Monday, June 08, 2009
Game 2 Press Conference: Kobe Bryant
By Basketbawful at 4:01 PM
2009 NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers
http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0608/nba_g_omagic_576.jpg J.J. Redick getting some serious man-love from himself, creating a magically awkward moment \o/
6/08/2009 4:11 PM
Don't you just love the way Bryant's wife and kids meet him in the tunnel after every game?
It's so heartwarming.
"Daddy, uncle Pau said you keep looking him off..."
~Bryant seed #1
6/08/2009 5:24 PM
These are pure gold!
6/08/2009 7:38 PM
I see what your trying to do mr. bawful, and it's pretty funny, but your made-up dialog is no match for the pompous, egotistical, bullshit that pours out of Kobe's mouth at his actual press conferences.
6/08/2009 7:58 PM
man, kobe's facial expressions NEVER change. that man is a stone-faced killer.
6/08/2009 8:22 PM
i was hoping you would use an image of Kobe when he was poking his cheek with his tongue a la the "blowjob face".
6/08/2009 8:38 PM
Love it! Just wished you would have mentioned the end of regulation shot he attempted when 4 guys collapsed on him and he still shot. I think his rationale would go something like this:
"Hey, well, we all know that there are 10 guys on the court. Since I'm the one with the ball, of course 5 guys on the other team need to pay attention to what I'm doing. That's why I didn't pass. Because I wasn't sure where that 5th guy was, otherwise I would have given the rock up - but because I wasn't sure, I didn't want to risk a turnover by my teammates and an easy basket the other way. I play the percentages. I just wasn't ready for Hedo to jump all over my back and (obviously) foul me 3-4 times on that one shot. Hey, they were desperate, I guess, because they knew it was goin' in."
6/09/2009 8:29 AM
Did i mistakely stumble on Kobe Haters are Us?
6/09/2009 9:10 AM
Browny, I think this is just all the frustration with realizing that Kobe's about to be legitimized in the eyes of most. Hating on Kobe has been one of the main staples of NBA fandom, especially in the NBA blogosphere, for years now; and there have always been the standby pillars on which to lean: Kobe's never won anything without Shaq, Kobe's never won a Finals MVP, Kobe's teammates hate him too much for his team to ever win anything, Kobe's too selfish to ever win, etc, etc, etc I think people just aren't ready to let go of all that yet, or they're maybe realizing these are the last days they'll be able to use any of those things to support their reason for hating him so much. Two more wins and they'll only be left with "he just seems like an asshole", and that doesn't really carry the same weight. It's OK though, they're doing a good job of hating on him even after a big win, so I don't expect them to simply give up if the Lakers win it all.
And none of what I'm saying is directed at Mr. Bawful either, btw. I know where he stands with regard to Kobe, and I think these entries are hilarious. I'm referring to a lot of the comments in this thread and the last one that just seem really, really bitter. My guess is the Lakers will probably lose tonight though, so everyone shouldn't have to give up on the bitterness just yet.
6/09/2009 10:21 AM
And the hate poured forth, flowing freely like the waters of the Amazon, crashing again and again against the post season success of the Lakers.
And the winnings of the Lakers fills my mouth like puss, my eyes are blinded by irrational anger, self righteous indignation pumps my heart.
And Look at that Kobe, see how he walks, how he talks, how he hows, i can't stand it. He is the fakest person on earth, how do i know? i don't care how i know, i just know that i know.
And my God what arrogance, how dare he think he is something? He is nothing, how dare he refuse to Bojangle for the press, what does he think he is, important?
And my head hurts, I think I need a hug.
6/09/2009 11:27 AM
Browny, seriously, lighten up. This is a little thing called satire, parody, spoofing. Does it also trouble you that I mocked Stan Van Gundy via a similar press conference post? Or is it only hating when Kobe's involved?
Besides which, mockery is what I do. It's called Basketbawful. Stephon Marbury is in my header.
6/09/2009 11:39 AM
How's this for bitter? Kobe getting legitimized right now is like Federer getting legitimized by winning the French Open. It was a cheap win because Nadal was out. A win by default. Not really the way I'd start a conversation about him being the best.
