Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LiKOBElity

Happy Hump Day!

I have a guest! He's new to the blog family, but I challenged him to write for me today - so let's see what he's got! He beat Annamaria being first yesterday - so Annamaria, be nice!

If you've been following the NBA Finals, or are a basketball fan in general, you'll appreciate this blog (Unless you're a Kobe hater....like myself) :) This is a great read, and I may even be swayed....MAYBE :-)

He has a lot of aliases, but I'll simply introduce him as DMoe. Show him some love y'all! oh...and Rameer...feel free to re-post :-)

LiKOBElity...by DMoe.

Good morning everyone...

Since I'm new to the blog, I gotta tell ya'll how cool it is to read everybody's thoughts on here...

I'm a blogger in another world, but I was glad to accept the challenge of guest writing here in Brooke's spot.

The topic I chose today is a corner where Sports intersects a societal matter of acceptance. And on this eve of the NBA finals, before the proverbial light turns green at this corner, there's no better time to engage the fellas with the "sporting" side of the story, while ringing the ladies' bell for the "societal" matter at hand.

With that being said, I'm sure everyone has said the title slowly to themselves a few times by now….I coin this concept "LI-KO-BE-LITY."

Basically, this concept of "likobelity" is exactly as it reads...One's "ability to Like Kobe" (Bryant).

I possess this ability cuz I'm a fan of the player he is, and some other fan-type folks have that ability also - Lakers' fans (male/female) most definitely have it, and as a matter of fact, they are connoisseurs at it. Of course we all are, when the subject in question is on OUR team, but let's continue...

Here's where we're going: A deep dive right into exactly how this concept lives, breathes, and rears its ugly head at a moment's notice.

So...As I watch the games of these NBA playoffs, I've found myself in the constant company of "Kobe/Laker Haters."

We know the routine:

Dmoe: "Are you a Jazz/Rockets/Nuggets fan?"
Hater: "No, I just don’t like Kobe"

I almost always oblige the next, hilarious phase of the convo. The consistent, hazy response as to exactly WHY they don’t like Kobe and/or the Lakers. It never varies, and the answers are almost profoundly uniform...

Here's the list of my fave 5 Kobe Hate reasons. (Picture 5 little Kobe faces on a T-mobile phone...Or better yet, I made my own Fave 5 right here. Enjoy!!!!)



5. "He's a punk!"
4. "He was out there doin’ his thing with the white chick and BAM! Good for his azz."
3. "He's arrogant!"
2. "He pulled a b***ch move on Shaq!"

And my all-time favorite...

1. "I just don't like Kobe...He rubs me the wrong way!"

Listing these in order of least to greatest, its pretty easy to determine the varying degrees of the emotional blindness/paralysis that limits one's ability to see the Kobe Bryant point here in 2009: He's the BEST on the basketball court.

Notice – Items 1 through 5 had NOTHING to do with his blossoming talent as a basketball player. Absolutely nothing. Blossoming you say? Yes indeed. The kind of blossoming cultivated by thousands of jumpers in empty gyms, hundreds of free throws, and dozens of bench presses and deadlifts in the weight room day after day. He worked at it. Mr.Bryant was a decent player in the early days. But these days? You can smell what he’s cookin’ every time he steps on the floor. All the while, other players are out shooting commercials, buying rims for the Maybach, making constant cameos at the Tattoo parlor (aka the Denver Thuggets – lol, that’s copyrighted, so don’t even think about jackin’ it), signing cats to their labels, and playing celebrity Pro-Am golf tourneys. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the expansion of one's personal empire with such ventures - its just that Kobe focused on one thing, and it shows.

Now...Back to those words. Blossoming. Cultivated. Those are words associated with the kind of growth we see in rose bushes. You know roses well. Those sustaining, timeless flowers filled with ---- (gulp) thorns. The rose is the "standard" by which flower-bearing is set. Whether you like the aroma or not, we all are pretty sure roses got a bad rap for sticking somebody with the pointy thorn (or rubbing somebody the wrong way) --- but ended up becoming ----- definitive.

That's right. Definitive. Kobe's "blossoming" was a result of tireless "cultivation." And as a result, he has become the "definitive" player in professional basketball today. No slight to all the other names that will be tossed at him besides Lebron. But - the kid from Lower Merion High School is 9 times all-defense and dropping 30 per night. That speaks loudly.

I'm sure you're all up on your hoops lingo, but that’s basketball talk for "doin it all." Kobe's checking your best player and serving facials on the other end at a moment's notice. We all know it. That's the thing. EVERYBODY knows it. Haters scoff at his fadeaway, and "teeth smacks" fill the room when he sinks the free throws after the hard foul he just took to seal the deal late in a game. But for all we watch him do, its never enough for people who quite simply operate on the "torn drawers" principle.

Not familiar? Take this quick quiz: Ever kept ONE pair of torn drawers? Nope. Not one. Once they're torn, they're done. You throw 'em away - gone forever...

Well, my sports just doesn’t work like that. Moreover, my humanity doesn't work like that. He was humbled, contrite, asked for forgiveness, lost all the endorsements, got tried in the courts, and suffered the greatest loss: the loss of integrity and trust at his crib.

Does Kobe need to pay some higher toll for the Haters to be appeased?

Well, as one who is not without sin, and subsequently not throwing stones, here's where I stand:

Kobe's hard work, subsequent passion/dedication to the craft, attention to being the best, and overall winning attitude should at the very least count for something...

(wait for it…………………………………………………)

Here it comes people………(wait for it)………………………………

Forgiveness.

As a black man, I'm here to tell you. The answer is No, we're not above the rules. We get no passes, but it takes a certain spirit to go beyond a past mistake (and the shame involved) to consciously say, "I'm going to move past this, and be the best I can be at THIS thing."

