The trouble with Kobe. An Appology

BringBackMo

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He is at the center of two games (game 6 vs Sacremento and a game 7 we all remember) that hoops historians list as possible evidence of NBA refs fixing games.
What a terrific post all the way around. I’m sorry to derail a bit on such a minor point but as someone who is still pained by the loss in the finals that year, I was intrigued by the suggestion that the refs may have aided the C’s game 7 collapse. Can anyone point me to any good articles or posts that lay out the scenario?
 

lexrageorge

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Calling Kobe a rapist shouldn't be controversial, and doing so certainly isn't someone speaking from a privileged perspective. He committed a crime and got away with it, and was glorified by the league just the same. Situation is hardly unique to Kobe and the NBA; Ray Lewis has a media gig these days.

As for him being a "Top 10", that's just absurd. But proof that people love POINTZ above all else.

What a terrific post all the way around. I’m sorry to derail a bit on such a minor point but as someone who is still pained by the loss in the finals that year, I was intrigued by the suggestion that the refs may have aided the C’s game 7 collapse. Can anyone point me to any good articles or posts that lay out the scenario?
IIRC, the big question was the 37-17 discrepancy in free throw attempts, with Bryant going to the line 15 times. The Lakers had a 19-6 advantage in the 4th quarter alone, although 4 of those free throws were in situations that the Celtics had to foul.
 

BigSoxFan

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I don't know if I'm in the minority, but it hurt worse than either Giants Super Bowls for me.
It was pretty close for me because going 2-0 against Kobe in the finals and closing them out on their home court and their annoying fans would have just been so satisfying.

The 2nd Giants SB didn’t really hurt that much for me because I never thought that 2011 team was that good - it was more annoying because of all those storylines and the Welker drop. But SB42 hurt more than 2010 Game 7 although the gap wasn’t huge for me. I wanted that 2nd Big 3 title so badly. They deserved one.

Kobe got lucky KG got hurt in 2009 and he, again, got lucky with all that Game 7 BS. Should have only won 3 titles.
 

Montana Fan

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F Kobe. Never liked him on or off the court.

Here is a quote from a man to look up to and is excellent advice, in all walks of life, for all kids and young people.

“Understand what a professional is all about. Be a pro. Show up to work, be ready to work, if you’re on time, you’re late. Put the work in. The game gives back to you when you put the work in; that’s what the game gods do. Come to the gym. One of the first ones to the gym. You’re one of the last ones to leave. Just pour it all into the game if you want to be great and if you want to be someone that will never be forgotten in this league.”

I’ve been up and down on Lebron over his career but overall, he has carried himself very well and is a role model. Truly love this message.
 

Eagle3

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I don't know if I'm in the minority, but it hurt worse than either Giants Super Bowls for me.
It was close, but the 2008 Super Bowl was worse for me. Mostly because living in Northern CT there are tons of Giants around and I STILL hear about that pretty regularly. I don't run into Laker fans too often, but Giants fans are all over the place in CT and there are a surprising amount in Western Mass also. Also, I still honestly believe that Patriots team was actually better than the 6 that won the Super Bowl. Losing the undefeated season and the recognition as the Greatest Team of All Time will sting forever. It drives me crazy every time I see the 72 Dolphins player crack the champagne when the last undefeated team loses every year. And Assante Samuel needs to STFU because they would have received the accolades they deserved if he hadn't dropped that shitty pass Eli threw right to him. Not to mention the holding of Seymour that wasn't called and the ensuing helmet catch. All of that would have been irrelevant if the offensive line didn't suck that whole game. It all adds up to the perfect storm of pain.

Having said that, the "6-24 MVP" makes me sick, and the fact that Kobe was a wretched human being but gets idolized anyway makes me sicker. Everything in the OP is right on the money.
 