Back to the NBA, every other team with a chance was either bracing for economic impact or prepping for Summer 2010(c). We all knew in the beginning, this season was gift-wrapped for the Lakers or Cavs, so much that even the idiotic marketing people knew it. Also, Kobe has AIDS. That are grimly dedicated to winning.
6/09/2009 11:56 AM
AnacondaHL, never has your avatar been more appropriate. First, who ever said this means Kobe's the best? The best what? The best ever? The best today? When I say the Lakers winning the title this year will "legitimize" Kobe, I just mean it basically removes all the caveats that the naysayers have clung to when people discuss how good Kobe is. All the "if he's really so good, how come he never won w/o Shaq?" and "if he's so good, how come he never won a Finals MVP?" talk. Forget whether this means he's better than Jordan or LeBron or whomever, cause it's not about that. What I meant was that the naysayers will basically be reduced to saying "I don't think he's that good cause he's an asshole" without really having any other argument to make.
Unless they try to imply that the league just isn't that good right now and that's the only reason the Lakers won, which, let's be honest, is not only a stupid argument, but it's not one which ever has withstood the test of time. After all, it wasn't that long ago that people were saying that not only Orlando was better than LA but that Denver was as well.
I hate to break it to you, but a Laker championship this year will "legitimize" Kobe. Sorry. Haters will still hate him, they'll just have a harder time explaining why.
6/09/2009 12:30 PM
Kobe winning a ring is the best thing that can happen to the NBA.
It will validate Kobe as an all-time great (which he is), and set him up as the villain at the top of the mountain for a more likeable superstar to topple, giving the NBA a real feel-good story, much like when the Pistons and their evil team of Isaiah, Joe, and Bill were toppled by Jordan and Pippen.
Also, when Kobe wins without Shaq, I won't have another reason to root for him, so I will be able to become a full-time hater. Right now I only half-hate him because I DO want him to win a ring without Shaq. Maybe even two. I guess as long as Pau is there, he can just pile them up, because Pau is like a caveman Vlade Divac without the flopping. Which is badass. Viva Espana.
6/09/2009 12:32 PM
Ooooh, tennis? AnacondaHL taking this to another level!
Part of being the best is being resilient and reliable- always being THERE. You can't win if you don't run the race. Tyson WOULD have been the best boxer of all time if he didn't go all fucking crazy and do drugs and end his career waaay too soon. As it is, we will always look at the few years he flashed his badassness and sigh and say "man he could have been the greatest ever".
Pete Sampras took waaaay longer to amass his Major tourney wins than Federer, and Federer won most of his titles against the likes of a younger, stronger Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewiit and such. He's still going strong, and before it's all over, he will surpass Sampras, if for no other reason than because he doesn't plan to retire early. There will BE opportunities to win titles with a favorable matchup like the French Open- but you have to BE THERE to win. That's part of what makes him great.
Similarly, that is what makes Kobe great. He's been playing basketball since he was 17 at a ridiculously high level, and he will probably keep playing late into his 30's, because that's ALL HE DOES. His fitness is impeccable, and thus he will outLAST many players (such as the Knee-Mac's of the world) who COULD be as talented as him but don't work hard enough to keep their bodies in-tune.
The point is, just because your rival doesn't make it to the final, doesn't mean that your eventual victory means less. In fact, it means that YOU are the better prepared and more fit competitor. Kobe and the Lakers did their part. Not Kobe's fault that the Cavs didn't make it to the Final. Clearly, the Magic were better than the Cavs anyway, so his opponent is more than worthy. Of course, comparing a team sport like Basketball to an individual sport like tennis is silly in the first place, but I'll let that slide. Federer won the French Open. Nobody gave it to him, and he had to go through a slew of professional tennis players who get paid millions in order to win it. It wasn't a "cheap win". Nadal lost on the way to the Final, and Federer didn't. Federer was the more fit athlete in that tournament. Period.
Maye it was the goofy 3/4 length pants that slowed Nadal down? Or that ridiculously oversized left arm dragging him to the ground? (seriously- his left arm his HUGE and his right arm looks like it belongs to Shawn Bradley).
6/09/2009 12:55 PM
I sorta stopped reading after the suggestion that overhyped Andy Roddick was possibly any competition for Federer. Tennisbawful.
