongside MJ, Nash, Wilt and Bird.

kobee? As it stands, he belongs in another category - alongside the Dennis Johnsons, the John Stocktons, the Karl Malones and Gary Paytons...a good playa, no doubt, but not a dominant playa."

LOL! Nash is among the greats in the same breath as MJ and Bird and Kobe isn't. That's rich.

BTW, Shaq did underachieve because he was consistently injured and out of shape following the 2000 season. I always say Shaq should have been the best player ever. He was so talented that simply being among the 10 best players ever WAS underachieving.

AK/BK/Laker Nation,

The Kamenetsky Brothers are right about how Kobe Bryant has turned a corner in THE MEDIA, particularly the global media, where he is now approaching Michael Jordan-like adoration and positive bias.

However, one thing that I think the Kamenetsky Brothers have not sufficiently acknowledged is how polarizing a figure Kobe Bryant remains among the world of sports fans (as opposed to sports journalists.).

I mean, look at the nature of the Trolls and the Haters who frequent this blog. They are almost without variation obsessively and vitriolically biased against Kobe Bryant. Time hasn't cured that hate.

Being trapped in my personal purgatory known as Cleveland, Ohio, I see that hatred and powerful bias against Kobe Bryant all the time. (And just as powerful positive bias in support of LeBron James).

The truth of that matter is that among the American public--among people who do not write articles or run blogs--there is still great antipathy for Kobe Bryant, and I don't think it will ever fully dissipate, but it will probably be ameliorated by winning Championships and Shaq's eventual psychological and physical breakdown. (Shaq plays a role in Kobe's polarizing nature. With him out of the picture, I think the scars of the past will be less prominent in some fans' minds.)

GO LAKERS!

I happen to live in New Mexico where there are no pro franchises. The Lakers are incredibly popular here, but Kobe remains a very polarizing figure. He's wildly popular among Laker fans, but wildly hated among non-Laker fans. My wife, who happens to be a big Laker fan can't stand Kobe. She always points out that he sits at the very end of the bench and doesn't do much to support his teammates.

To me, Kobe's leadership style is reminiscent of my father's. "Do as I do." "Talk is cheap". "Put in the work." That resonates with me. However, the pundits here still think Kobe is a very selfish player.

Sup, Laker Nation!
Long-time lurker, 1st time poster here, I've been a Laker Fan for almost 30 years. Gotta say, I love the enthusiasm and optimism shown (by most) for next season, and I share it wholeheartedly. Also gotta say, while the loss to the hated Celtics was a bitter pill, I did not greive too long, knowing what our near future holds. Make room in the rafters boys, we gonna be hangin some more banners real soon. And I dont mean Pacific Division Title banners either, like some teams (ahem, Kings, Suns). Oh, and Butler? "....true greats alongside MJ, Nash, Wilt and Bird.? Shouldn't that read "MJ, MAGIC, Wilt, and Bird"? Just sayin....

Pfunk36,

"This statement in a nutshell captures your neurosis. You believe based on the above statement that "the media" is this august body that possess the skills to analyze and acknowledge Kobe's growth. Is that what you believe? Wow! What an amazing display of arrogance.........but it's not surprising. Because arrogance is really low self-esteem. It just means your diagnosis is at a critical state. You are in desperate need of a paradigm shift..........I just hope it is not too late for you because your neurosis is dangerously close to psychosis ( a complete separation from reality)."

I tip my hat. Your faux "analysis" is a seriously transparent attempt to avoid admitting that you simply didn't pay attention to what I originally said (and continue to avoid what I said). But it's a masterstroke of unintentional hilarity. Especially since you go on to chide me for "not considering that the media has grown" (which I actually had), which is basically talking nonsense out of both sides of your mouth.

I also find it mindbogglingly ironic that you'd ever lecture anyone about "arrogance equaling self esteem." This from the guy who reminds them to "think before they answer" one of your questions, because they're obviously such "complex" queries to wrap ones head around.

"Your inability to even consider that the media has grown as well as Kobe deeply concerns me. It suggest to me that it would be increasingly difficult for you to see yourself and the media as part of the problem. In other words......delusional.


Again, I literally said (now twice) that the media grew as well as Kobe. Your inability to read what I write and accept that I wrote it concerns me. I realize that approach might cut down your "rant" opportunities, but still...


"If you would read what I wrote I said Kobe has been "consistent" all along. This means his "performance" has remained consistent. He has averaged somewhere between 25 and 30 points during the Championship and contender years along with about 5 or 6 assists making him one of the best passing shooiting guards in basketball for the last 8 years.........is that right? It is this consistent "performance" and not the "controlled" perception of his performance that has made Kobe a global icon and nearly god-like in China."


I agree with your take on Kobe's play (it's basically what I've said over the years). I also agree that talent provided the primary (maybe even only) basis for the Chinese fans to judge Kobe by. Plus, there's the excitement of being able to see Kobe play live, which was basically once in a lifetime for them. But the comparison also isn't entirely realistic, because the Chinese fans, in not getting a taste of the American media- which I've admitted hasn't always been fair to Kobe- they also don't get a taste of some of the legit reasons Kobe has rubbed certain fans wrong.

The Chinese fans weren't hit with the daily details of what led to the threepeat team breaking up (and while Kobe doesn't deserve all the blame, he's not blameless, either). They likely didn't hear multiple daily reports and details on Colorado (and even for some who believed his innocence against criminal charges, there could be an ethical issue at play). They didn't get as many details about Kobe's difficulties relating with teammates. They didn't get the details of Kobe's radio tour last offseason, the "Kobe video," etc. These events provide legit criticisms against Kobe (as you even say, he hasn't been perfect off the court). I personally feel the majority of this stuff has reached "ancient history" status and Kobe has also grown a lot, which makes it not worth dwelling on. And I think others agree, which is why Kobe's image keeps growing increasingly more positive. But the backstory does linger for some. Thus, the polarization I mentioned from the beginning, which is pretty difficult to deny.


