With regard to Andrew Bynum's latest knee injury - an MCL tear that will keep him out between 8 - 12 weeks, Basketbawful has stated that "no true blame can fall on Kobe's shoulders." I, Evil Ted, could not disagree more. The saddest part (or most hilarious part, depending on your point of view) about Bynum's injury is that it occurred only because Kobe Bryant was engaged in the nefarious and pathetic practice of "flopping" (a.k.a. "Ginobili'" ing someone).
This is not guesswork. The facts speak for themselves:
1.) Watch the Memphis defenders in the clip. None of them move in a way that would cause Bryant to fall (no foul is even called and play continues, thereby confirming that not only was Kobe flopping, it wasn't even a good enough flop to hook the normally easily-snookered NBA refs).
2.) Watch Bynum before the injury. He makes no attempt to get out of the way of Kobe's tumbling body. Why? Because Bynum's brain is telling him there's no reason for Kobe to be falling to the floor. If you've ever played basketball with a spaz, or someone who doesn't play the game, or worse yet, a spaz who doesn't play the game, they often flail around the court in unexpected ways that can get themselves and/or other players hurt. This phenomenon also occurs regularly with floppers, who often find new and interesting ways to hurt themselves and others with their needless herky-herky movement.
3.) Watch Kobe's face while Bynum writhes on the floor. Is he trying to argue that he was fouled, thereby causing the horrible injury to his teammate? Nope. He looks embarrassed by his own stupidity. He knows he's just screwed up royally, and it's written all over his face. Are Phil Jackson, Sasha Vujacic, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom or any of the Lakers arguing about a Memphis foul? Nope. They're all stunned to silence by a quintessential and historically boneheaded move - made by their own "MVP" teammate no less.
4.) In an effort to serve out penance for his sins, and as a virtual confirmation that he is so ashamed of himself that he is now wicked inspired, Kobe dropped an MSG record 61 points on the Knicks tonight. Nothing says "I'm sorry for crippling our center with my dumbness" like 61 points in a single game.
I will always be in favor of the idea that that NBA officials should review game tape and administer fines for obvious (and sometimes dangerous) flopping. In the Lakers' case, however, I will concede that losing the team's starting center for three months is penalty enough. Nice move, Kobe. I'm not a fan, but if I were, I'd be boiling right now - and 61 points against the Knicks wouldn't make the boo-boo all better.