Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Dimming star (updated!)

Update! After all this, it turns out maybe Kobe isn't such an asshole after all. This bizarre Lakers saga has taken an even weirder turn when it's revealed that the Kobe-Karl fallout stemmed from the Mexican girl-huntin' Mailman possibly hitting on Mrs. Kobe Bryant. Crazy stuff.

Kobe's lucky to have Ron Artest and Lebron James. But for Artest's blowups, Kobe would be fitted to wear Bill Laimbeer's size 16s right now, taking over the role as the NBA's #1 villain. As for Lebron, that budding superstar has taken the burden and pressure off of Kobe as Jordan's heir apparent so that Kobe can be who he is now, just another talented NBA player with "character" issues. Remember when Kobe was the Air Apparent? Handsome, articulate, and clutch, Kobe once hogged the Jordan legacy like he now hogs the rock. But back then, nobody minded. Post-MJ, the NBA needed a new superstar, and Kobe was straight out of central casting. He had it all: the most exciting game since MJ -- complete with the flying dunks, the fadeaway jumpers, and the wagging tongue -- and talent to spare. He won 3 straight championships while leading the league's marquee franchise.

That seemed like eons ago. Seems every week, Kobe pulls a new dick maneuver. First, he tries to snitch out Shaq to the cops when he was arrested for that little thing in Colorado. Now, today, the story broke that Karl Malone won't return to the Lakers, mainly because Kobe dicked him over. The Mailman is what they call a "throwback"; a stand-up man in an age where players need babysitters. Just when you think Kobe can't sink any lower, he goes out of his way to dis a guy like that. I haven't been a Lakers fan in awhile, and have never really warmed to Bryant. But it was hard not to admire his game a couple of years back. Now, it's impossible not to despise the guy.