"Kobe hasn't been perfect off the court but who has? If you were to place a microphone in front of most people that dis-like Kobe and ask them the source of their dislike I doubt they would be able to give a sound answer.
How can you dislike a person............that you've never met or know anything about? Most just repeat what they've read in the paper, or saw on television and then base their opinion on the interpretation of someone else...........and this "someone else" if analyzed may be the one with all the problems"

I get what you're saying, but that's also the nature of being a public figure, which comes with a downside. To expect anything else is simply naive. Everyone judges public figures that they've never met based on what they read, see, hear. For example, you've created deep analytical and psychological profiles for Phil Jackson and what motivates his actions. Unless you're keeping some personal relationship with PJ a secret, you've never met him, either. What's the difference?


"Let me give you some "inside information" about the "good people at Nike" . A good freind of mine who was formally at Weiden & Kennedy told me some Nike executives are at odds with Kobe because Kobe has the udacity to want to CONTROL his own image. That Love or hate me idea was mostly Kobe........if you don't believe that........you can ask Kobe."


I have no problem believing that Kobe came up with the "Love me or Hate me" idea, but that's also totally irrelevant with what we were talking about. If Kobe came up with that concept, it was very obviously based off his awareness that he can polarize people (which was my point to begin with). Otherwise, the theme wouldn't have made sense. And Nike signed off on making it, so they thought it made sense, too. I cited the commercial because you asked me why I thought Kobe was seen as polarizing. Turning this into a semantics battle over creative credit is just you consciously skirting the point.

AK

Jon (and others, certainly)-

No doubt Kobe is still going to polarize, as many star players will (at the risk of saying something unpopular, the same pro-LeBron, anti-Kobe bias in Cleveland works in reverse here, where many fans and readers perceive anything complimentary towards LeBron as a slight towards Kobe), but overall, the reception Kobe gets on the road is often pretty amazing. Those aren't all die hard Laker fans- he has some of his own.

Some of this depends, I think, on what one defines as "bias" or "hating." Most basketball fans, even the ones that might think that LeBron is a better player or better teammate, still acknowledge Kobe's skill and success. To me, that's not hating. I'm not sure I'd use the "trolls" as a representative sample of how poeple feel about him.

No question, there are basketball fans that don't like him and never will. But it's important to acknowledge how much love he gets, too.

With the media, it seems to me that some are finally letting go of older Kobe storylines that don't necessarily fit with current realities. If you want to call that growth, I think that's fine. Generally speaking, the press Kobe has received over the last couple seasons has been pretty positive. Last year, once the season actually started- people were critical of the Radio Tour, as they should have been- the press was far more positive than negative.

My point, and I think it was Andy's as well, is that just as some media people needed to put older Kobe storylines to bed- even if a guy deserved criticism in 2003 or 2004 for something, should he still be getting it in 2008 or 09 if the "offending" behavior or actions has gone away?- Kobe fans, having spent so much time and energy defending him, also are slow to adjust to the reality that at least today, nobody is out to get him. Five or six positive articles can float by, but the minute one is negative, it's evidence that again "the media" hates Kobe. And I certainly don't believe that every article praising another player, or even one that might say that another player is better is "negative" or "hating," assuming that writer acknowledges how good Kobe is.

Mythbusting takes a while, and it's not uncommon for perception to lag behind reality (it happens in the stock market all the time). I just think that it's time for the myth- and it is that- that "the media hates Kobe", won't write anything positive about him, won't give him his due, or that fans hate him except those core of loyalists, to fade.

BK

Jon's List of Basic Sports/Lakers-Related Thoughts...

1. With Andrew Bynum healthy, the Lakers are going to devastate other teams next year. Period.

2. Shaq will be known in Phoenix as the player who destroyed the Suns and initiated "The Great, Long, Painful Rebuilding"

3. I think the Pistons will beat out the Celtics next year for the Eastern Conference Championship.

4. I hate the Pistons.

5. I hate the fact that Aron Affalo is a Piston. It just doesn't seem right.

6. I'm hoping the Clippers make the playoffs next year. If Mike Dunleavy is truly a good coach, they will. If they don't, Sterling should fire him.

7. I wonder if the Kings will stay in Sacramento. "The Las Vegas Kings" has a nice ring to it, but I kind of like a town like Sacramento having a professional sports team.

8. The UCLA Bruins are ranked. Not necessarily a good thing. We seem to play better when we're not ranked.

9. The UCLA Bruins have the best coaching staff in college football. If Walker/Neulheiser/Chow stick together, we have a real chance at National Championship within five years.

10. I'm worried that Rad Vlad has spent his offseason chasing women on the Montengrian Riveria instead of working on his defense. That would suck.

11. I hope we retain Coby Karl. I think the kid has real potential. He's arguably the third best shooter on the team.

12. Trolls suck.

13. I've got to put together Bio-Chrono readings for Coby Karl, Dwyane Mitchell, and Josh Powell.

14. Kobe needs to get that damned finger fixed instead of going on Oprah.

15. I'm looking forward to watching Pau Gasol dish the ball off to Andrew Bynum as he posterizes a bug-eyed, mouth agape Shaquille O'Neal while wearing a ridiculous looking orange uniform.

Go Clippers!

GO BRUINS!

GO LAKERS!