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Mooch

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I feel the same way about Kobe as many others in this thread. One thing that hasn't really been mentioned was his creepy, borderline obsessive need to mimic Jordan's game in nearly every way. It wasn't just enough to take MJ's offensive moves and incorporate them into his game. Kobe had to do it exactly the same way, with the same mannerisms and note-for-note body movements. It was as if he was method-acting as Jordan on the court at times. Except he was nowhere near as good.
 

jmcc5400

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I feel the same way about Kobe as many others in this thread. One thing that hasn't really been mentioned was his creepy, borderline obsessive need to mimic Jordan's game in nearly every way. It wasn't just enough to take MJ's offensive moves and incorporate them into his game. Kobe had to do it exactly the same way, with the same mannerisms and note-for-note body movements. It was as if he was method-acting as Jordan on the court at times. Except he was nowhere near as good.
And then there was the stupid fucking underbite thing.
 

InstaFace

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I don't know if I'm in the minority, but it hurt worse than either Giants Super Bowls for me.
Third biggest hurt of my sporting lifetime, behind 2003 Red Sox (I was young and innocent) and SB 42 (still the most significant / feels worst in retrospect). It's definitely worse than SB46, where the Patriots weren't even the better team.

As Reggie pointed out, the worst are the what-ifs: Perkins being out + some seriously questionable reffing.

Pete Zayas had a very nice retrospective / analysis a few years ago for The Athletic. There are too many short video clips for me to quote snippets and have it make any sense, but he focuses more on Perkins' missing rebounding than (A) the reffing, or (B) the offensive side of Perkins' game.

In my estimation, Perkins would have had the chance to impact six of the 23 offensive rebounds that Boston surrendered, with three of them coming on this next play. Gasol drives middle, and Pierce leaves Artest to double-team him. He misses an awkward eight-footer in the paint, and Pierce’s contest means an already overmatched Wallace is left to fend off both Bynum and Artest. Bynum secures the rebound with two hands before missing the putback, and the ball caroms toward Gasol. Wallace blocks his left-handed jump hook, but the ball goes right back to Gasol, who makes a right-handed jump hook over the outstretched arm of Garnett.
<video>
Pierce leaving Garnett didn’t help matters, but Bynum likely overwhelms Wallace on this play regardless, starting the chain reaction of three consecutive offensive rebounds for the Lakers. These would also be the only points that the Lakers would score on the six extra possessions that Perkins’ absence resulted in. The Lakers had their chances on the other three offensive boards they grabbed that Perkins could have impacted, but they missed another putback and got 0-for-4 free-throw shooting from Gasol on those plays. It was an aberration, but the Lakers didn’t actually score on all but one of the offensive rebounds that Perkins could have affected.

The Celtics continually losing their single-coverage boxouts throughout Game 7 was a much, much bigger problem.
...
The Boston Celtics lost Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals because they collapsed in the second half. Allen and Pierce combined to shoot 4-for-17 in the final two quarters, and the Lakers enjoyed a marginal 7-6 advantage on the offensive glass during that stretch.

The Lakers didn’t win Game 7 due to Kendrick Perkins’ absence. They survived the perimeter defense that it forced Andrew Bynum to play.
Either way, in conclusion, fuck Kobe Bryant, and I expect history will eventually not be so kind to him.
 

Sille Skrub

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Great post @reggiecleveland

I have often wondered this as well about Kobe. People will go great lengths to deify their sports heroes. I mean, the NFL is littered with dudes that did horrible shit but are put on a pedestal. Sports can be odd in that way.
 

Kliq

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In terms of how they played and approached the game, I think Kobe and MJ were extremely similar. The major distinction is that Jordan was better than Kobe, which led to Jordan being a more efficient offensive player, which makes their playing styles feel somewhat different. Jordan and Kobe both had the approach of going out there and taking a million shots, but Jordan shot at an above 50% rate, so even if it wasn't the most fluid, team-basketball that coaches idolize, it was often the best offensive strategy. Kobe had the same approach, but wasn't nearly as efficient, and the result was that he was seen as a egomaniacal ballhog. Jordan was the same way, but Jordan was so good that him taking 12 contested mid-range jumpers was actually very efficient offense.

Kobe grew up and broke into the NBA in an era where Jordan was a god. He was worshipped by everyone, and a whole generation of players that came after Jordan wanted to Be Like Mike. Kobe, T-Mac, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, even Paul Pierce, in their own way, they patterned their game after Jordan. That wasn't probably the best use of all of their talents, but that was what the game demanded of them. It was a particularly ugly time for NBA basketball, but I think some of the negative parts of Kobe's game have to be contextualized in the era he played in. None of the top scorers were particularly efficient--offenses in the NBA overall were pretty miserable, and the result is all of those guys I listed above are some of the least efficient big-time scorers in NBA history.