Sure meeting your rival in the final isn't usually important, unless it's happened so often that it's become a story of it's own. "Because tournament seedings are based on rankings, 16 of their matches have been in tournament finals, including an all-time record 7 Grand Slam finals. From 2006 to 2008 they played in every French Open and Wimbledon final, and then they met in the 2009 Australian Open final. Nadal won five of the seven, losing the first two Wimbledons."
So yea, in Federer's case, I still hold that it's a cheap win. Federer was also injured last year, but his recovery happened to occur before the spring season, so I can't put too much weight on the whole training hard and keeping in shape argument (especially whe you're Straw Man-ing it with the doing drugs argument). I'm pretty sure both these guys work their ass off, injuries happen.
And Yams, you're right, the facepalm is appropriate here. The "the best" comment was about the flurry of "Federer is the best ever" opinions that sprung up after his French Open win, don't get your automated Kobe defence panties in a bunch. Of course, we can easily expect those same opinions of defence for Kobe after these Finals, even now I can't even bear to watch ESPN, the sound of them licking their chops and waiting to Kobe-splooge makes me nauseous. I'm just saying cheap competition is cheap.
The "He never won without Shaq" argument was stupid to begin with. Shaq didn't win by himself, he had Wade and whistles. Kobe won't win by himself, he'll have a fine product of Spain in one of the most lobsided trades in NBA history helping him. And hence, back around to my original point: the economic dump and preparation for 2010 made this season a cheap win. And yes, next year will probably be even worse, although I can see some delusional GMs "going for it".
Of course this is all moot, since Kobe likes winning with a side of more winning, and wouldn't mind shitting pieces of winning if it meant more winning.
6/09/2009 3:10 PM
AnacondaHL - Just FYI, the Gasol trade wasn't really motivated by the economy, and it's unlikely it was motivated by the upcoming summer of 2010 potential free agent class. It was more a case of Memphis just being horrendously bad yet "stuck" with a franchise player with a huge contract for a long term and making a conscious decision that if they were going to blow, they could do so for less money. People have always seemed to misunderstand that trade from the Grizzlies point of view, simply questioning why they'd give away such a quality player in Gasol like that. But they basically decided they weren't going anywhere with him, so why not dump his salary in exchange for a bunch of future prospects? You can't say Memphis didn't give it the ol' college try in attempting to build a team around Gasol, since he was the centerpiece of the team for years. At some point blowing it up and starting over just makes sense for some teams.
Now, as to whether they could have got more in return, that's a different story, and we really don't know what other trades were out there. I do know that the Lakers themselves have said they initially offered Odom instead of Kwame Brown and Memphis said no, because they didn't want Odom's two year contract, so it really shows that Memphis just figured they were gonna stay in the cellar anyway, so they'd rather do it for cheap. But that all went down before the economy folded in on itself, and was more just a case of the Grizzlies being a struggling franchise anyway. I also have my doubts that they saw themselves as a potentially big player in the FA market for next summer by doing that deal.
Was LA extremely lucky to get that trade done? Hell yes they were. But so was Boston about 8 months earlier with their trades, and nobody says that somehow means that KG, Pierce or Ray Ray aren't actually as good as their reputations say they are just cause they *gasp* happened to win together. The KG & Ray Allen trades weren't motivated by the economy or the summer of 2010 either, and were really just the same thing as the Gasol trade: bad teams looking to dump their highest paid player in exchange for young talent, because they figured if they're going to suck, they could do it for cheaper and have a potentially bright future as a result. Boston & LA both decided that trading their future for the present made more sense for them, and they've benefited for doing so. LA was on the exact opposite side of a similar trade in 2004 when they traded Shaq for Odom, Butler and Grant; and while it made the Lakers crappy in the interim, it paid off in the long run. Odds are that the KG, Ray and Gasol trades will probably pay off in the long run for the Wolves, Thunder and Grizzlies as well. I guess the worst case scenario for those teams is that they'll be no worse than they would have been with KG, Ray and Gasol anyway.
6/09/2009 3:56 PM
Straw man or not, I still hold that your assertion that NADAL LOSING IN THE EARLY ROUND takes something away from Federer is BS.
Federer got there. He won his matches.
Nadal lost his.
Exactly HOW does this take away from Federer's title?