BK,

" I just think that it's time for the myth- and it is that- that "the media hates Kobe", won't write anything positive about him, won't give him his due, or that fans hate him except those core of loyalists, to fade."

No, you're right on this one.

Kobe fans need to get over their (our) persecution complex regarding that matter. Things have turned the corner.

I mean, the guy's going to be on Oprah for God's sake! It'll probably be a cloyishly sweet lovefest with a few tears shed before an enraptured audience of clapping females. Kind of gives me the willies thinking about it, but that certainly won't be a case of Kobe being crucified in the press.

Things have changed.

GO LAKERS!

Let's get this talk outta the way...

AND LETS PLAY!

There's way too damn many questions to be answered this season, and I can't wait.

The lakers have a new team, and after having the hearts broken, will need to rebound psychologically to avoid the Dallas syndrome.

The SUNS are deeper than ever with a new coach, and will have a full season with SHACK to gel.

The HORNETS have Posey - dammnnnnn!

The ROCKETS have RA!

The 76ers got EB!

The mavs have a new coach!

And the clips got camby and BD!

The Blazers have oden!

Blitz

Agreed, but if the discussion is about 5 best centers, Bill was the best on the perennially best team under the watchful eye of the best organization. If you want to talk best player coaches, he's first "by far".

I've always been a big fan of Russel and that era. Maybe because players like Kareem, Bill Bradley, Bill R were so well spoken and represented the league and the game so well.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest that all the controversy makes Kobe a better player. The chip on his shoulder gives Kobe an edge that media darling LeBron James will never have.

Being inner-directed is an advantage in every walk of life. The greatest men and women in history were all controversial figures in their time. Kobe is also his own harshest critic and his goals represent a determination that excellence in achievement trumps everything else.

There are many definitions of a great team mate. Nearly all the Laker players have said at one time or another that Kobe's nearly impossible high standards make them better and that they look up to him because of that.

As for the media folks, they know that every column inch about Kobe gets them readers and that every video highlight gets them viewers.

Kobe stands apart from every other player in the NBA in this regard.

Hmmm... I've segued from watching Sunday morning talking heads shows to reading the latest contentious blogging.

Nice to read your post, Badfinger and glad to see props paid to Magic.

Jon - I especially like #4 and #12. Your post about the Kobe polarization was excellent as well... fact is that we lived in a polarized country and world and we see it every day in everything. Kobe's redemption this year is based in no small part on his decision to be a uniter rather than a divider on the team, really a 180 when you consider everything that went down a year ago. A lot of people took note. A lot of people respected the fact that he did it through actions rather than words (also goes to what groove69 referenced).

Lastly, the whole AOL list is just a joke anyway - part and parcel of their "journalistic" style. They've become the National Enquirer of web engines - they sell content off the "cover" rather than the content.

AK & BK - you guys write real good. Okay, time for my coffee.

AK/BK

Methinks you guys agree too much for prime time. It's unnatural for siblings to get along so well. Y'all need to brother battle, maybe end up in a scrum, push the envelope and raise the pay grade.

Think Pardon the Interruption meets Smothers Brothers.
Ya might have to google the last reference. Even I'm too young to remember it.

wow busy day in lakerville. So I'll respond in stages lol.

Phoenix was actually an underrated defensive team. They trapped and they made you take care of the ball...something they needed to do to be able to run. They got shaq not because of his defense (though they talk about what he can do on that end) but because of his inside presence offensively. He's someone they can throw the ball to in the paint and see something done. Amare is really more of an activity pf like...and he doesn't take as much space or bodies up as much. The very idea that Shaq is solely for defense is pretty flawed. For one he's obviously a step slower (lots of steps) and his rebounding leaves something to be desired. Last I remember it was Alonzo that was the D.

AM on a rampage, I love! Go AK!

Houston is indeed a defensive team. They have been up there in stats for several years, they got Addelman coz they needed to improve their offense. Though I don't see the point if they're incapable of staying healthy. That's their real kryptonite.

"Phoenix was actually an underrated defensive team. They trapped and they made you take care of the ball...something they needed to do to be able to run. They got shaq not because of his defense (though they talk about what he can do on that end) but because of his inside presence offensively. He's someone they can throw the ball to in the paint and see something done. Amare is really more of an activity pf like...and he doesn't take as much space or bodies up as much. The very idea that Shaq is solely for defense is pretty flawed. For one he's obviously a step slower (lots of steps) and his rebounding leaves something to be desired. Last I remember it was Alonzo that was the D."

Indeed! SHACK is not a defensive stopper, never has been, but he's a great rebounder and impact playa. The SUNS were vulnerable to pick and rolls with SHACK last season, but have the perimeter defensive presence now to better handle things (Goran Dragic, Matt Barnes, Alando Tucker).

Robin Lopez should be a good sub for SHACK, a 7-footer who excels in areas where SHACK is weak - defensive ability, although FT shooting is not much better.

sorry the Go AK post (starting with wow) was from me. Didn't realize my autofill didn't fill lol.

LAKERS' BYNUM DECLARES HIMSELF COMPLETELY HEALTHY
by FoxSports.com

http://tinyurl.com/588462

Lakers to sign Bynum to extension before deadline. Here is excerpt:

>>>>>

Bynum is eligible to become a restricted free agent following the upcoming season if he does not negotiate a contract extension with the Lakers. There is an Oct. 31 deadline to sign a deal, which can max out at $80 million over five years according to terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

"We would like to have his future with the club secured by then," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told the paper.