That returns us back to the original "LIKOBELITY"...Some of us are just plain jaded by his younger foolishness and simply CAN'T forgive him. We just don’t know how to move on. The rape trial, the subsequent apology from that infamous press conference, the bus that landed on Shaq, and some b-ball court displays here and there where (upon further review) we may have said/did something a bit different for image's sake after a bit more maturation. And that’s just it...We have watched him grow the entire time - from THAT dude a while back, to THIS player right now...

Wow...I’ll tell you what...

If America had a camera's eye on any of us from age 18 to the age of 27, I'll let you fill in your own "foolishness blank" here:__________________________________

Yet, Kobe's drawbacks as listed above seem to not allow us to fully grasp the basketball greatness we are actually "witnessing" in this era. As a matter of fact, 4 of the 5 items on that list are ALL related to the rape allegation...Imagine that. Personally, I love the "arrogant" thing. Its my favorite. That whole mantra is completely subjective, and the men on this blog know it all too well.

DYK?? You can't actually BE arrogant. Somebody has to think you are. Awesome. Quite simply – That’s awesome. Moreover, hang your head and your labeled one type of dude. Hold your head "too high" in some people's eyes, and you become another type of dude. But hey, that’s another blog topic.

Mind you, I neither condone nor approve of many of the aspects involved in Kobe's past. Throwing anyone under the bus to save your own azz --- is wack. Period. Nuff said. However, I'd like to hear from someone on this blog who HAS NOT done SOMETHING they've come to regret in the name of foolishness, youth, emotional ideas, not thinking, etc. and the “reason” list goes on and on to da like break o’ dawn...

As is the custom, I'll leave you yet another blank for you to fill in your own past idiot moves here: ___________________________________________

Point being: None of us are beyond reproach. The only difference in the circumstance with athletes, celebs, public figures and politicians, is the fact that they live in a bubble. A clear, acrylic bubble we can see clearly through at a moment's notice. However, they are no more man or woman than us, and neither are their "soap opera moments"...But therein lies the whole tragic point...

When it's somebody we can identify with, or are cool with, we allow a little wiggle room for foolishness. Of course some of us may not admit this, but our beloved Micheal Jordan was exactly the kind of "a**hole" we’ve seen Kobe be on the floor to a teammate. Off the floor of course, “his Airness” had no rape trial. There was no putting Shaq's biz in the street, no white chick in the Rockies, and so on. Capisce?

Bill Clinton? Got love - and STILL gets love to this day despite lying to "us" directly. But hey, he's a cool dude. Ever since he played the Sax solo on Arsenio, kid could do no wrong. Impeachment? Please. He's the blackest white dude we know! Cool as hell!

There are dozens of examples, and feel free to list your own in your responses. But the point is...People we like in our minds receive "preferential foolishness treatment." Call it the Victor Newman rule. No matter how many people Victor screws over in the course of the "Young & the Restless" lengthy TV run, some of us just keep rooting for him cuz Vic's just a cool-azz dude. And yes, there are others...

Which leads me to this final point. Since the NBA finals will be (as my french friends from France would say)....."Sans Lebron"...

Had Kobe pulled a similar Lebron-bolting-after-the-loss stunt/exit from the Orlando arena, mouths would be flapping full of disgust and contempt for him based on harbored hostilities that only needed something new to climb onto....You don’t have to admit, but - you know.

I'm a sucker for comebacks people. What can I say? I dig the redemption. I'm actually rooting for Kobe to get a ring.

Cuz after all, he's just a man...and we all deserve the chance for redemption.

Like these people:

1. Mike Tyson - after "whichever" jail stint
2. Whitney Houston - after Bobby (TBD)
3. Roy Jones - after "whichever" knockout
4. Michael Jordan - after baseball
5. Michael Jackson (TBD)
6. Kobe Bryant - Post-Colorado

And just like I've rooted for these others, Kobe deserves credit for hard work and above all.........forgiveness.

Thanks for your time.

Your thoughts, opinions and comments are not only welcomed, but invited.

DMoe aka Jules bka Ernest Forgivens

43 comments:

Brooke said...

Okay...so of course I read it...so I’ll go first.

I will say that I am a Kobe hater. I admit it.

And everything you wrote D made perfect sense. Everyone deserves a second chance, a chance at redemption, blah blah blah ;)

But I think that most people who hate on Kobe don’t hate on HIM – the man. I think they hate on him more like “Kobe – the character.” It’s like he’s a villain in a story - he’s sinister, talented for sure, but you have to hate someone – he's the ANTI-hero :) It’s not right, but that’s where I think most of the Kobe hate stems from. It’s contained within the parameters of basketball, but we use all the reasons you named to try to justify it. Smug post game comments, polarizing figure, MJ wannabe, adulterer, sold out Shaq...or, like you said, just hating on him cuz he’s ugly or makes a ridiculous amount of money. I don’t think any of that is really personal...we just make it seem that way.

When he’s on the bench, Kobe hate goes away. It’s like the game isn’t interesting anymore. When he goes back in, Kobe haters get excited cuz we know his punk ass is gonna do something amazing. I think we all know that his talent is beyond dispute and beautiful to watch. His fadeaway is pure poetry. But that’s no fun ;-)

As for myself, I guess the Philly in me wants him to love Philly back...and that’s where my real dislike for Kobe comes from. When he first went pro, he was the Golden Child, could do no wrong in our eyes. Gave him standing ovations every time he came home. But all it takes is one asshole moment to diss Philly (“I’m an L.A. boy now...forget Philly”) and that’s all she wrote. You don’t need to give Philly fans a reason to hate you :) Not saying it’s right, but hey...it is what it is. I think we would have forgiven just about anything Kobe did if he had just given props to his hometown. Silly I know, but that’ll never happen now.