If Kobe had been born 20 years later, I think his approach to the game would have been very different, and he would have been a more efficient scorer. But anyone that was a hyperathletic #2 guard coming in at the end of the Jordan years was going to end up playing like Jordan, even if they lacked Jordan's one-of-a-kind talent.

In terms of his legacy today, it's mostly just a case of a lot of players now having grown up watching Kobe, who was the most heavily marketed player of his generation. And Kobe won, a lot. Now, we can all poke holes in why and how he won, but for NBA players they don't need a ton of justification to love the player they grew up watching. Kobe played super hard, worked hard on his game, and won. Even if the mythos is just that, a myth that isn't really true, you are not going to be able to convince people that loved him growing up (and maybe had some personal interaction with him when they were young professionals) that a lot of Kobe's image doesn't hold up to closer scrutiny.
 

Tony C

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In re L.A. and the Black community, it's absolutely correct that the African American community in general idolizes him and especially L.A.'s Black community. Granted he's very, very popular everywhere in L.A. -- how the rape is whitewashed out is sickening -- but there's a level of idolizing him that is over the top in Black sections of the city. (He's seemingly part of every mural, for example, invoked in all sorts of other ways, too.) And, as someone pointed out above, it isn't as if there are a lack of Black alternatives to idolize, as there might be in other fields. Hell, Kareem is very present in L.A., a far, far better player, and a far, far, faaaaaar better person and...yet, Kobe's the God.

As for his game, I fully agree he's maybe top 20-ish. A stud, but not efficient and inexcusably selfish. In terms of spoiled, Kobe-idealizing Lakers fans, a lot of them can't stand LBJ and it leaves me gob-smacked to listen to how he's insulted for "lacking Mamba mentality" and other such nonsense.
 

Nator

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He sucked as a human being, and it sucks that so many in the sports media don't even know or want to know any more about what happened in Colorado.

The most glaring example I can remember was Simmons doing a pod with J.A. Adande in the aftermath of his death. Bill brought up Colorado, and Adande got a little indignant. There was an obvious edit that sounded terrible, and I'm sure it was a diatribe about "Now is not the time!" to discuss the matter. Then they were off the subject and on to other things. Every time his death is discussed on anniversary of his passing, I want a media type to ask, "Is now the time? If not, when would be a good time?" Sadly, I think a big part of the reason is that so many put this turd on a pedestal and the peer pressure would be unbearable from the Adande types.

Finally, whenever I see posts on social media declaring him the greatest Laker ever, I like to remind them he's not even in the top 3 Lakers of all time. The mouthebreathing cult of Kobe just loves that.
 

lars10

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Calling Kobe a rapist shouldn't be controversial, and doing so certainly isn't someone speaking from a privileged perspective. He committed a crime and got away with it, and was glorified by the league just the same. Situation is hardly unique to Kobe and the NBA; Ray Lewis has a media gig these days.

As for him being a "Top 10", that's just absurd. But proof that people love POINTZ above all else.


IIRC, the big question was the 37-17 discrepancy in free throw attempts, with Bryant going to the line 15 times. The Lakers had a 19-6 advantage in the 4th quarter alone, although 4 of those free throws were in situations that the Celtics had to foul.
My memory may be faulty.. but the C’s were up 11 in the 4th as I recall.. then if you read the play by play it’s just a parade of FTs for LA.. and the Celts got zero calls.. Gasol and Bynum were allowed to do whatever they wanted on both ends of the court.. and if they got touched it was a foul.

Making up your own nickname is never cool.

I was in LA right after he died.. the thing I remember most was all of the busses had Kobe RIP or something like that in the digital display. I felt like I couldn’t say anything about him for fear of being outed as someone who didn’t like him let alone deify him.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Which is all the more bizarre for the fact that they have their pick of basketball stars, because the entire history of the league is of black stars. Just looking at the Ben Taylor list, his top 10 are all black players, and excepting #11 Larry Bird, the entire top 16 are as well. There is no shortage of black superstar basketball players who reached legendary status in pick-your-city.