>>>>>

Tom

Vman,

I don't know whether I will ever agree with ranking of players from 1 to 5 by blitz when in fact they played in different eras. Perhaps, it is best to compare people who played with each other like Wilt and Bill Russell, I give the edge to Bill Russell even if I'm a devout Laker fan. I saw both guys played and Bill is just above the fray. To compare them with Olajuwon, Moses Malone they all did not play each so what is our basis. The 50 greatest players are no longer best 50 when Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Chris Paul are taken into consideration, therefore let the fantasizing rest on who is best? This does not mean we cannot decide on who is the #1 NBA player who ever played the game. Based on national surveys, it is still MJ, let's see when Kobe retires whether that perception will change.

Celtics....17 World Championships
Lakers....14 World Championships
Clippers....0 World Championships
Suns.........0 World Championships

Butler

Why do you think the Suns have never won anything?

Being in LA we blame the Owner of the Clippers.


BD

On the hated lists of sports figures, how come Rush Limbaugh was not included. At the turn of the century, they tried to re-create Howard Cossell in Monday Night Football by hiring conservatives like Rush after few broadcasts he was taken of b/c he affected the ratings. He was replaced by a conservative comedian, Dennis Miller and in a years' time, he was replaced as well. It's not how deep are viewers divide but ratings were not paying of so off they go. How about T. J. Simers on radio with Fred Rogin on KLAC? In about few months of broadcasting dissing Kobe, anti Laker, anti dodger, he was taken off the air and dragged along Roggin' but retained by LA Times as their regular columnist? Who read the LA Times Sport News nowadays unless AK/BK highlight them in the thread? haha! Gone were the days when I walked for a mile just to buy a Sunday paper and read my favorite articles about the Lakers. that's what happened with the Tribune hiearchy they become out of touch of the Los Angelinos.

....sbout Bill Billicek, and I don't care if I spelled his name wrong. I don't give a carp's ants, about him. Maybe he's a big figure out there in football world, but he's not a person that comes to my mind. Which I admit does not hash over either "football" games, US style or soccer. I did not look at the list, but will later. IMHO, he's a coach....and not a principal that deserves to be on this list. If he makes a list such as this, then it goes to show he deserves to be on it, either because he's promoting himself, or he's a total, total A.

...insert my disclaimer here...some of you know it...peace to all...

...off the top of my head...any NASCAR driver....I'm into Formula One, and there was an absolute great finish in a race this am, I was going to wake up at 430 am, but did not get to sleep till 1 am, woke up around 630, and watched the 5 last laps....absolutely great stuff. BTW, I know alot of you don't care, but keep this in mind...the driver who did not succeed today, Kimi Raikkonen, a Finlandian, or I guess you call him a Finn, makes about $60 million dollars a year on salary, lives in the tax haven of either Monaco or Switzerland, and probably takes in another $50 million/year in international endorsements. In the US, his only endorsement may be for Tag Heuer wateches (Tagheuer.com), and he promotes one of their cheaper line of watches. But he's got BANK!!!! ....And I'm not talking about an NBA player making $5 million, getting taxed at probably 40% and having to payoff his posse.

youtube recommendation of the day: "Mika Hakkinen (Kimi's predecessor at Mercedes-McLaren" greatest overtaking move on Michael Schumacher (he was a $100 million dollar A, but 7 time world champ....predecessor at Ferrari to Kimi, who moved from McLaren to Ferrari). Hot Kid on the block, Lewis Hamilton, they say his total earnings will exceed Schumacher's eventually, and this guy is only in his second year, and about 22-24 years old. If he wins a championship, McLaren is going to give him a McLaren F1 LM road car, (youtube it), painted in Bruce McLaren's (New Zealander) Orange. This orange color was a thing of beuty as the Bruce and Denny totally dominated the CanAm series back in the 60's-70's, finishing like 1-2 for races, seasons until Porsche came along, with their 1500 HP car's, and by then Bruce McLaren had already died testing one of his cars at Goodwood (makes me laugh too) England in 1970. That car he was testing eventually became built into a road (street car....they built about a hundred, they say Calvin Klein has 2, Mr. Bean has one or 2...anyone else have a million....when you are done with it, you sell it back to the factory, then they rebuild it for the next fat wallet) I went to go see the site of McLaren's death, as I also went to go see the sight of James Dean's Death on the 50th anniversary of his death. I know, I am dark, and yes LakerTom I am babbling. The only rules for CanAm back then basically were the 4 wheels had to be covered, eventually other things got banned, such as Jim Hall's Charpparal car with rubber skirts to the road, and vacuum's that sucked the car down to the road, increasing downforce. Those were the days, my friends....

...read about doubts or caution on Greg Oden's part, whereas AB talks confidently. Looks like we have at least 10-12 years to debate. Mike Conley, is probably less polished than Jordan Farmar at this point, and there was talk about him being traded to Portland to feed his master....it's a 5 man game, not a 2 man game, go play 2 on 2 at the park....

...."and one more thing"...

Greatest of all to time (would that be...GOAT???)...I know he had a short, or injury riddled career, and we loved him and hated him, but his winning knack, and contributed genetic material that led to our future overpaid, but loved, bench warmer...how bout Bill Walton...wasn't it 21 outa 22 in the NCAA finals game...(Laettner's shot was luck), I think it was great to watch him and Kareem go at it....trivia question...who played one year in the time between them at UCLA and how did he come to the Lakers and how did he leave...he was a decent rebounder, gotta Finnish.....I think....

AK

"I get what you're saying, but that's also the nature of being a public figure, which comes with a downside. To expect anything else is simply naive. Everyone judges public figures that they've never met based on what they read, see, hear. For example, you've created deep analytical and psychological profiles for Phil Jackson and what motivates his actions. Unless you're keeping some personal relationship with PJ a secret, you've never met him, either. What's the difference?"

I don't want to belabor all the points you made let's just say we agree to disagree on the growth of the media because Kobe has been pretty consistent in my book.