But like I said in my intro...I may be swayed. I can admit that my reaction is emotional and not rational. I’m a girl...I get it.

Everything you said makes perfect sense. I’m not mad at him for being an adulterer - not my concern, and if Vanessa forgave him, that’s all that matters. He's not the first, won't be the last.

Yes, he’s a jerk...but so what? Bitch move on Shaq? Absolutely. But he was young, in a desperate situation and made a silly remark. We’ve all done it.

And as much as I talked about “that’s what he gets”...I didn’t really want him to go to jail for life. He was a troubled genius with the world on his shoulders who is blessed with tremendous talent...and knows it. Kobe holds himself accountable for doing his talents justice with an insane work ethic - his personal drive actually makes the NBA better.

So...in the spirit of your blog, we’ll make it all about love today. We’ll say his arrogance is confidence. We won’t call him a gunner or a ball hog, but we’ll say his impossible shots are athletic works of art. Today, he won’t be a critical, asshole teammate, but a man who has turned into an expert motivator who is dedicated to his craft. I still love to watch him play and I think he’s one of the most talented players ever.

But do I have to like him? :) Can’t I simply respect him instead?

I know, I know...baby steps. Great blog D :-)

Latinegro said...

I am a Kobe hater too. Let me explain why I hate certain people or teams. It has to do with the sense of entitlement. I believe that there is the sense of entitlement that surrounds this man from the day he stepped in the basketball world.

Am I correct that he wanted to play for the Lakers and no one else? I am sure I am right about that. It makes me have the same disdain for athletes who do want to play for teams who suck. As if it is benieth them. I want to say...who the fuck are you?

Michael Jordan was an asshole, no question. I hated him because I am a Knick fan and he was on Chicago. Outside of that, I liked him because he took a shit team to the top and made no excuses about it. He never had a sense of entitlement until he was on top and dared everyone to beat him.

I am Laker Hater for the same reason I cannot stand the fucking Yankees. It is not that I hate them because they win alot, I hate them because they feel they are supposed to win, like it is great for the sport if they do win and that is bullshit. I totally undestand that this maybe be a territorial thing based on my sports teams.

Kobe has been deemed the savior of the NBA and I dont see that. I am more interested in Lebron because I feel he is more pure as indivual and is trying to take a shit team to the top. Kobe for all his greatness just doesnt do it for me.

Sure he can take anyone to the hole or drain a shot with a defender in his face. No question he is a hall of famer. But that same team that he wanted to play for when they began to suck he gets mad and demands trades...
I have an issues with his sense of entitlement...with anyone sense of entitlement.

..and by the way...I am still first...BITCHES

Annamaria said...

Although I truly believe that he is an extremely talented individual I do believe that he has gotten to big for himself. It's like Brooke said we hate on the character. His "performance" his antics, his baffoonary. LMAO
People are always going to hate on him because of that. I don't even think people think about his "incident" with the white girl anymore. And he knows this. I think he needs another incident to bring him back to reality.

Annamaria said...

P.S.-I'm still tasing a mofo for yesterday! LMAO

Pretty Ricky What Dey Call'em said...

Dam y'all took up a brother's lucnh break with akk that writing.

Anyway... my response to the blog is...do I like Kobe... not really..and it doesn't really matter ...in life people don't have to like everyone. Do I respect him as a ball player. ABSOLUTELY! Whatever team I like...I definitely nervous when they have to play the lakers because of Kobe. If someone can argue that he does not have mad game and he is not arguably one of the best players in the NBA... they know nothing. Simple question... Have you seen his three championship rings..he seems to have misplaced his three championship rings." Nuff said.

But I still don't want to hang out at the club with him.

Brooke said...

Pretty Ricky, you're a mess.

Annamaria, let someone else win sometimes :) LOL!!

Ant, no I'M FIRST!! BITCHES!!!

Annamaria said...

Someone else can win when I am in the hospital in labor & have other things to focus on. Til then I MUST BE FIRST ALWAYS! lol

P.S-Why is my word verification word mankind??? LMAO
Is that god's way of telling me to be nice to mankind???NOPE

Jay said...

Respect Kobe's game, can't deny his talent. Much of the Kobe hating comes from the fact that he seemed too perfect. He was young, talented, & rich, (ladies talked about how handsome he was). He was too perfect. He worked on his image. He was the "Next Jordan"! and many rather root for a player that came from nothing and worked hard to pull himself up. No doubt Kobe has worked hard & continues to do so but the perception is it has come easy. Kobe & A Rod have some of the same image problems (minus the steroids) and Kobe has come through in the playoffs. (but that's a different story).

Serena W. said...

He has amazing talent! Truly greatness, but a brother needs to humble himself. Yes forgiveness is huge, as my pastor once told me if God forgave us the way we forgive one another we would be in big trouble.

But you're right D. His talent on the court is one thing and his character is something else.

I like him as a ball player (incredible) and the arrogance is fading a little bit. But it needs to be checked.

DMoe said...

Love the responses, yet (as predicted) Nobody's come with a real, "concrete" reason for such rampant disdain. For those that used the word "respect", we're halfway to singing "Kum Ba Yah" on this...

The topic is so subjective, and the comment about "too perfect" is absolutely earth-shattering. I say that because if you've got your sh*t together, anyone can hate on you for the same, confounding reason. Its not real. You cant reach out and touch "too perfect" - its an ideal that lays at the feet of a Hater.

Remember Ali?

