Kobe Bryant is sick of being called a ball hog just because he takes 30 shots a game. So the man who already calls himself Black Mamba has created a new nickname: "Win Hog." After all, he's only trying to help his team win, right?
"I suspected there would be criticism from the media and even some players. But the most important thing is that 81-point effort rallied us from an 18-point deficit to an 18-point win. If destiny positions me to score 100 points to help my team win a game, I certainly will take advantage of it in spite of any criticism."So basically, if Kobe thinks he has to score a hundred points for the Lakers to win, that's exactly what he's going to try to do...regardless of what anyone else thinks. This season is starting to resemble that scene in A Few Good Men where Colonel Jessup angrily admits that he ordered the Code Red. I'm expecting to see Kobe finally snap during an interview and start yelling, "You want me taking 46 shots, you need me taking 46 shots!!" right before he rips out Peter Vescey's eyes and urinates in his dead skull. Mark my words: it's going to happen. I know the Kobe-lovers out there think I'm just being crazy, but read this quote and tell me whether you think he wants to A. make his teammates better or B. shoot until his arms fall off:
"I [won't] sacrifice wins by holding myself back to give teammates chances that they are not taking advantage of effectively for us to win. As a leader, I have to take charge when we're struggling."Way to throw your team under the bus, Kobe. If I was a Laker and read that, they'd probably find me in the locker room tying my jersey into a noose and looking for a strong pipe to hang it from. This is that dangerous, season-on-the-brink-of-destruction moment where somebody has to step in and get Kobe under control. Ideally, that person should be coach Phil Jackson. After all, that's part of the reason Jerry Buss brought him back, right? Ego-management is supposed to be his specialty. After all, this is the man who reined in Michael Jordan and convinced him to pass the ball to guys like Stacy King and Luc Longley, right? Well, it looks like a year of retirement did more than make him fat, because Phil is publically refusing to stand up to Bryant.
"These Lakers are still a young team that's prone to get scared, lose poise and confidence. They need [Bryant's] aggressive leadership, especially on the road, to set the tone and put them in command of a game. Yes, there's a fine balance between how much his high point production takes confidence away from these younger players and how much it contributes to their ability to believe in themselves as a team."Translation: yes I know his ball-hoggery means the slow, lingering death of his teammates, but I'm powerless to stop it and we'll probably stay around .500 as long as he scores 40 points a night, and besides, I'm making ten million a year and sleeping with my boss's daughter, so, you know, life is good. Well, life might not be good for much longer. Your team's leader is a one-man-gang and you're giving him a license to shoot. This is not going to end well.