I guess perhaps the preening, look-at-me nature of Kobe tended to grab the admiration of (mostly young) casual fans. The ubermensch, imposing his will on the world.
For many men, "beating the rap" is a feature not a bug. I presume Black men are no different in that.

And, as someone pointed out above, it isn't as if there are a lack of Black alternatives to idolize, as there might be in other fields. Hell, Kareem is very present in L.A., a far, far better player, and a far, far, faaaaaar better person and...yet, Kobe's the God.
Kareem wasn't part of these people's generation. It is certainly not outlandish for people to consider Kobe the best player of his generation, which is why they revere him.
 

InstaFace

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Finally, whenever I see posts on social media declaring him the greatest Laker ever, I like to remind them he's not even in the top 3 Lakers of all time. The mouthebreathing cult of Kobe just loves that.
Kareem, Magic... West? Baylor? Shaq '96-04? Wilt '68-73?

If you think Shaq was the most important player in their 00-02 run, there's a solid argument for no higher than 6th best Laker.

Ben Taylor did put him at #14 all time, above Baylor (#37) and West (#17) though, and although Shaq was at #5, he also was only in LA for ~1/2 his prime.
 

Jimbodandy

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FWIW, DARKO has Kobe's peak at around a 5, which would have him sixth this year in value impact. For most of the middle of his career (games 500-1000), he was around a 4, which would be like 13th this year, ironically currently occupied by 39yo Lebron James.

Of course as noted above, if Kobe were born 10 years later, he would likely have developed a more efficient game and hit more threes. But prime Kobe dropped into 2024 is not a top 10 player. Absolute peak Kobe dropped into 2024 isn't even a top 5 player.

His lack of efficiency doesn't matter to folks as much as the assassin ethos, but it should.
 

jmcc5400

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FWIW, DARKO has Kobe's peak at around a 5, which would have him sixth this year in value impact. For most of the middle of his career (games 500-1000), he was around a 4, which would be like 13th this year, ironically currently occupied by 39yo Lebron James.
Great player, of course, but egregiously overrated. And that's the Truth.

77666
 

reggiecleveland

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In terms of how they played and approached the game, I think Kobe and MJ were extremely similar. The major distinction is that Jordan was better than Kobe, which led to Jordan being a more efficient offensive player, which makes their playing styles feel somewhat different. Jordan and Kobe both had the approach of going out there and taking a million shots, but Jordan shot at an above 50% rate, so even if it wasn't the most fluid, team-basketball that coaches idolize, it was often the best offensive strategy. Kobe had the same approach, but wasn't nearly as efficient, and the result was that he was seen as a egomaniacal ballhog. Jordan was the same way, but Jordan was so good that him taking 12 contested mid-range jumpers was actually very efficient offense.

Kobe grew up and broke into the NBA in an era where Jordan was a god. He was worshipped by everyone, and a whole generation of players that came after Jordan wanted to Be Like Mike. Kobe, T-Mac, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, even Paul Pierce, in their own way, they patterned their game after Jordan. That wasn't probably the best use of all of their talents, but that was what the game demanded of them. It was a particularly ugly time for NBA basketball, but I think some of the negative parts of Kobe's game have to be contextualized in the era he played in. None of the top scorers were particularly efficient--offenses in the NBA overall were pretty miserable, and the result is all of those guys I listed above are some of the least efficient big-time scorers in NBA history.

If Kobe had been born 20 years later, I think his approach to the game would have been very different, and he would have been a more efficient scorer. But anyone that was a hyperathletic #2 guard coming in at the end of the Jordan years was going to end up playing like Jordan, even if they lacked Jordan's one-of-a-kind talent.