He wasnt the best fighter. He just had the most belief in his own ability and made his mouth a part of the act. Talked trash and backed it up? Well, kinda...

But he took some well-publicized azz-whippins too. But a black man with the inherent belief in himself is golden. That was the one thing that was not an option on the plantations, cuz if you think your that live, you might get these other slaves to believe it also. But - thats another blog.

As long any athlete doesnt stand on the neck of another man to prove his abilities, he's got my vote.

People hated on Barack for the "too perfect" thing as well....lol.

DMoe

Brooke said...

Kobe's arrogance has definitely diminished. Or I guess I should say the "appearance" of it since D said someone has to "think" you're arrogant. I'll have to marinate on that one...

...anyway. Strictly speaking from a basketball standpoint, Kobe is the man. When he does something crazy, all I can say is "Damn you Kobe, damn you!!"

Love or hate him, he's impossible not to watch.

Latinegro said...

So my arguement is not concrete?

Rameer said...

I'll take it one by one...

BROOKE - Kobe has no connection to Philly. He has more in common with Italy than Philly. And do you know WHY he dissed Philly early in his career? Cuz he never felt at home there. He was awkward and made fun of as a kid, until the hype about him going to the NBA came. When he first returned home to play, the crowd never embraced him. So I'd do the same thing - hell, probably say WORSE.

And the excuses you gave are, excuse my bluntness, LAME. Within basketball, he's done nothing worse than Carmelo, Dwight, Shaq, AI, Nowitzki, etc. - all of whom I can name were involved in on-the court incidents worse than anything Kobe did. Hell, a lot of you people LOVED the Knicks when they were CLOTHESLINING PEOPLE in the 90s! But Kobe make a sweet shot? Unforgiveable.

How DARE he know he's good and let people know it! It's not like Lebron does that...oh wait. HE DOES. As do every single Olympic teammate of Kobe. What separates him is when HE says it, it can't be argued. He really IS better.

I watched ESPN this morning, and Mike & Mike said "when the only person you can be compared to and said is better than you is Michael Jordan, you're pretty damned awesome." TRUE STORY!!!

And let me clear up this Shaq thing that you haters hold onto FOREVER...Kobe told the police IN CONFIDENCE "can't I just pay her a little money and make this whole thing go away? I didn't rape her...when Shaq gets in trouble with one of his females wanting to make things bad for him, he just pays them off." This was told to officers who assured him that anything he said was in strict confidence. But Kobe's a rich kid. He's not like you or me...he TRUSTED the police.

They leaked the entire details of his convo within a day. Was it stupid? Yes. Naive? No doubt. But Kobe didn't hold a press conference or TRY to rat on Shaq (who has always seemed to attempt to be like Wilt in free throws AND women). Nor did he blog about it or say it where reporters could hear it. He said it under police assurance that everything he said was confidential. People don't even care about the rest of that convo that was leaked - just THAT part. But he never willfully threw Shaq under the bus. He was a scared kid trying to get out of trouble.

No one has to LIKE Kobe...but damn. Kobe haters hold him to a standard that they don't hold their own teams and other superstars to. I actually had a discussion yesterday about how much WORSE of a bastard MJ was on AND off the court...but his stuff happenend during an era where you couldn't find out things as easy, and he had a great team to hide his discretions. But he's probably the worst superstar in sports history, on and off the court. But people treat him like he's the gold standard. Fools.

Kobe was asked last year when he won the MVP how he changed himself. His answer was simple: "I didn't change ANYTHING. My teammates are the ones who changed". And that's true. Jamal Mashburn said this morning there is no one has physically AND mentally tough in the NBA. He said the only person with that focus and determination he ever met was Jordan. And he said that's the reason the Lakers seem to "take games off" - they're a young team, and the only guys on the squad guaranteed to bring it every night are Kobe and Fish.

Rameer said...

Dmoe, you've made excellent points. But I've come to embrace the hate. It's irrational, but it makes every Laker and Kobe victory that much sweeter - to know people ridiculously dislike the man for nothing.

The humility thing is a joke. It lets me know you guys listen to marketing and image controllers. With maybe the exception of Barry Sanders, THERE ARE NO HUMBLE GREATS. In ANY sport. Everyone has Kobe's mentality, some are just more vocal than others. This includes Ali, Gretzky, Elway, Babe Ruth, Magic, Bird, Floyd Mayweather, Mario Lemeiux, etc. But you guys FOOL yourselves into thinking Kobe is somehow more cocky or arrogant than others.

Do you guys actually WATCH the games? I believe it was Lebron James who said during these playoffs "no one on Earth can stop me" and that is range was immeasurable. No one says HE needs to humble himself...and I don't blame him. He SHOULD say that!

Kobe haters...kick rocks. Sorry you guys don't have a comparable player, or a team that is ALWAYS talked about in the championship discussion.

Must suck.

Rameer said...

And to answer your question Ant...yes. Your argument is not concrete.

Lolz...

Latinegro said...

Oh I see...so because you all view him as a NBA God, I should just suck him off like the rest of you?

Sorry that is not how it works.

I said he is a hall of famer. No question about that. I never mentionesd anything about Shaq or Colorado. All I am saying is he is a fucking brat that thinks he is entitled to shit. That doesnt fly with me.

Rameer said...

Ant - appreciating greatness is not "sucking someone off". If that is the case, then I guess u do the same thing with YOUR favorite athletes.

As far as being entitled to stuff - that's opinion. Even if he is, I don't have a problem with it - I think I'M entitled to stuff! We all do to some extent. Speaking on Kobe specifically, he feels like he's entitled to what - championships? Adulation from fans? Respect from peers? And you have a problem with that?

