Opinions are like the elderly. Once they get stupid and helpless enough, they all get put in a special home. And that's what this post is -- a special home for helpless and stupid comments.

But before I get to making fun of people, I'd like to give out a special thanks to reader
jENNy, who came very close to renewing our faith in the belief that intelligent life actually exists on the Internet. Responding to a random compliment we tossed at the Dallas Mavericks, she said:
"Amen to that. I love my Mavs."
I second your hallelujah, jENNy. Although, since I was the one who started it, maybe I'm actually thirding it. I don't know. I'm not a numberographer, or mathmatist, or whatever. But we at Basketbawful think Dallas is woefully overlooked, so expect some extra Mavs coverage soon. By the way, I don't know whether you have a personal affiliation with the team, but let me know if you can slip Mark Cuban my phone number. I'd like him to own me too.

The next comment is from reader Reasons For Hair Loss. In addition to providing a link to a website that describes how to fix our ugly, balding head, he said:

"Cool Blog. Very informative.Keep up the good work."
Thanks RFHL. We appreciate compliments. And donations. Remember: the more you give, the more we have. But I have a funny feeling this is just a cheap ploy to increase traffic to your site. I apologize if you're being sincere, but were not really trying to teach anything here. Other than the fact that Greg Ostertag is worthless and Kobe Kobe Bryant is the dark spawn of Satan. And everybody already knew that anyway.

Making his idiotic return is Mr. Anonymous. People may remember how much
he hated us for picking on Kobe for scoring 81. While we try to observe the appropriate level of benevolent sensitivity to the disabled, there's no way we could let his latest ravings pass without making fun of him. It's just our way.

"Basketbawful, you are a good example of a jealous Bulls fan who cannot accept that Jordan is a faded glory.Kobe's 81 to Jordan's 69 is a living proof that 'the greatest to ever play the game' is only a hype."
Can you read? If so, did you notice you were responding to a post about Mark Cuban's ownage of Phil Jackson? Nowhere in that post or on this site do we list any affiliation with Jordan or the Bulls. Instead of spending time reading blogs written by people who hate you, maybe you should hang out at an old folk's home. A lot of those people are so sick, they're about to die. They would really make you rock.

Mr. Anonymous wasn't done displaying the catastrophic effects of his tragic brain damage. Showing all the common sense and restraint of a fat guy at "All-You-Can-Eat Rib Night" at
Ponderosa, he posted a Basketbawful record four comments to the same post about Kobe's new t-shirt:

"Only the most jealous Bulls fan will devote so much time taking shots at Kobe. It's already in the history books, so no matter what you write on your blogs, Kobe's 81 to Jordan's 69 is still the living proof that your idol is only a product of hype and not 'the greatest to ever play the game.' Kobe is your only target. Why don't you spare us your elaborate disdainful mockery of the entire NBA?"
I would like to formally apologize if my giant, throbbing brain is showing, but you might have noticed that the name of our blog is Basketbawful. For those who didn't study Etymology in their "Big Rig and Auto Repair Home Correspondance Course," the word is a combination of the Latin roots "basketballessi" and "awfulleum," which can be loosely translated as "bad basketball." The whole point of this site is the disdainful mockery of the NBA. God...someday I dream of finishing a comment before the person who writes it makes a fool of themselves.
"Ha ha. Kobe 81 in only 42 minutes. Jordan 69 in a game with overtime. And they think he was the greatest to ever play???!!! Why? Because there are people who have so much time to write about their opinions and convince other minds, like the author of this blog."
Jesus Christ. Not another one of these fucking messages. Don't you have Special Olympic events you need to train for?

"Basketbawful, instead of preserving the Jordan Bulls legacy, you are smearing it when you write bad things about Kobe, because that gives the readers a chance to fire back at your silliness."
Okay. This is the dumbest thing I've ever read. Maybe I should include a "Handicapped?" yes and no check box on the comment form to know how far I should go in making fun of you people. I feel like such a personality Nazi when I just laugh these things.

"Kobe this, kobe that. Maybe we should also blame Kobe for Jordan's flop with the Washington Wizards during his last miserable season in the NBA, a well-deserved punctuation to his ultra-hyped career!"