In terms of his legacy today, it's mostly just a case of a lot of players now having grown up watching Kobe, who was the most heavily marketed player of his generation. And Kobe won, a lot. Now, we can all poke holes in why and how he won, but for NBA players they don't need a ton of justification to love the player they grew up watching. Kobe played super hard, worked hard on his game, and won. Even if the mythos is just that, a myth that isn't really true, you are not going to be able to convince people that loved him growing up (and maybe had some personal interaction with him when they were young professionals) that a lot of Kobe's image doesn't hold up to closer scrutiny.
If anything Kobe was a more skilled shooter and scorer, but his selfish decision making drove down his %.
Jordan famously accepted the triangle offence and two of his rings were him passing to role players for the big shot. Kobe never did anything like that. While Jordan flew to Vegas to get Rodman back and Kobe refused to play with Shaq. Part of the reason Jordan was such a dick to Jerry Krause was to placate Pippen who signed a stupid contract extension. If Jordan was a better person he would have privately told Jerry he liked the cap room Scotties low pay gave them, but he had to back his teammate. Jordan, to this day, loves being the guy in a group of guys, while Kobe was a loner. Jordan was the middle of the hype circle while Kobe for most of his career waiting in the tunnel separate from his teammates.
 
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Kliq

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A scary side of this is that too many guys see access to sex as part of the prestige. Kobe

If anything Kobe was a more skilled shooter and scorer, but his selfish decision making drove down his %.
Jordan famously accepted the triangle offence and two of his rings were him passing to role players for the big shot. Kobe never did anything like that. While Jordan flew to Vegas to get Rodman back and Kobe refused to play with Shaq. Part of the reason Jordan was such a dick to Jerry Krause was to placate Pippen who signed a stupid contract extension. If Jordan was a better person he would have privately told Jerry he liked the cap room Scotties low pay gave them, but he had to back his teammate. Jordan, to this day, loves being the guy in a group of guys, while Kobe was a loner. Jordan was the middle of the hype circel while Kobe for most of his career waiting in the tunnell seperate from his teammates.
I don't think Kobe was a more skilled shooter and scorer. You could say he was a better three point shooter, but that is more era dependent than anything. Jordan took three more shots a game than Kobe during his career. He took a billion shots--the difference was Jordan was able to constantly make 50%+ of his contested mid range jump shots at a rate basically nobody has ever done before or since. His usage rate for his career is higher than Kobe's--Jordan led the league in usage rate nine times, compared to Kobe who only did it three times. Michael totally dominated the ball and his teams offensive, monopolizing it for his own greatness. The difference is he was better than Kobe so it worked.
 

mauidano

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It's amazing when you have a ton of money and a team of professionals spending to "rehabilitate" your image.

OJ Simpson with that group of "fixers" might have changed his course. Eh, maybe not.

His oldest daughter Gianna is working it for her own fame. The whole thing just makes my skin crawl.
 

jablo1312

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FWIW, DARKO has Kobe's peak at around a 5, which would have him sixth this year in value impact. For most of the middle of his career (games 500-1000), he was around a 4, which would be like 13th this year, ironically currently occupied by 39yo Lebron James.

Of course as noted above, if Kobe were born 10 years later, he would likely have developed a more efficient game and hit more threes. But prime Kobe dropped into 2024 is not a top 10 player. Absolute peak Kobe dropped into 2024 isn't even a top 5 player.

His lack of efficiency doesn't matter to folks as much as the assassin ethos, but it should.
Should it tho?

Obviously not the greatest player of all time, nor in the discussion to anyone evaluating objectrively. Off the cour stuff abhorent w/o discussion. But there's a reason he's the favorite player of so many guys in the league, and of fans across the world. People revere the legend of Kobe more then the actual bball player or person he was.
 

jose melendez

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For many men, "beating the rap" is a feature not a bug. I presume Black men are no different in that.


Kareem wasn't part of these people's generation. It is certainly not outlandish for people to consider Kobe the best player of his generation, which is why they revere him.
It's not outlandish, but it is stupid.

Tim Duncan was so decisively the best player of his generation it's not even funny.
 

Jimbodandy

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It's not outlandish, but it is stupid.

Tim Duncan was so decisively the best player of his generation it's not even funny.
Someone referenced it above, but what a rough time for hoop that period was. I kinda forgot. Marcus Camby was probably the fifth best player taken in the Kobe draft. The 1997 draft was even worse.
 

Marciano490

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I remember the Kobe comeback starting with a shoe commercial - some black and white hagiography showing how hardcore he trained with chain squats and stuff.