Well then I guess you better stop watching sports. Cuz the stars ALL feel that way. Jerry Rice once literally SAID that he's entitled to everything he gets on the field cuz he's worked for it. So has Kobe.

No disrespect to anyone...but I've always believed hating is a loser's mentality. If someone has worked hard and is the best at what they do, good for them. I may not like them, but I respect their hustle. Hell, I can't STAND Souljah boy's music...but I respect his success. Same with Nelly.

I never liked Karl Malone or John Stockton - but I never CARED about their success or the props they were given. They earned it. My biggest problem with them arose when they played my Lakers. Other than that, I simply didn't like them. And if I don't like you, I don't pay too much attention to you. It's like people who watch a TV show then bitch about it the next day - if you don't like it, change the channel. I know I do.

Jay said...

Kobe haters don't like him for whatever reason but if he played for your team then you may change your mind. I Like him as a player, I don't dislike the person (from what I see).

"Too perfect" is a subjective thing. When things appear "too perfect" folks start to look for things to hate. He WAS all about image. After the trial and fall out from that. He got Tattoos, he opened up to his teammates. He basically became a more of a "regular" guy. Never used to even hear him use slang but now he's more of a person not a corporate image.

Rameer said...

EXACTLY, Jay. People get too caught up into thinking they know these people...they DON'T. Dwayne Wade has been cheating on his wife from the get-go. Carmelo was involved with a Street DVD with known criminals. Shaq has fathered a kid out of wedlock. Larry bird and Karl Malone are deadbeat dads.

If people really knew the truth about MOST athletes, I doubt they'd like ANY of them. I have a friend right now who, because he has been working around them for years, can't stand most athletes. Cuz he's knows the truths that most of y'all don't as do I. But like even he says - all you can do is enjoy the game and what they do within it.

Kobe has a TEAM of people called Team Kobe. They literally shaped his squeaky-clean, golden boy image that he f'd up. But many stars do this, or have companies watching out for them.

Both Carmelo and Lebron have whole divisions at Nike dedicated to how they are perceived and their image. True story...before they got drafted, ESPN did a feature on it. They were literally in class being taught how to talk, where they will be seen, the persona they will have in the NBA, etc.

Kobe's image was destroyed, and so he just went for broke with the tattoos and stuff. By the Lakers own admission, he buried himself in basketball. Even now, with him opening up, his teammates say the only thing he truly cares about outside of his family IS basketball.

If y'all are so quick to believe the characters PRESENTED to you in sports (and that's what they do - it's big business), then you might as well just turn to wrestling. Vince McMahon does a better job...it's just that they've already admitted the wrestlers are characters eons ago.

Latinegro said...

A few things...

I dont really care for the NBA like I once used to. Maybe it is because the Knicks arent that great...maybe. I think the game has bigger issues. So, I do not watch Kobe. This year's Playoff's have a different feel than most so that is why I am paying attention.

Lets not go into this whole discussion on how if Kobe was on my team I would love him because not all players fit in all teams. More importantly it would take Jesus to make the Knicks relevant again.

This whole agrument about Kobe is all opinion anyway so saying that my argument is all based on my opinion is obvious. I never said I didnt respect Kobe for his skill because that is crazy.

We all hate and we all have haters. That is life.

Doesnt matter, I like Baseball better..lol

Rameer said...

Ant - you need to cheer up! Cuz you'll have a completely different opinion in 2010 when Lebron's wearing orange and blue...and I don't mean cuz of college eligibility...

I know I was getting excited once the rumblings about Shaq coming to L.A. got louder and louder...

Lebron's COMING. Either to New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) or New York. Bet on it.

Latinegro said...

I dont buy into that shit until the contract is signed...lol

I remember when people were report Jordan going to the Knicks...right!

Brooke said...

I'm not sure I agree with you on when Kobe came first came home to play, no one in Philly embraced him. I;ve been to and have seen games where he got standing ovations...in a Lakers jersey.

Whether he himself never felt comfortable there is one thing, bu Philly definitely loved him...if for no other reason than who his father was. He would bring young Kobe all around the city, Sonny Hill leagues, running with the guys at Temple and LaSalle - we were proud of him.

And deep down, we still are. And you don't have to be FROM Philly for us to love you. AI is still loved in Philly. The media may not have liked him there, but the people of Philly did...and always asked the media to leave him alone.

I think Kobe didn't make HIMSELF comfortable there...who knows. I'm not saying that as a definite, but I don't agree with you wholeheartedly that Philly never embraced him, cuz that's not true, at least not from the Philly I KNOW.

Like Ant said, everyone hates on SOMEONE for SOMETHING. If you're passionate about sports, it's common...and we all have our teams we love and ones we hate. Even in saying "our Lakers"...it's all emotion...just like I'd say "my Eagles." All of us are loyal to our teams...we all relish the rivalries. It's all part of the game. You don't need a reason, it's just all part of the fun. Not like we have to have Kobe over for dinner...it's just basketball.

DMoe said...

Well, i'm back from playing some ball at lunch, and I have this to say as I've read the good volleys on this topic:

In Ant's original post, the word "entitlement" was used. Well, let's explore that. Essentially, that term means the Lakers feel like they are "due" or "owed" greatness and actual pursuit of championships.

My question is how on god's green earth is that their fault? What you've basically said is...I hate winners, because they have - in fact - won.

Think of it this way Ant...When the Bulls didnt matter, nobody cared enough to hate them. As the Knicks are dormant these days...But just wait - let them start winning, and the Haters will spring forth with all their reasons as to why they feel their entitled. Why? Because they constantly envision themselves as the type of franchise that should put itself in a position to win?

