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Kobe Bryant punched in the face on 'The Simpsons'

There are plenty of reasons to praise "The Simpsons." 

The show is entering its 23rd season. The episodes have proved so wide-ranging and creative that "South Park" once spoofed the show's ability to come up with every idea imaginable. And even if some criticize the show's declining quality in the last few years, there are plenty of times it has still proved more original and funnier than what's currently hitting the airwaves.

Here's another reason: "The Simpsons' " season premiere on Sunday cleverly features Kobe Bryant in a way that appeals both to his fans and detractors. Kiefer Sutherland, a new security guard at the Springfield nuclear power plant, shares with Bart and Homer his troubled past that entailed training in combat against legendary killers. Some examples: Chucky, Pinhead, a polar bear and Bryant, who is punched in the face (h/t to Ball Don't Lie's Eric Freeman).

Some may take it as an insult that Bryant is punched in the face and is compared to various psychotic killers. Others may actually like that bit since it suggests Bryant's ruthlesslness on the court makes him incredibly intimidating. Either way, a pretty clever bit.

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

 
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