The past couple of days have been an absolute whirlwind for Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant. First, a key piece of the Lakers championship puzzle, Andrew Bynum, goes down with yet another knee injury. Then, later in the game, Kobe picks up a technical foul. But the technical was not out of the ordinary for Bryant, who is 2nd in the League this year in technical fouls to Superman himself, Dwight Howard.
Bryant frequently argues with referees and actually has ranked in the top ten in the League for technical fouls each of the past six seasons. I do not like when guys jabber at opposing players or whine to the referees. But I do respect Bryant’s drive and his ability to “Refuse to Lose.” He is emotional. The man just hates losing. It is a trait that Michael Jordan had. It is a trait that Tiger Woods had. Losing is not something that any of these guys ever seem to think is possible. So they each have had their fair share of temper tantrums over the years. And do not think for a second that guys like Jordan did not cry to the refs or that the other stars in today’s game remain mum towards the referees. It just isn’t true. Stars complain. And they complain frequently.
But in the San Antonio game, Kobe made a big time mistake to go along with his technical foul. He appears to have directed an offensive gay slur towards the referee. Cursing is one thing. When racist, religious, or gay slurs get brought into the game, it takes things to another level. Kobe crossed the line. Now do I think these type of things go on? You better believe that they are going on every night. The difference is, the spotlight is always on Kobe. When he makes a mistake. The whole world will know about it within the next 5 minutes. Plus, with technology today, every step star athletes take are documented somehow. Now Bryant realizes what he did was wrong and accepted his punishment like a man. I hope he learns from this experience and refrains from ever making derogatory comments like that in the future.
A punishment was doled out in the form of 100,000 dollars. Following this though, the day got worse for Kobe. For the first time in recent memory, he no longer has the number 1 selling jersey in the League. I guess America hates the bad guy. Because arguably the most villainous figure in the NBA, King James, topped jersey sales for this year.
Well there is only one real question left now. How will Kobe respond?
I will tell you this much. I would not want to play the Lakers in the playoffs now that it appears Bynum will be okay to play. So I guess with Bynum’s knee injury not appearing to be so severe, at least something went right for Bryant and the Lake Show.
Kobe realizes he is a role model and feels bad about what he did. But April means playoff time in the NBA, which means only one thing to the man they call the Black Mamba.
It’s Championship Time.
So the past couple of days have been rough for Kobe Bryant. He will build himself back up as he looks to bring home a Jordan tying 6th NBA Championship.
A playoff preview will be coming in the very near future.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.