I see nothing wrong with that. And if you keep winning and beating up on assorted teams based on THEIR shortcomings, its not their fault.

Why do we have a problem with the pursuit of greatness? Clearly, we can all see Kobe not only WANTS to be the best, but actually puts his own azz into working towards that.

You can't hate that.

Its like Jay-Z, he's not the best rapper alive, but he BELIEVES he is...And that's HALF the battle. That belief has been systematically decimated in our community, but there's nothing like people who look like me, and do what I do - setting a good example with their work ethic in pursuit of greatness.

I'll tell you what...."Entitlement" has shown the Lakers something about a year ago this time. The Celtics ran them down, and won it all in front of them. That sting should have your azz in the gym working on your game...The guy who is arguably one of the best TWO players in the NBA vowed to return, and worked on his shortcomings as a result.

THAT attitude is what we're talking about here. I cannot hate on that...Lakers fan or not - I want young kids to see the hard work equal the reward. Even after you screw up....

DMoe aka Smallie Biggs

Jay said...

KOBE!! KOBE!! KOBE!!!

Rameer said...

I agree completely with you, DMoe. Which is why I don't really get haters - like I said, hating is a LOSER'S mentality.

People may write off that we "all hate on something", but I disagree. I don't LIKE plenty of things, but I never take it to the extent of hating. I talk about the dislike when it is brought up (like this topic, for example) but I don't know anything I can say I've "hated" on. Nor can I think of anyone who truly knows me well who would ever seriously label me a hater.

I think we have a lot of people in this country who are subconsciously not happy with something with themselves or, in this case, with their own favorite teams. Hate is in large part a by-product of jealousy in most cases. In terms of Kobe, some people are jealous he's not on their team, that his teams have always been successful, etc.

I mean, the Lakers losing in the first round of the playoffs is like armageddon for Lakers fans. Meanwhile, other franchises (the aforementioned current Chicago team) are happy just to be IN the playoffs. Different standards.

I don't get hating. Never will. I just know naturally in life, females have done it more...until the past 10 years (the emasculation of the man - another topic). But DMoe and I are on the same page on this completely.

What's wrong with thinking you should win cuz you have before and are used to winning? Like I said - I certainly have that sense of entitlement myself in certain areas. Hell, when I play one on one with someone who doesn't have overt physical and athletic advantages over me, I expect to win - EVERY TIME. And most times, I do.

Stop hating and write your teams to step their game up.

And Brooke - I can't speak for when Kobe was in high school. But you should watch that Fox Kobe Bryant "Behind The Player" thing they used to do...it explains why he felt dissed by Philly - from Philly sportswriters and residents. I DO remember him not getting love there once he was in the NBA... I think he gets more love now than then.

Brooke said...

We're gonna have to agree to disagree on that one...cuz I don't know one person from Philly who likes him better now than back then. When he made those comments, they were unprovoked, unsolicited. When was that? 2001? Sixers and Lakers in the finals? We were excited. It was supposed to be the great matchup between him and Allen Iverson. We knew the Lakers would probably win, but we didn't care because Kobe winning was like US winning still - win-win. But when he said that, we were like "whoaaa!! Where'd that come from???" We gave him love up until then. Kobe had said and done many asshole things before he made those comments, and we always defended him. It wasn't until he made those comments that we were like "oh word? It's like that?" It seemed to come out of nowhere...but anyway. It might just be MY friends :)

And I think we're taking "hate" a little too literally. I don't hate Kobe Bryant. I don't hate anyone. Hate is just the term we're using for people who aren't Lakers and/or Kobe fans. It's not like we wish him to hell. We don't HATE him hate him.

Just like you were "unimpressed" with T.O a couple weeks ago, some people are "unimpressed" with Kobe. Not because he can't play, but because he's perceived to be a bitch. T.O could be perceived the same way yet he's one of the best wide receivers out there. It's like you can be a an asshole or a bitch, but not both. Michael Jordan might have been an asshole sometimes, but you never got the sense he was a bitch. You got the sense that Kobe was both. Not so much anymore, but it lingers in those who just aren't his fans.

Like everyone said here, no one is doubting his abilities. We'll still watch because Kobe is great, no question. I'm not one of those people who doesn't think a team should win because they've won several times before. I agree that if you're good, you're good - and if you work hard, you deserve it.

Midnight said...

Wow its amazing that people feel so strongly about Kobe. As for the hate factor it means alot more in the sports world IF its pertainging to sports. Like you you are a Celtic fan I understand why you hate Kobe, Kobe is a Laker. As for hating cause he cheated on his wife? Sheeeeeeeet we wouldn't like any sports players...lol. That thing with Shaq i did feel it was a bitch move but to garner the hate that people have is crazy. I also feel that if he wasn't as good on the court the hate wouldn't be as bad. If he was Kobe 3rd string player this wouldn't even be happening. Kobe is no more arrogant than say Allen Iverson was but since he was a hood dude it got written off as just swagger. Cause if I was as good as Kobe I'd be arrogant too, because if you can't stop me then shut it! He takes care of his kids, knows how to admit a mistake and he is not acting like a fool like many sports stars are. He made mistakes but like another comment on here. During those ages who hasn't? Can we just reserve all of our hate for Dick Cheaney??? He truly deserves it

Brooke said...

I actually don't really mind the arrogance thing. Most athletes - good or bad - are...or are perceived to be. It's all a part of being competitive and knowing your talents.

As for cheating on his wife, that's probably why most WOMEN don't like him. Like I said, he wasn't the first, won't be the last. That actually didn't surprise me.

Hell, if anything, maybe being Vanessa isn't such a bad thing. Given what he went thru in such a public manner, almost losing his career and possible jail time, maybe he'd think twice about cheating on me again :) ...Maybe...

