Check out this post
that ran on TMZ
today. Alternate title: "LeBron gets totally owned."
Oh snap! Not too surprising, is it? This is pretty much the kind of pompous assery you'd expect from a man who speaks in third person and doesn't shake hands when he loses. The money shot, of course, is the direct comparison dis: "For the record -- you won't see Kobe Bryant wearing a shirt with his individual accomplishments plastered on the front of it during his championship parade today -- he's gonna let the trophy do the talking." (Note the wording "his championship parade." Because it's for him and not the entire team, right?) Uh, yeah. There's just one problem with that slam. Take a look at the shirt Mamba was sporting during said parade:
Whaaa...?! Let's take a closer look at that "I'm so team-first" t-shirt.
Why, I do declare! That looks like a puppet hand with four rings. Oh, and you'll notice in the parade pic that Kobe's holding up four fingers. Huh. I guess he wasn't content to "let the trophy do the talking" after all. Kobe wants -- perhaps even needs -- the world to know he has not one, not two, not three, but FOUR championship rings...one for each finger of his puppet's hand. Impressive. Most Impressive. But it's still all about him.
And please, please, pretty please don't try to use the "he's celebrating a team accomplishment" defense. That would fall somewhere between the Chewbacca defense
and the Twinkie defense
. The fact is, if the shirt was meant to celebrate a team achievement, it would have had 12 hands, or caricatures of him and his teammates, or whatever. No, this was Kobe saying, "I've got four rings," not "We have four rings," or "Phil and I have four rings together." I mean, when Phil held up his 10 fingers after the Lakers won, do you really think he was saying, "Me and Michael, Scottie, Shaq, Kobe, Jud Buechler, etc. have won 10 rings together."? Hardly.
Plus, let's take a peek at the official description of this t-shirt
: "In celebration of Kobe Bryant's achievements during the 2009 NBA Finals, his 4th NBA Championship Title, and his first ever NBA Finals MVP Award, Nike created a limited selection of graphic t-shirts, including the 4 Rings Tee seen above." That doesn't exactly scream "team achievement," does it? In fact, I don't see the word "team" or any of his teammates names mentioned or even alluded to there. As always, I'm just sayin'.
Thanks to Wild Yams
, Buck Nasty
, all of whom were all over this issue in the comments
To be clear, I don't have a problem with Kobe's shirt. Or LeBron's, for that matter. People wear things that celebrate their achievements. If someone earns honor cords when they graduate from college, they wear them. Many college grads prominently display their diplomas. When people finish marathons, they usually put on the medal or t-shirt they get at the finish line. I once bought my grandpa a "World's Best Grandpa!" coffee mug, and guess what? He drank out of it! It's really not that big of a deal. I wrote this post because I was amused by three things in order: 1) TMZ using Kobe's "selflessness" to mock LeBron, 2) Kobe immediately doing exactly what TMZ said "for the record" he wouldn't do, and 3) the auto-Kobe defense that his puppet hand shirt was a celebration of team rather than self...which is ridiculous.Update, Part 2!
noted, TMZ owned up to their goof
.Update, Part 3!
From Wild Yams
: "For what it's worth, the announcing crew who covered the parade yesterday for Fox Sports West (including Rick Fox and Norm Nixon) were saying that when the players all gathered in Staples Center before coming out to board the buses, there were corporate sponsors down there giving them shirts to wear for the parade (just like the NBA passes out shirts and hats at the championship celebration). That's why Kobe had a white shirt on under the puppet hand one, it's why Fisher had the same shirt Kobe did, and it's why every other Laker was either wearing a Nike/KB24 "Carpe Diem" champagne cork shirt
or a 2009 Champions "caricature" shirt
Labels: fan submissions, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Most Valuable Loser, owned, TMZ