Friday, June 19, 2009


I don't believe in Kobe. My mind just resists him. I don't even know if it's truly hate as just a stubborn resistence to him. It's like when I watch him play, I don't even really see him drive the lane, nail those threes. I don't see him at the free throw line. I just see Laker points rack up, but it could be anyone on the floor shooting them. I don't believe it's Kobe. He's more like a video game character to me. A puppet. He's a stand-in in a commercial. He's a CG'd sports star who just paints on a smile during the hard times and muscles out the Jeter-ish, "They're tough competitors and we'll get 'em tomorrow night" drivel. And while his numbers are extraordinary, at times, his game lacks a grit, a grime. It lacks personality. It lacks character. I mean, I'm not a big fan of Lebron, but at least he has some character. It doesn't have to be good character necessarily. I mean, he calls him team his "supporting cast," but at least that's an honest expression. He'll get blasted in the press for not carefully picking his words, but maybe that's what I like about him. He's got this naivity, that stupidity. Kobe just tries to be above the game and it's players. He reacts to the press with such a coolness and suave. He always likes to look dashing. He pities fans. He likes to appear to float above the court. He rarely passes. He likes to pose for the cameras. He "loves the game" like Jeter. He carries around this smug smile. He's so LA. But I don't believe in him. He's Santa Claus to me. He's the tooth fairy. The Easter bunny.

There's a lot of people that hate Kobe. There's my grandmother who thinks he's a rapist although we have to remind her that he was never convicted so, technically, he's not quite that. There's others that just hate him because he's good. There's others who might hate him because he so badly wants to be Jordan and so clearly still is not. Then there's other who hate him only because of the team he plays for. I just don't believe in him.

Maybe I do kinda hate him because of who he plays for. I mean, it's the Lakers and I root for green. I think my brother's hardest on me for my sports allegiance because I often root with complete blinders, but if you don't stand for something, you'll end up rooting for Kobe, the Longhorns and the Yankees.

Paul Pierce is a player's player. He plays with not only a passion for the game, but a unapologetic and reckless abandon. His pace is both panicked and patient. Sometimes he heroically carries the team on his shoulders and other times he just drags them clumsily through the finish line. I've seen Paulie pull off more greatest comebacks in the history of the game than historians could even count on hands and feet. There was the Nets game when Paul led them back from a 21-point deficit going into the 4th quarter. Or the Nets game when he just col' killed 'em with a that 3 down by five and 16 seconds on the clock to drive it to overtime where he tore them apart. How about this black mamba action? Then, last year, when he took ova and annihilated the Lakers in Game 4 in LA. It ain't always pretty, but the guy is a born winner.

I remember watching this dude just run circles around those great Tech teams of the early to mid 90s. Paul was as sick as they come. Then when he came to the NBA, the guy was stabbed eleven times in the face and back and returned to score 25.8 points per game that season. His nickname, "The Truth," was given to him that season by Shaq who grabbed a Boston reporter after a Celtic loss to the Lakers and said, "Take this down: My name is Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce is the truth. Quote me on that. Don't take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth." To Kobe, Paul's a warrior who swings a big sword and he takes out entire teams with one mighty swing. Kobe fences. Kobe's game is delicate. It's intricate. Paul is Charles Bronson breaking through doors and knocking all the life out of one room with one rusty six-shooter. Black mamba's have a 50% kill rate in humans. "Black Mamba" is also a song off of Jethro Tull's worst record. It's also commonly the name given to a large black sex toy. That's according to Wikipedia.

To Paul, Kobe is a ficticious baller who plays late at night on the West Coast in front of Donald Sutherland and Jack Nicholson. He puts up video game numbers and has lived under Shaq's shadow ever since Shaq left, what, six seasons ago? Either that's a big shadow or Kobe's really that small. I don't believe in this guy. Kobe's like a superhero. He's like Spiderman. A fabrication of the pop culture whose sole purpose is to entertain. Paul was born to play basketball. I believe in Paul Pierce.

Peep the new look. I'm heading down to the Hub today and it's a monsoon out there. It's not only wet by West Texas standards, it's wet by Carolina standards.

1 comment:

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