LOL!!

Rameer said...

See - I think it's you judging your circle of friends. I'm talking the overall city. And now that you gave me the exact time, I can DISTINCTLY say that way before that Finals series, Kobe was booed when they went back to Philly for games. I saw it myself...I remember watching games in Philly dissin' the fans for booing him (I think Philly has some of THE most ungrateful fans in sports). And that's what they showed in the Kobe "Beyond The Glory" (finally remembered it). So maybe you and YOUR friends didn't know where that came from, but me and anyone who watched ESPN did - THEY commented on it long before that Finals appearance.

But Kobe wasn't a megastar then - so I'm sure you didn't notice him being booed when he came to town. It would be like if Courtney Lee went to his hometown and got booed - he's not a big enough player for you to say "did you see C.Lee got booed?"

and as far as T.o. goes - my problem was NEVER with T.O. I'm not really a fan of his, but I'll watch him play any day. My issue was people acting like God was walking amongst us. I HATE idol worship...those people never cared about him and were trashing him the year before, and now that he was a Buffalo Bill, they were falling over themselves and making fools of themselves. ESPN had a field day trashing us - and that was my thing. People acting like that makes MY ENTIRE CITY look like a rinky-dink, podunk little hick town with nothing to do - when we're the second biggest metropolitan area in New York.

I NEVER hated on him, and won't. I'm just not a fan of his.

as far as Kobe being a "bitch" - I don't know what makes him that in your eyes, but so be it. But I can say ANYTHING that would make you say that...Mr. Jordan trumped him IN SPADES if you really know his backstory...

I don't think you guys literally hate Kobe, but you guys hate on him and dislike him for silly, dumb reasons in my opinion. But I expect that of females; women tend to not like one thing about something or someone and stick to it. It shocks me/surprises me more that there was this shift in early 2000s that now has men hating just as bad - if not WORSE than the females who hate. That one I can't wrap my head around.

But Kobe haters make me like him even more. It makes it even more fun that y'all are ranting and raving and sitting at home stewing over his latest incredible feat...cuz he'll always give you material to hate about. And thus, he'll always give guys like ME material to call you guys out on it.

Especially since most of the reasons people give to hate I can easily locate that same criteria in THEIR favorite players and teams. But it's "different" when it's Kobe.

Brooke said...

I said he was perceived to be a bitch, not that I PERCEIVED him that way...don't put words in my mouth.

As for Philly, you and I have a TOTALLY different recollection of that time...and when I said MY friends, I was being facetious Rameer. Living in Philly at that time, I can honestly say that I never felt any hate from the people of Philly on Kobe until he made those comments...but like I said, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

Admittedly women dislike him for different reasons. Women who don't even follow sports or haven't see him play don't like him because he's an adulterer and no other reason. I get that. That was never a reason I didn't care for him. Pro athletes cheating on their wives doesn't unnerve me or surprise me.

Just like you're not a fan of T.O., I'm not a fan of Kobe. I think Ant feels that those who love Kobe the way most Lakers fans do can see that as Idol Worship just as you see it with T.O., thus is "suck him off" comment (which cracked me up by the way)

I'm not a Kobe fan, but I'll watch him. I was glued to the tv on vacation during both series. I'm a basketball fan period. I could never be accused of not giving him his props...ever.

Rameer said...

Well, if saying a dude is nice is idol worship by you guys' definition, oh well. Unlike the people I described, I would never run up and ask for pictures, autographs, cry cuz he walked in a room, get tongue-tied, overwhelmed, etc. To be hones,t if he walked in my station, I probably wouldn't even see him unless he came to my area of the building. I marvel at feats on the field of play - not cuz someone is in my presence. He poops just like me.

And like I said about Philly - it was on ESPN and DOCUMENTED in a popular Fox TV series. I'm sure me HEARING them boo him as I watched the games and seeing the reports about it should be enough...and the fact that he said that as a result. One thing Kobe doesn't "do" is out the blue...he's pretty calculated when he publicly says something...call it Jordan 101.

And I don't have a problem with anyone who isn't a fan of any athlete. That's personal choice. I just don't like haters, whether it be on athletes, people I know, etc. I think hating and be willing to hate is wack. Just my opinion.

Like midnight said - I GET why Celtics fans would hate on him. Hell, Sacramento Kings fans too. But others? Nah.

And Ant can say whatever he likes. Doesn't get under my skin...I've never idolized any athlete or celeb. True story - Lawrence Moten was my favorite college player when I went to SU. Never sought him out or wanted to see him...finally met him in a class we shared and realized he wasn't someone I'd want to be cool with after he struck up a convo with me.

I still rooted him on the same when I was at the Dome or when we played on TV. And I still talked about how great he was on the court. But as far as seeing him - he's just a man. No better than me...and that's how I view everyone. A guy might be better than me at throwing a ball or putting one in a hoop...but I'm better than him in other things, way I see it.

It's all just entertainment anyway. And I LIKE to be entertained. Kobe Bryant plays for my favorite team, is my favorite player, and thus entertains me the most.

But Kobe haters are a close second in entertainment value.

The Cable Guy said...

Great blog today. I'm a Kobe fan, always have been. I don't understand the hate either, but it is what it is.

Brooke, I will say that I think you gave some pretty diplomatic comments today - I know that wasn't easy for you to do being a Kobe hater and all. You admitted that you could be swayed, so that's half the battle :)

Brooke said...

It wasn't hard actually. It's not like I go around spewing venom on Kobe. I was just trying to give a different perspective on it since I happen to be from the same area and had a chance to see SOME of Kobe's rise.