It was controversial at the time and the rehab work he was doing in the commercial was clearly meant to also rehab his image, but it worked.

As for the black community and Kobe, a lot of what I’ve seen is in the context of the fact it was a black man accused of raping a white woman and the horrible history that attends that. Still, I think he was clearly guilty and the way they shamed that poor girl was a second violation. But we’ve certainly seen how eager people are to overlook shittiness in their heroes.

Also, did you guys know that helicopter backwards is retpocileh and helicopter upside down is how Kobe died?
 

Kliq

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Someone referenced it above, but what a rough time for hoop that period was. I kinda forgot. Marcus Camby was probably the fifth best player taken in the Kobe draft. The 1997 draft was even worse.
If you ever go back and watch games from that era, it's amazing just how limited the offensive skill sets of players were. 7 out of the 10 guys on the court might be no offensive threat outside of ten feet from the basket. A bunch of guys couldn't dribble or pass--the league was just full of big, muscled dudes who could push people around and grab rebounds, but do nothing else. The Suns ended up putting three guys on the floor at once who could shoot threes and they were suddenly breaking basketball. It's no wonder the Euros started to crack into the NBA at this time--at least you knew those guys could pass and shoot.

In that regard, dynamic offensive players like Kobe were more rare and thus they were given carte blanche to shoot a lot more frequently than stars today would. The game was very off-balanced during that time period between stars and role players.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Kobe being praised as some sort of hero now, especially by Shaq “How Does My Ass Taste” O’Neal is proof that someone’s death (even moreso if they died young) covers up all sins.

Honestly, whenever I see clips on Instagram that have him involved, it makes me want to vomit. Gilbert Arenas (who is a fucking moron BTW) had a long clip about how players love Kobe because he did so much with so little and that he wasn’t athletic and didn’t have the “starter kit” everyone else had. It was one of the dumbest fucking things I have ever seen.

This is a terrible thing to write but….I will go to my grave thinking that Kobe told that pilot to try and pull off the risky maneuvers that he did because they were late and he wanted to get home faster.
The crash happened on the way to the game. What was under reported at the time was that he had made the same flight the day before for the Saturday games and then flew home after, knowing he needed to be back the next day. With kids on board. A night in a hotel resting for the next day is what someone who was not an entitled rich asshole would have done. Everyone thought he was cool because he choppered from home to Laker games. And yes in many Laker fan's eyes the rape didn't matter because she settled.
 
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Devizier

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The NBA was in such a different place in the late 90s. Jordan was still around collecting titles but the end was in sight and there was a massive dearth of young talent for the league to hang their hat on. The biggest star after Jordan was probably Shaq but his Magic had just gotten handled by the Rockets and Jordan’s Bulls.

The NBA was also struggling with the cultural change in the league. Let’s be honest, there was a racist pushback to the emergence of hip hop culture and individual expression generally. Nothing more emblematic of that than the change from <5” short inseams of the 80s to the >10” ones of the 90s, and how pissed people were about that. There were so many changes in individual player expression and how they carried themselves publicly, which was more in line with the celebrities that they were and are than in the archetypical mold of “athletes”. This would happen everywhere but it started in the NBA.

On top of all this, you had a bunch of crises real and imagined starting to hit the NBA. There were players coming into the league that were beginning to be implicated in college recruiting scandals. Declaring out of high school was becoming a thing again and fans and sportswriters were pissed about that. People we pissed about the contracts and player movement and all that other shit too.

So it seems to me that the league had a few problems, with no clear successor to Jordan and cultural changes that were rankling a more conservative fan base. The top pick in that draft was Iverson who seemed to embody everything the league didn’t want as their new face. Down the line you had a kid who seemed to be everything they did want. Yeah, he skipped college, but Kobe was a rich kid with a prep schooler presentation, and he took Brandi to his prom!!! And he was a legit player on a (post trade) historic franchise. Pretty much the perfect storm for the hype train.

