Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Kobe Gets Away with Murder
It's funny how a few years can change public perception so drastically. Not too long ago, Kobe was the most hated athlete this side of Barry Bonds. He was publicly slammed by his coach in a book, beefed with the beloved Shaq Diesel, and was generally viewed outside of the Los Angeles area as an arrogant, spoiled punk, ball hog who could never win on his own. And there was that rape thing, too (Vanessa has her eye on him now as you can see).
Today, number 24 has widely exorcised the demons of number 8 thanks to a lopsided trade and a couple championship rings and Olympic medal. Besides a pocket of haters throughout the country, LeBron has replaced Kobe as the superstar athlete America loves to hate. The guy who was once labeled "uncoachable" and a snitch is the poster boy for "playing the right way" and has rappers dedicating songs to him. Kobe gets away with murder (not literally, of course, his felonies get dropped before trial). I wrote a while back about the somewhat unfair treatment that Dwight Howard receives from the refs, and last night reinforced the idea that even the officials have fallen for Kobe love.
While Dwight (and most of the rest of the pedestrian NBA players) routinely get T'd up for waving a hand at an official, the Mamba calls them fucking faggots on live television and they turn a deaf ear. His outburst came on the heels of a tech, so obviously the refs didn't want to eject Kobe from a nationally televised game (which would also result in a suspension tonight in the farewell game in Sacramento). Maybe he was just channeling his inner M.J. as he likes to do so often. There's also the chance that they just didn't hear him (he was on the bench at the time) but this is nothing new, Kobe routinely yells directly at the official, and has on more than one occasion used not so nice language. He should probably be approaching Rasheed Wallace tech numbers by now.
Superstar treatment is nothing new in sports, and I'm actually a huge Kobe fan. Just find it funny when the NBA hierarchy is revealed so blatantly. Somewhere Kwame Brown is crying in agreement.