I have no problem admitting that he's great...because that's what he is. Great. But at the same time, I think it's all in fun and that some take it way too seriously. Liking, disliking, favorite teams, non-favorite teams - it's all a part of sports.

D's blog begs a bigger question of how we perceive greatness in one another, arrogance, humility, and a winning/losing mentality. Like Midnight said, in the parameters of sports, it's one thing...but in society as a whole it's something else. I recognize the difference and I would never hate on someone because they're great. Someone commented that not liking someone else because they're great may mean that you lack something or don't like something yourself, and I agree to an extent with that. Kobe deserves all the praise in the world for his talent as far as basketball is concerned...and I have no problem saying that whatsoever.

DMoe said...

excellent ideas expressed here.

The entire point of raising this issue with ya'll, is exactly the part where...You gotta have a reason to "hate a dude". The particularly emotional responses to Kobe can (in most cases) be divided among our respective species (male/female) but...

These days, the further he goes in the playoffs, the madder some cats are. And that's a tragedy, because he didnt make it to the Finals on looks, entitlement, and being "too perfect". He did it with HARD WORK.

That in itself is to be commended.

DMoe aka The Notorious S.L.I.M

Rameer said...

"I think we have a lot of people in this country who are subconsciously not happy with something with themselves or, in this case, with their own favorite teams. Hate is in large part a by-product of jealousy in most cases. In terms of Kobe, some people are jealous he's not on their team, that his teams have always been successful, etc."

- Is THAT what you were talking about when you said someone made that reference, Brooke? Cuz if so it was me...or maybe you're talking about something DMoe wrote...

I agree. The blog isn't simply about Kobe, it's about THE ATTITUDE to want to hate on someone or something due to that person, thing, conglomerate's, etc. greatness or success. That's really my whole thing when I go at people about Kobe - my boys would tell you there's no point in really harping on Kobe with me, cuz I don't give a sh*t about him nearly as much as I may be perceived to. The argument for me is about hating itself...and I throw in facts and rebuttals to illuminate the silliness of the hate.

You can try really interchange anyone in the discussion. I once argued a girl down about Nelly...until my boy walked into the convo and said "he don't even LIKE Nelly!" Lolz...the whole point was, the girl was hating, and I didn't understand why it was so deep to hate on the man.

I love Kobe hate...it gives me the excuse to mess with haters and it coincides with being able to talk about my 2nd favorite sport, with my favorite and player within that sport. You'll ALWAYS see me in rebuttal of a "I hate Kobe" convo - it's fun for me.

Like I said - I understand dislike - we all dislike stuff. I don't understand hating...on most things or situations. And I especially don't understand when it became accepted and cool to do so...but I'm old school in a lot of my thoughts.

Fun blog. You were RIGHT, Brooke - I enjoyed it IMMENSELY. DMoe - good way to spark a convo/debate! Hope you contribute more guest blogs...but decidedly less sports ones...cuz I can go on for days on sports stuff...I'm like a walking encyclopedia of info and stats when it comes to football and basketball.

Laterz!!!

Brooke's Cousin, Tony said...

What's good ya'll. I'm new to this but I am a HUGE Laker fan. Notice I said Laker fan and not Kobe fan, They are not mutually inclusive. I have been a Laker fan since 1979 (dating myself) and, interesting enough I am from Philly. I've seen everyone from Kareem, Magic and Wilkes to Kobe, Gasol and Fisher and as long as they are in Purple and Gold they are ok with me.

Now, on to Kobe hating. It seems to me that Kobe hating has become a sport and honestly I dont get it. Here is my take on it. He is a winner with an intense winner's attitude which includes a little (or a lot) of arrogance, skill, intensity and pride. Some people can't handle that type of personality so that choose to hate.

Kobe is the best basketball player in the NBA bar none. That is a true statement. Lebron is a small Greek God on the court but it is because he is such a tremendous athlete! Not a great basketball player. I can assure you, that if Lebron had chosen football (and he could have) he would have been just as great on the field as he is on the court. Great Athleticism! What's the difference? Kobe is a student of the game just like his predecessor MJ. Like a great Chess player he figures out the moves of his opponents far before they realize what they will do and then beats them to it. Lebron is a bull, an extremely fast, agile, quick and agressive bull that cannot be stopped. He literally runs over you and scores. Kobe can shake you, bake you, dribble around and through you, shoot over you, dunk over you and any other scoring combination that you can think of all without knocking you down.

Why do people hate him? They don't even know so how would I? I know two things: 1) He is the greatest player in the NBA and 2) I know nothing about the man personally so I can't possibly judge him. I love the fact that he plays for my team and that is enough for me. Who really knows him? surely none of us do so why hate someone you don't know?

I say, watch him play and appreciate his gifts and leave the rest alone.

Brooke said...

Tony!!! Thank you for commenting!

I knew you'd like this one :)

Everything you said is true and I agree with it wholeheartedly. He's the best right now and no one can dispute that...not even me ;)

Tony said...

Thank you Brooke for inviting me to comment. You were right, I liked this one!

Brooke said...

Thank you for reading. I know you read my blog, but it was great to see your response. I hope you comment more in the future..and maybe even be my guest blogger one day! Love ya cuz! Tell everyone I said hello and give kisses for me!

Tony said...

I love you too and I will do that!

Toni said...

Funny how everyone has an opinion on Kobe's personality....No one knows him! Correct ???.....
As for Philly.....I went to med school in Philly and it is the most miserable city I've been in...
So for Philadelphians to say they hate Kobe is to be expected...Philly people hate themselves!!!
With that said....Kobe.....ONE!!
I'm done

Brooke said...

wow, tell us how you really feel :)

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