No idea if Kobe turns out differently if he toils for the Hornets or someone else for a few seasons before going elsewhere. Or if he comes into the league at a different time. He obviously compares unfavorably to Lebron in just about every way. But I wonder sometimes…
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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If you ever go back and watch games from that era, it's amazing just how limited the offensive skill sets of players were. 7 out of the 10 guys on the court might be no offensive threat outside of ten feet from the basket. A bunch of guys couldn't dribble or pass--the league was just full of big, muscled dudes who could push people around and grab rebounds, but do nothing else. The Suns ended up putting three guys on the floor at once who could shoot threes and they were suddenly breaking basketball. It's no wonder the Euros started to crack into the NBA at this time--at least you knew those guys could pass and shoot.

In that regard, dynamic offensive players like Kobe were more rare and thus they were given carte blanche to shoot a lot more frequently than stars today would. The game was very off-balanced during that time period between stars and role players.
It wasn't just that the skill sets were limited - the NBA hadn't done the math yet and still thought the best shots were close in. The rules - particularly the hand checking rule and allowing guys to make contact with cutters - made strength/power a key factor in success. I mean the NBA players were so strong, once they got their hand on a player, they could direct where the player went - imagine how good of a defender Jrue Holiday would be if he could hand check? And cutting wasn't just going across the lane; guys had to be able to get to their spot despite taking a hit - almost like a TE running a route.

But the freedom of movement rules - combined with basic math - completely changed the game. As you mention, the game today is much better than the game in the early 2000s, and the return of post play to the Celtics is a welcome addition to my eyes.
 

j-man

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ie kobe

i wonder what happents in 96 if the nets take him or the horents keep him

he is on the cover of this year 2k which take a spot form jokic ginnis or tatum

he shouild been sup for all of 2003-04 season

and why wouild he do that when he had a pefect ten for a wife

the nba has been rigged def since the 90's porland shouild had won the 99-00 ring and sac the 01-02 ring its like jordan bulls the blazers shouild had won in 92 and jazz in 98

and he was awful in his last season jordan was as well

i looked up the crash and all he had to do was push the games back a hour or two and no fog

had he lived the hero worship wouild be just as bad if not worse

the tragy was with kobe seflish actions he took 6 innont lives with him

he also wanted a trade in 2007 but the lakers wouild only deal him to detroit
 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,873
Washington
F Kobe. Never liked him on or off the court.

Here is a quote from a man to look up to and is excellent advice, in all walks of life, for all kids and young people.

“Understand what a professional is all about. Be a pro. Show up to work, be ready to work, if you’re on time, you’re late. Put the work in. The game gives back to you when you put the work in; that’s what the game gods do. Come to the gym. One of the first ones to the gym. You’re one of the last ones to leave. Just pour it all into the game if you want to be great and if you want to be someone that will never be forgotten in this league.”

I’ve been up and down on Lebron over his career but overall, he has carried himself very well and is a role model. Truly love this message.
I'm so glad you posted this, especially because so many people on this board constantly disparage LeBron. LeBron is the best player ever on the court and off the court he has been incredible as well. He's been in the national spotlight since he was like 14 and has never been in trouble for anything, other than a bunch of people being mad that he didn't singlehandedly bring down the Chinese Communist Party.

I worked in a college athletic department at the time when Kobe died and the amount of sadness was awful. I made multiple jokes about how great it was that Kobe finally got his due for the Colorado incident and you would have thought I had made a joke about Jesus Christ himself. It's baffling to me how much that whole story has been whitewashed.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,022
So it seems to me that the league had a few problems, with no clear successor to Jordan and cultural changes that were rankling a more conservative fan base. The top pick in that draft was Iverson who seemed to embody everything the league didn’t want as their new face. Down the line you had a kid who seemed to be everything they did want. Yeah, he skipped college, but Kobe was a rich kid with a prep schooler presentation, and he took Brandi to his prom!!! And he was a legit player on a (post trade) historic franchise. Pretty much the perfect storm for the hype train.

No idea if Kobe turns out differently if he toils for the Hornets or someone else for a few seasons before going elsewhere. Or if he comes into the league at a different time. He obviously compares unfavorably to Lebron in just about every way. But I wonder sometimes…
Well, to add to all of the other stories mentioned above about Kobe being a phony, when he first came into the league he had an incredibly clean cut image.
He said multiple times he never wanted to get a tattoo and I believe he was also presented as very religious (I am pretty sure he also said he didn’t want to swear).