But I had to address this last point about Phil Jackson..........What's the difference? The difference is huge!

Whenever you watch or play basketball long enough you realize that basketball is simply a microcosm of life. You can see all the character flaws that surface on the floor and can make a reasonble extrapolation about that person in real life.

In Phil Jackson's case you can watch the DECISIONS he makes as a coach and person and draw several conclusions about this guy without throwing a dart at the board.

I will give you a brief list of how I have grown to distrust Phil and his motives especially as it concerns Kobe.

Phil Jackson once suggested (with no evidence and contrary to Kobe's highschool coach) that Kobe would throw games at the beginning so he could be the hero at the end.

This statement by Phil was a direct attack on Kobe's character and furthered the "perception" that Kobe was a selfish player. Although Phil made this statement publicly he NEVER made a public apology to Kobe.

AK

Why would Phil do this?

If you watch Phil's decisions on the bench at times you see a egomaniac just based on the decisions he makes.

Remember the Cleveland game this year? LeBron vs Kobe? Phil's ego took over that game late in the fourth quarter by removing Kobe when the Lakers were up by 1 point only to bring him back in a close game a couple of minutes later and the Lakers went down by 5 in the process. Does anybody remember that?

Phil didn't realize that this game wasn't about him.........it was about Kobe and LeBron.........that's why all the seats were filled and we had a national television audience

I also learned a lot about Phil when he violated cardinal rule number one.........what is in the locker room stays in the locker room.

Not only did Phil violate this code........he wrote a book about it gathering and using all of the personal conversations he had over the course of the season.

He saw Kobe in a vulnarable state at the time of the book and literally tried to bury the guy by calling him uncoachable. Do you remember that?

I could go on and on about Phil but I will spare you for now. But suffice it to say.......I don't have to meet Phil to tell you what this guy is all about all I have to do is look at his evil machinations and come to some reasonable conclusion.


Nine Rings

Taking sides against Kobe to divert attention away from shortcomings.

Now, Pfunk36 says that well drying up, who will be the next scapegoat for the zenmiester?

certainly not the red head

Vlade is not important enough,
PJ needs a higher profile person.

Who will it be
Who will it be?

pfunk36,

If you read Phil's book then you would know that Phil and Kobe ended the 2004 season on good terms. Everyone misuses that "uncoachable" quote. That was something Phil said early in that season.

Robin Lopez is going to be a stiff, come on... first he's a rookie so how much can you really expect out of him, second, if he needs this entire year to "burn in" and become more of a steady contributor then guess what? you're talking about the NEXT YEAR before he contributes anything of value and that means... Shaq and Nash will be ANOTHER year older...

You know what to look forward to this year? Phil Jackson has a team that is stacked and he knows it. These are the times when Phil comes up with his best quotes/taunts in the press for his targets.

"Remember the Cleveland game this year? LeBron vs Kobe? Phil's ego took over that game late in the fourth quarter by removing Kobe when the Lakers were up by 1 point only to bring him back in a close game a couple of minutes later and the Lakers went down by 5 in the process. Does anybody remember that?"

He removed Kobe since Kobe was trying to play one on one with Lebron at that point. He didn't want Kobe to try to win it against Lebron and instead win it with his team mates. Plus Kobe was shooting ice cold in the last few minutes so to have Kobe calm down and put him on the bench until Kobe could try to win with his teammates instead a battle with Lebron. I like watching entertainment and one vs one things but I like a win more. Lebron was getting red hot and Kobe was shooting cold since Lebron and Hughes were guarding him. Phil is not perfect but I trust his coaching.

Pfunk36,

In terms of the first half of your post, whether or not anyone agrees with the observations/conclusions you've drawn for Phil, there's still an inherent flaw to your overall argument. Your premise that "basketball is a microcosm of life, character flaws can be seen on the floor and added up, that a "reasonable conclusion can be drawn, etc.," allows somebody to work within those exact same parameters and make decisions about Kobe. And according to your earlier statements, people don't have a right to do that because they "don't know him, haven't met him," etc. That's a direct contradiction of yourself. It's much too arbitrary and self-serving to say this line of logic can be applied to one person you happen to dislike and not to another you happen to think the world of. It's either fair game or it isn't. You can't have it both ways.

As for the other part (most specifically the book Phil wrote), I actually agree with a fair amount of what you're saying. The book was a very bad idea on Phil's part and definitely violated the locker room "code." And certainly, Phil has made some comments about Kobe that didn't help Kobe's image (similar to how Kobe's made some mistakes on his own that hurt his image). But at the same time, Phil has also said that he regretted how Kobe was perceived in part because of that book. If memory serves, I think he actually wanted to come back in part because he felt like he owed it to Kobe.

And bottom line, you're talking about something that happened almost five years ago. The two of them, unless incredible actors, are both well past this history and have a deep amount of respect and trust for each other. If it's buried for them, I don't see why you're still carrying a grudge on Kobe's behalf. It just seems kind of pointless (the same way I- and I imagine you- would consider dwelling on the Kobe's earlier career mistakes as pointless). Plus, you're making Kobe out to be a fairly gullible person. According to you, he's being played in obvious Machiavellian fashion by his coach, but can't see it. Is that really how you feel? Because that's either the case or you're wrong about many of these observations. Again, can't have it both ways.

Also, for what it's worth, I appreciated the considerably more civil tone of your last post, which prompted the same tone on my end. Hopefully, our exchanges can remain that way, as the typical back and forth has grown tedious, at least in my mind. Call out my opinions all you want. That's fair game and I welcome it. But I'd prefer a mutual respect displayed, if possible.