Okay. I have a confession to make. When I was a teenager, I worked for my high school newspaper. One time, my editor asked me to interview an idiot savant. That's someone who, despite being mentally handicapped, has one extraordinary mental skill. This boy, whom we'll call Tony, was a "human calendar." You could name any date at any point in the future, and he could supposedly tell you what day of the week it would fall on. As it turns out, he could only do this for up to 10 years out. Once I started asking about dates beyond the 10-year range, he began to cry, and when I pressed him about it, his goddamn head exploded. That poor boy's death has weighed on my conscience for over a decade now.

The point is: ever since that day, I try not to draw attention to the fact that a retarded person is wrong about something, because you never know when someone's head is going to blow up. But in your case, I'll make an exception. So you should be aware of a dirty little secret: We hate Michael Jordan. Hate him. Always have, always will. His "flop" in Washington was one of our happiest moments as a basketball fans, right up there with the time Derek Fisher cried after the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs. And do you know why we hate Mike? Because he was Kobe before Kobe was Kobe.

What we mean is this: Jordan and Kobe are the same type of player. They are both arrogant jerks who mask their selfish ball-hoggery and disregard for the team concept in the guise of "competitive drive." Jordan punched out both Will Perdue and Steve Kerr in practice. When he played for the Wizards, he drove Rip Hamilton out of town. Kobe was accused of rape. Whether he committed that crime or not, he still cheated on his wife. He also constantly talks down to and calls out his teammates, and he forced the Lakers to chase Shaq and Phil out of L.A. with torches and pitchforks and everything. These men are neither good human beings nor good teammates. Yes, they're two of the greatest scorers in NBA history. But I don't care how many points they score, they and their ilk are not good for the league.

Sure, there's a ratings spike every time somebody sets a scoring record. But it's just a spike, a one-time thing. When Kobe scored 81, people who don't care about basketball weren't magically converted into the fold. Either you enjoy basketball or you don't. Nobody is going to start watching basketball because a guy scored a bunch of points one time. Conversely, people will start watching when guys make their teams better. Look at what Larry Bird and Magic Johnson did for professional basketball. They made their teammates better. They made passing contagious. Suddenly other NBA players were emulating them; everybody was passing. Don't think for a minute that either of those guys couldn't have averaged 30-35 a game if they'd wanted to. But they did more than score. They made the game fun, and people responded.

Then Jordan came along. He changed the game. Now instead of carefully choreographed offenses, many teams simply isolate their best player and let him go one-on-one. If there's a double-team, kick it out for a three-point shot. That's 5o percent of the set offense for most teams. And moreso for clubs like the Lakers, because Kobe demands the ball so often. Watching Kobe go for 81 was painful to watch. Everyone was so busy being amazed by his ability to drive into a triple-team and score that no one bothered to ask the obvious question: "If three guys are guarding Kobe, shouldn't a few of the other Lakers be, I don't know, open?"

But Kobe came out and said he won't pass if he doesn't think his teammates "take advantage" of their opportunities (which usually equates to one or two shots a game). That's insane. Basically, he doesn't trust his teammates. Do you think talent, or the lack thereof, kept Bird from passing to guys like Greg Kite and Fred Roberts, or Magic from passing to Kurt Rambis and Mike Smrek? Bad as those players were, Bird and Magic trusted them, and in return those guys busted their asses for the team. That's how it works. Kobe, to his credit, does work hard for the Lakers, but he doesn't give to his teammates. And that, more than anything else, is the reason the other Lakers have been ineffective since Shaq left. Because they just aren't going to go all out when they feel ignored and underappreciated. That's human nature.

Phil Jackson knows this. He lived that "team-first" concept when he played for the Knicks, and he even sort of sold it to Jordan, enough so that they could win those titles. But Kobe doesn't get it, and Phil, for his part, appears to have given up on trying to teach Kobe. He's just riding the wave right now, and crashing on the rocks. Last season, the Lakers were 25-24 through 49 games. This season they are an identical 25-24. Despite the presence of the league's greatest scorer, who's playing the best basketball of his career. And despite the guidance of a man many people claim is the best coach ever. Shouldn't they be better than 25-24? By the numbers, they haven't improved by even a single game.

Look, Mr. Anonymous, we know you're in love with Kobe Bryant. That's what happens when you take Viagra right before watching a Lakers game. But until you come up with a better argument than "Kobe is the bestest because he scores lots of points," we're going to callously disregard anything and everything you say. We don't discourage intelligent debate. We invite it. But all you've done so far is whine and complain. And if we wanted to hear that, we'd just keep stealing little kids' lunch money. Speaking of which, is it lunchtime yet?