Bottom line is that if you paid attention to Kobe’s career and his persona, the guy was a complete phony and basically wasnt liked by any of his contemporaries. They may have respected that he worked hard but that was the extent of it
 

Bread of Yaz

New Member
Mar 12, 2019
389
I remember the Kobe comeback starting with a shoe commercial - some black and white hagiography showing how hardcore he trained with chain squats and stuff.

It was controversial at the time and the rehab work he was doing in the commercial was clearly meant to also rehab his image, but it worked.

As for the black community and Kobe, a lot of what I’ve seen is in the context of the fact it was a black man accused of raping a white woman and the horrible history that attends that. Still, I think he was clearly guilty and the way they shamed that poor girl was a second violation. But we’ve certainly seen how eager people are to overlook shittiness in their heroes.

Also, did you guys know that helicopter backwards is retpocileh and helicopter upside down is how Kobe died?
Spit out my drink!
 

j-man

Member
Dec 19, 2012
3,767
Arkansas
yeah if he pushed his games just by 2 hrs he is likely sill with us or at least those 6 other pepole are
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,547
This is the funniest part about the Kobe mystique.

For all of the “Mamba Mentality” “hardest worker in the room” bullshit, Kobe was never up for real challenges.

When the Lakers looked like shit, he tried to force his way out. The only reason he didn’t get out was because he thought that the teams trading for him weren’t going to be good enough after acquiring him.

He was a whiny little prick for his entrance career. Can you imagine any superstar right now not taking any shots because they got their undies in a twist due to people saying they shot too much?
Didn’t Bird do that once? Ducking
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,547
Did he? I don't recall that? I remember the shooting left handed.
It's been awhile, but I remember some talk about him "being a point forward" and there was some game where he scored 7 points. I was a fanboy kid at the time, but even then it seemed a little bit like Bird was being a little petulant and trying to make a point.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,022
It's been awhile, but I remember some talk about him "being a point forward" and there was some game where he scored 7 points. I was a fanboy kid at the time, but even then it seemed a little bit like Bird was being a little petulant and trying to make a point.
I just did a google search on this, which included a Reddit thread that was specifically for criticisms of Larry Bird, and I couldn’t find anything saying he refused to shoot or anything like that
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,547
I just did a google search on this, which included a Reddit thread that was specifically for criticisms of Larry Bird, and I couldn’t find anything saying he refused to shoot or anything like that
From Wikipedia "Basketball Hall of Fame small forward Larry Bird, a prolific scorer with exceptional passing skills,[8] quipped "I'm a point forward now" after his coaches sought him to score less and pass more.[9][10] "

I see some games in his game logs late in his career where we only took like 7-8 shot attempts. That was a long time ago, so not sure we'd find an article, but I remember some debate about whether Bird was shooting too much, and I thought he was trying to make a point by not shooting very much.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,476
From Wikipedia "Basketball Hall of Fame small forward Larry Bird, a prolific scorer with exceptional passing skills,[8] quipped "I'm a point forward now" after his coaches sought him to score less and pass more.[9][10] "

I see some games in his game logs late in his career where we only took like 7-8 shot attempts. That was a long time ago, so not sure we'd find an article, but I remember some debate about whether Bird was shooting too much, and I thought he was trying to make a point by not shooting very much.
Bird clashed with Jimmy Rodgers his first season back from his Achilles injury. The “point forward” comment was made after a loss, and Bird was none too happy with the game plan. Rodgers was fired after the Celtics lost to the Knicks in the first round, replaced by Chris Ford.
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,894
South Dartmouth, MA
I just saw a long segment on sportscenter dedicated to him because I guess there is a Kobe statue unveiling tonight and it all made me nauseous. I’ll never forgot in the aftermath of his death one of my former student-athletes calling me, a rape survivor, in tears and unable to comprehend the idolization.
TLDR: thanks for this thread.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Experiencing Furry Panic
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
this story is Coming Up Next on the local news this morning. “Honoring a Legend”

edit: I just dashed off an email to the local station I was watching accusing them of abandoning journalism. I expect they will lose zero sleep over this.
 
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