AK

Good topic. Good debate. Good posts.

Go Lakers

HmrHed,

>>>>>I believe Drew will blossom into the next Laker superstar center.
>>>>>I would not be surprised if he’s on the bubble for all star consideration in the west
>>>>>this year. And if he remains on the course that I anticipate he will take – and, most
>>>>>importantly, injury free -- several championships later, he will likely
>>>>>displace Hakeem in the top five.

I agree. Great post. The Next Great Lakers Center.

Tom

mrbarneydangles,

>>>>>Only time will tell how great Drew will be but I think he will one day crack
>>>>>that top five centers of all time list that's a few posts up. Real talk.

I agree. Great post You can see greatness growing in this kid every day.

Tom

Mike.

>>>>>I pray young Bynum is completely healthy for the coming season.
>>>>>I would like to see him, healthy, and going up against center's who weigh
>>>>>more than 270 lbs and who play defensive philosophy type basketball.
>>>>>Good luck Andrew!

Thanks for the good wishes, Mike. I think Drew is going to show all of us a new era in defensive basketball for the Lakers.

Tom

"You laker fans are something! SHACK is a PHX SUN and you can't stand it! "

A couple blogs ago I stated that Butler is an idiot, and I stand by it.

Plus, he can't spell.

If Shaquille O'neill ever became a Laker again it would be the only reason ever that I might stop watching. I never liked him when he was a Laker. Sure there were a lot of positives to his game, but what about the off-season? What about having surgery on company time? What about coming into camp fat and out of shape? What about not making his FREAKING free throws?

Just wait Butler. All the sudden this season he will find an excuse to sit out a quarter of the season so he can try and have energy for the finals. You'll see. He's old, broken down, and all the excuses that used to be "acceptable" are now dog doo.

See ya in the finals.... oh wait - you won't make it that far.

THANK YOU, JIM BUSS!!!

>>>>>Funny a year ago I would have included Jim Buss in that list.
>>>>>I no longer hate him but I have a tentative "like"/apathy LOL – Faith

It’s been easy to dump on Jim Buss, the boss’ kid who everybody blames for anything bad that happens on the Lakers, but watching the maturation both physically and mentally of Andrew Bynum, I wonder if we should be instead bowing down and thanking Jim Buss. Without a doubt the major reason Andrew Bynum is still wearing purple and gold was Jim Buss’ dogged refusal to consider trading the young center, despite heavy pressure from Kobe, the media, and the Lakers fans to get Kobe some help to become an elite team. Thanks to Jim, Kobe now has that help in a huge dose. The irony is that that help came in the form of Andrew Bynum.

Jim’s faith in Drew reminds of this dad’s faith in a young shooting guard named Kobe Bryant, a player that he clearly would not let go even if it meant trading the best center in the game at the time and a hometown fans favorite, Shaquille O’Neal. Those are the moves that great sports owners make. They don’t micromanage their teams or try to supervise everything like Marc Cuban. Instead, they make those once-in-while make-or-break decisions that determine whether a franchise becomes a winner or loser. Like Jerry did four years ago with Kobe. Like Jim did last year with Drew. I for one have no problem looking forward to Jim taking over the reigns of the Lakers a few years down the line. He looks to me to be a chip of the old block.

Tom

Man, Tom Brady may be out for the year. I hate Tom Brady as much as any player in the NFL, but you never want to see a guy go down.

Well of course the media has turned around a great deal on Kobe. He would not have been voted MVP if they still "Hated" him.

But there is still plenty of hating going on. But they are in the minority and look silly when they rant on. Its usually old stuff when they do bring it up, like when Shaq did his Rap thingy. Several writers used it as a last chance to get in a few final cheap shots about the Colorado incident.

The water has been well passed under the bridge, and gone way down the river.

Many will never forgive or like Kobe. It just goes with the territory when you are a great player showing your skills on the one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, the Lakers.

Why do you think so many of the fans have taken up the "Beat LA" chant around the league. They are jealous and envious of our accomplishments and for some reason feel compelled to make themselves look foolish waving silly signs.

Hating our team and our best player comes natural whether you are a fan or a media writer 'kissing up' to his local base. Who has broken their hearts on many of occasion? The Lakers. And Kobe just happens to be the current Lakers star filling that role of leader and heart breaker.

When Wilt played for the 76's I hated him as selfish and egotistical. But when he came to the Lakers, I realized he was just misunderstood and under-appreciated. lol

Wow, this is getting on too long.

Good nite Lakers faithful.

Dear AB and the blog in general,

When following the the blog last couple of days, I've become aware of your somewhat biased behaviour towards some bloggers like KL etc. I know that he does not get much consideration here because he is so-called "Kobe Hater" but some rules of just behaviour should be respected by overseeing moderators.

You let him back to the blog only to slam him every time he gives an opinion. You are treating him like a child although you have no right to. He is entitled to his opinion. If you are calling him out over his opinions over Shaq you should call out very time the bloggers like LakerTom, all sorts of Mamba fans etc. who make some ubeliavable claims over Bynum (already a legendary center according to them) who are much more more over the top than those of KL on Shaq. Coming from a family of journalists myself, I recognize a manipulation when I see one. Is it really the best way for you to prove that Kobe is not a polarizing figure any more by ridiculing the bloggers who think so?

And in my humblest opinion, his obrservations were not so over the top. The jury is still out there whether any of the top free agents would prefer to play with kobe or instead with super stars who might be more team oriented like Lebron etc.. Concerning KL's comments that the free agents came here to play with Shaq, it is an absolute truth. If you read any media from that time, most people in NBA wanted to play with Shaq because he made the game so much easier for the others with his dominance. That is why Payton and Malone came for less and the same happened in Miami (Payton, Walker, Zo etc.)for their sole championship.