Your argument basically says that if Federer doesn't beat Nadal on his way to the title, his victory is "cheap", and I think that this notion is ridiculous. If Nadal was the better player, he wouldn't have lost to a 23-seed Sweed who I never heard of before.
And your dismissal of Andy Roddick, who, at the time, was the #2 in the world, is also silly. Roddick was awesome for a short while, and had it not been for Federer, he would have won 3-4 grand slams in the 2 years following his US Open win. If you think that Andy Roddick is "tennisbawful" then I guess everyone on the planet sucks, too, because even today, he's one of the best in the game. It's like Yams said about Kobe: just because he's not as good as Michael, doesn't mean he's BAD. What kind of ridiculous standard do you hold athletes to, bro?
Fortunately you don't give away Grand Slam titles, otherwise a player would be forced to play against not only his seeded opponents, but also his "rival" (they're all rivals for god's sake- it's one-on-one) or else the trophy would have a big asterisk engraved on it.
As it is, all you have to do is win your matches. Fed did that. Give the guy some (word that Kevin Garnett says on the bench) credit
6/09/2009 9:35 PM
I guess, Kwame and Al Jefferson are equal.
6/10/2009 1:59 AM
I'm excited about the sandwich in my fridge
It's okay to hate Kobe and still respect him at the same time. In regards to Kobe and LeBron (and to a lesser extent with Wade, Howard, etc) people can't separate their emotions and/or fandom from the player's accomplishments. I find Kobe really unlikeable and I sort of hate the Lakers, but that doesn't mean I can't concede that Kobe is one of the best in today's game. As for the Kobe/LeBron debate, it's pretty stupid and a waste of time. Let's wait until they both finish their careers please.
6/10/2009 5:46 AM
Please describe your sandwich so I can vicariously live my carnal fantasy. Ulghlglhglhghhh....
6/10/2009 8:51 AM
My feeling on Kobe is simple - he struggles to carry a team because his style of play isn't conducive to making his teammates better. It took the addition of Pau Gasol to make the Lakers a Finals contender.
By Style of Play, what I'm saying is that Kobe is ALWAYS pushing to take the shot available more than he is feeling the desire to make the right basketball play (such as passing it to one of his 4 open teammates on that last play of game 2 in regulation.
Is it right or wrong? That's a sense of who you (as a fan) feel should be taking the last shot. I know that 82games.com says that Kobe hit's about 1/4 game winners. 25% is pretty low if that's your end-of-game plan to give him the ball and get out of the way.
It's like when the Magic have 10 seconds on the clock and Hedo Turkoglu had the ball, you knew his shot was going to be a fadeaway 3. Always. Then the Magic took advantage of that propensity for teams to gameplan for that and started moving the ball around to other shooters. Like Rashard Lewis. Look at the game winners he hit against the Cavs. I think they all start with Turk, and everyone pretty much planned and assumed it would be a long, fadeaway 3.
So - Kobe Bryant continues to do what he does, get the ball, ignore the amount of defenders in his way or moving to close off his lanes, and shoots anyway.
Everyone knows he's a great individual player, I take issue with his basketball mentality. It's 'I', not 'we'. He plays an individual game within a team sport.
6/10/2009 8:56 AM
"My feeling on Kobe is simple - he struggles to carry a team because his style of play isn't conducive to making his teammates better."
As another example of that sentiment take the final shot of the half in last night's game.
The Machine was wide open on the wing off a beautiful down screen (which clearly must have been drawn up in the huddle) when Kobe did his usual 'ignore my open teammate' nonsense and chucked up a contested jumpshot (note: he was probably fouled but that is besides the point).
Why not throw the ball to Sasha and get him a clean look for the easy three and help get his confidence up?
I can (sort of) deal with the 'down a basket with 5 second left so I'll ignore my teammates' force-ups but some of these decisions are idiotic.
I would bet that the primary reason he does it is to show the defender he is better than him (and for the most part he is) despite the defenders maximum efforts.
'Making the right play' is of secondary importance. Just so happens that he is highly skilled so he wins his fair share of games.
My (and others) contention is that he would probably win a few more if he cut down on trying to live up to his 'Black Mamba' persona and kicked the ball to his shooters as opposed to his usual contested jumpshot arsenal.
...unless he knows something we don't about the abilities of his teammates.
6/10/2009 9:44 AM
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