Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Phlip
I love how one preseason game played
after 2-3 practices is indicative of what to expect out of an entire season…
The Los Angeles Clippers, your 2011-2012 NBA champions.
Let the record show that I am chuckling loudly at the people who told me I was wacko for saying that Chauncey Billups would start at the shooting guard for them as well.
Anyway, in a preseason game meaningless to anyone other than those who were clearly eyes-fixed on the Los Angeles Clippers (read: EVERYONE!), the Clippers beat the Lakers, getting off a few of those highlight reel dunks that we’re all expecting.
… and life will go on for most of us, I promise.
What we EXPECTED – but didn’t get – was a Kobe Bryant whose play would be hampered by a pending divorce proceeding. I would remind you of the court case that likely played a large part IN these proceedings and the effect it had on his game then for proof that a real killer doesn’t heed such distractions.
Have we forgotten that this man has no conscience? Anyone who has done the things we have seen him carry out on the court in the name of personal achievement probably gives little pause to the ins and outs of a divorce, so long as he can end it quickly and get back to the work for which he was paid $50 million last year with salary and endorsement. A wise man named Eric Wright once said “throw her in a gutter and buy another,” and never has this been more evident in the handling of celebrity divorces than right now.
So whereas Vanessa Laine and her enablers, hell bent on ruining the Lakers(*) expected a repeat of 2004, where we would find Kobe Bryant on television crying and (as we would believe) NOT thinking about the basketball he spent the summer preparing for with radical surgeries and various other “science stuff,” so as to make the most of his twilight years in the NBA. No sale… Kobe promptly said “fuck that!” (sorry Grands), and gave us 22 points in 30 minutes of action of an actually meaningless game.
Should I remind you what the power of anger has done to/for Kobe Bryant in the past?
All of my friends who live to rub the Lakers’ (actually quite infrequent) downtime in my face seem to think I am off in a cave crying because they think my Lakers might not be in the top three in the Western Conference this season. I am fine with what I see right now, as the Lakers have always – in my 26 years watching – had competent enough management to keep rebuilding periods to a minimum, most often doing it on the fly in the middle of the season.
Meanwhile, a healthy Kobe Bryant can put up numbers reminiscent of his MVP season, but he won’t win it because the league and his soon-to-be ex-wife’s enablers(*) just can’t let that happen, much like when they gave Steve Nash what should have been his first one. LeBron will be quiet and spectacular enough for the media to forgive him and let him win it again.
When Kobe is gone and the Lakers fall into a real slump (like the ones that last 3+ years, think “after Magic”) and the league’s overall appeal is in the toilet as it is every time the Lakers are not good, they’re gonna need a guy like Kobe.
… and quotes from the Scarface restaurant scene and such.
[(*) = Citation needed]