To be clear, I think Shaq has some huge character flaws like arrogance. But same does Kobe (his last spring's pouting withstanding). It is just sad to see so much revisionist history in this blog. It reminds me of my childhood in Soviet Union when the history books were completely overwritten once the system collapsed.

And the people who make the claim that the Dream dominated Shaq in the finals, they obviously haven't seen it themselves. Shaq and Dream played even number wise (Shaq had even an edge in rebounds I think but I might be mistaken) and most analysts at the time said that the center matchup played out evenly. It was the inexperience of other players (remember these 4 missed three throws by Nick Anderson/Dennis Scott, have to look it up which one of them, which could have sealed the game one but that he missed) that dismantled Orlando. It was Shaq's third year in the league (he was only couple of years older than AB now) and he played even the Dream in his prime! And we are not even talking about the year 2000, considered by many ESPN analysts as the most dominant play displayed by any center in the NBA history. I'm going to leave this argument and will add only this. Remember, when Shaq left LA, respected ESPN analysts ran a fictional story anout Shaq vs Wilt (as what could have happened if those two would have actually played against each other) Shaq's teams would have won hands down according to ESPN analysts.

I think you have one of the best sports blogs in the world. It is just sad that people with an agenda to belittle Shaq's accomplisments for this team and the NBA as a whole are not only having an upper hand in this blog but are actively supported by the moderators who should be neutral by definition. Because it is borderline ridiculous how a kid, AB, withouty any accomplishments and a history of injuries is already touted to be one of the greatest of all time in this cyberspace.

I really hope this kind of revisionist history will not backstab you with Kobe whose place in NBA history is far from sealed . Remember how much critics Penny Hardaway received from most NBA analysts until the end of his career of wanting to be "the man" and not being able to assume it. Befire Shaq departure, he was widely considered as "the next Jordan". I've lived long enough to know that tides can turn very quickly and if Kobe will not win a championship as "the main man", sooner or later those detractors will surface again. And last but not least, you would have much less so-called "trolls" here if the analysis here was more even-keeled vis-a-vis your players and the team. And I apologize for any mistakes in my writing, english is only my third language.

Vaasa

If Barry Bonds is number 6, how about Jeff Kent? He has to be more hated than Chris Berman. The guy has a prickly personality.

The title of my previous post should be:

"Dear AK and the blog in general"

and not:

"Dear AB and the blog in general"

because I'm writing to AK and not to AB :)

My apologies

Vaasa

Vaasa,

I figured that was addressed to me, but I wanted to make sure before I responded.

To my recollection, I didn't contest any of KL's observations about Shaq. If he prefers Shaq to Kobe, as I told him, so be it. KL's entitled to his opinion.

What I corrected him over were arguments he made against Kobe based on his misunderstanding how the salary cap works, league rules for trades, when (and how) certain players arrived in L.A., etc. It's not a question of him having an opinion I don't agree with. It's a question of harping on misinformation, which I often do with other readers as well, if for no other reason than to clarify the issue.

And since KL keeps repeating the misinformation despite being explained why it's incorrect, I wondered if the bottom line was just him not liking Kobe and that's never going to change. Which, again, is fine. I've gone out of my way to say that being a Kobe fan isn't a requirement to post here. But if this is a case of "I've made up my mind, end of story," debating further would be pointless. It's not a case of me trying to "belittle" KL. I'm just trying to figure out if this is an actual discussion taking place or him just throwing out ammo against Kobe, even as he knows it's off-base.

I also think you were misunderstanding my general point. I never said Kobe isn't polarizing. I think he still is, just not nearly to the degree that he used to be or is sometimes currently made out to be, whether by fans or the media.

And for what it's worth, I have advised readers to let players prove themselves before declaring them the next great thing (or a bust, for that matter), whether Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Sun Yue, etc.

Hope that helps,

AK

AK

Has Luke recovered from ankle surgery? And have you seen him working out to prepare for upcoming season?

Vassa,

Walker was traded to Miami, and he sucked by that point in his career, as did Gary Payton. Yes, Zo did sign with Miami after Shaq came, but that was more because of the fact that the Heat was a championship contender (yes, because of Shaq). Shaq and Zo actually hated each other before they became teammates. Shaq routinely made fun of Zo for years, saying he wasn't an elite center etc.

I don't care if KL hates Kobe, either just like AK. I just felt the need to jump in when he was making baseless claims. Like if elite guys want to play with Lebron so bad why didn't Michael Redd sign with him a few years ago when they would have been one of the best teams in the East? Because that's not how the NBA works. Guys play for the most money they can get, 99.9% of the time. The only guys who take less money are guys that sometimes re-sign with their same team for less money, like Arenas and Duncan.

Anyone who thinks Wilt or Bill Russell were better than Jordan are crazy. Jordan was the greatast player that ever played the game of basketball. I hope I won't have to justify it..It's so obvious by looking at tapes and looking WHO their competition was. You put Jordan in Wilts or Bill's era and he would have killed people! Jordan would have averaged 50 a game as a 6'6 guard! Russell would not win 10 championships today! Some of you Old timers need to look at reality a little bit. Practically everyone averaged over 15 rebounds a game in the 60s. That stat right there should tell you how much weaker the league was back then.

Chuck23,

I don't know if Walton is fully recovered yet, but I think he's expected to be. I personally haven't seen him working out, but I've also only been to the Lakers facility a couple of times during the offseason, so that doesn't really mean anything.

AK

zen,

I agree that Jordan is the best player ever, though I wanted to add that since the league only had about 7 teams back in Wilt and Russell's day, so Wilt and Russell were playing against each other and the league's other great plays far more frequently. And since there were so few teams the league wasn't as watered down since all the best talent was concentrated on just a few teams. And the stat that a lot of players averaged 15 boards a game supports that. A lot of guys averaging that many boards is a function of the high talent concentration in the league coupled with the faster pace of the game.

While Wilt was great his stats are padded by the fact that he played in a much FASTER paced era with more possessions. With more possessions that means more scoring opportunities and more rebounding opportunities.

I don't like comparing guys across generations since you're assuming what would happen in a different era. Stephon Marbury would have been the best player in the league if he played in the 60's and Larry Bird would have been even terrible defensively and at least a bit less effective offensively playing against the NBA's current athletes. Does that make Starbury among the best players ever and Larry Bird not? Of course not, which is why I don't think it's a fruitful practice to say player X would accomplisy Y in era Z.

Personally, I like looking at the guys individual and team accomplishments relative to their accomplishments. Jordan won 6 titles in 8 years and was an unbelievable scorer and defender in his time, thus I rate him as the best ever. Wilt was unbelievable in his era and won two titles and would have won more had the Celtics not been so stacked. Russell is third because of his defensive dominance and 11 rings.

AK,

"And for what it's worth, I have advised readers to let players prove themselves before declaring them the next great thing (or a bust, for that matter), whether Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Sun Yue, etc."

....yes and that is why speculation and prediction is just an exercise, or something to do to pass the time, it's not worth arguing and bickering over...

personal opinions are personal opinions...so even if someone loves kwame's calves, he has a right to do so, whether we agree or not is our choice.

thanks for this land to dream and hope in, bros.....

h.

Zen,

Nobody is claiming Wilt or Bill better than MJ. My point is that you have to respect those players at the start of sixties. You CAN"T compare them to todays players based on rebounds or dunks, or comparing players in dfferent era because there is different b'ball culture, different time. Bill Russell and Wilt and other oldtimers carried the development of the sport we love today where there were few audiences and also fans under the flame of racism. They won't compete with your MJ, he's still the best player and you don't have to use statistics.

Mike T.,

Your case of KBB (Kwame Brown Blindness) seems to get worse with every passing day of the off-season. It is also causing you to regress into strange posts about the defensive "philosophies" of other teams.

1. Kwame Brown will not start for the Pistons unless McDyess suffers a terrible injury. Which you will probably begin praying for... now. God forbid that it actually happens, because then you will take credit for it for the rest of the season.

2. The Suns will not be among the top ten defensive teams in the league. Period. Shaq cannot play defense. Nash will not play defense. Diaw does not play defense. Amare... hates to play defense, unless it's volleyball spiking shots out of bounds.

3. Kwame Brown will not start for Detroit unless... oh, wait, we've already been down that road. It's hard to stop repeating that in my head, because you've been suffering from KBB for so long now.

I hope that you have NBA League Pass so that you can watch every Pistons game. That Kwame Brown will NOT be starting in.

Go Lake Show!

I agree with Outlaw, unless a big trade happens Kwa-may Brown doesn't seem to be in the starting lineup. Brown wasn't really in the interest of Deeetttttrrrrrooooiiiiittttt Basketball until the really good free agents like Corey Maggette, James Posey, and Elton Brand were off the market. Brown if anything is built for depth and as a low risk, high reward player. He will get time I imagine due to Detroit having very few solid big men but McDyess and Sheed will be starting at the front court.

To the 2 lost souls posting news of the Pistons & the Sun in this LAKERS blog, if you like those teams so much go to their respective blogs. Stop trying to push your team on us. To the idiot who said that Shaq has a delightful character, say that agian when they start losing and He blames everyone for losing the game except himself, it happened when he played with the lakers, when he played with the heat and it going to happen again and again. His head and his ego is too big and he has became too lazy allowing his body to deteriorate and totally slow his game down to a walk his conditioning is horrendous add that with the natural progression of age and you have a very very
average slow player who is costing his team alot in luxury tax payment. As i said before stop smoking whatever you are smoking because it's starting to affect your mind. To the Moron who thinks Kwame Brown is the next Great NBA Star, stop trying to push him on US because you are the only one stupid and crazy enough to think that way.
Go Lakers !!!

rdlee,

I am curious as to why you put Will Clark on your most hated list. I grew up in the Bay Area and never heard anything bad about him. Actually he happened to be (and still is) my favorite baseball player. You are entitled to your opinion, but I am interested to see if you have an actual reason why you hate him.

And for what it's worth, I have advised readers to let players prove themselves before declaring them the next great thing (or a bust, for that matter), whether Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Sun Yue, etc.

AK

Posted by: Andrew Kamenetzky | September 07, 2008 at 08:20 PM

Yeah. Good luck with that.

Wes


I hear a beast is on the lose ...
I hear a beast is looking for vengance ...
I hear he craves celtic blood, but will settle for any team in his path ...
I hear a beast is on the lose seeking to wreak havoc ...
I hear a beast is on a rampage taking no prisoners ....
Oh what a terrible fate awaits those caught on a basketball court without a purple and gold jersey ...
I hear some escaped from blood thirsty beast only to be kissed goodbye by the mamba .. oh what a terrible fate indeed

Let them hate ... it will not help their cause ... a dynasty is within our grasp ... oh what a terrible fate awaits our haters

Mike T,

This has to be you ...

http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=RF4xOJTCxDo&feature=user

man your case is compelling.

humanomaly,

What's the point of a sports blog if there's no need to debate and prove our points? I know guys like KL and LGC have made an art form out of it, but is it too much to ask to have a little meat to back up the claim that (insert name here) is the greatest player ever?

 
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