ESPN Page 2: Leave the scowl at home, Kobe - By Tim Keown

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Leave the scowl at home, Kobe
[hr][/hr]By Tim Keown
Page 2


The strangest moment of the NBA playoffs took place during Game 3 of the Lakers-Rockets series, when Kobe Bryant hit an 18-foot turnaround jumper from the left elbow with Shane Battier's right hand in his face. Bryant immediately began shaking his head with a look that indicated he smelled something really bad. This -- as you know -- is Kobe's dismissive face, the one he now makes after nearly every basket.

But that wasn't the strange part -- after all, how can something be strange when it happens anywhere from 10 to 25 times a game? The strange part came afterward, when he started back downcourt and turned to the TNT broadcasters at center court and yelled toward commentator Doug Collins.
[table][tr][td][/td] [td]
[/td] [/tr][tr][td][font=verdana, arial, geneva]We get it Kobe, no one can guard you. Now keep quiet and play the game.[/font][/td] [/tr][/table]
"He can't guard me," Bryant said. Shaking his head, his mouth curled downward in a semicircle of disgust, he stared down Collins and said it again, "He can't guard me."

There was a pause on the broadcast. OK, that was meant for us, you could almost hear them thinking. So ... what do we say now? They couldn't ignore it, because it was clear to everyone watching that they were taken aback and that Kobe was the reason. Kevin Harlan acknowledged that Kobe was targeting Collins, one of the most even and knowledgeable minds in the game. When Harlan asked his partner what it was all about, Collins sounded genuinely perplexed. "I'm not sure," he said, and they quickly and quietly moved on.

And that's the deal about Kobe: None of us is sure. How can a guy with that much talent play with such little joy? Why does he feel he has to put on that phony tough-guy show all the time? Underneath all that pre-fab armor, who is he? Does he even know?

It's sad, maybe, but Kobe will never be appreciated in a manner commensurate with his ability. He's in the process of turning himself into an antihero. (In many respects, he is similar to Alex Rodriguez, another tin-eared superstar.) Everything he does reeks of insecurity, which is a really weird trait for a guy who -- along with LeBron James -- is a once-a-decade basketball talent.

Unlike LeBron, though, Kobe can't let his game speak for him. He has to accentuate everything with the facial expressions and the dismissiveness. It's not enough for him to beat someone; he feels compelled to belittle that person in the process. That's why one of the best things about the Lakers-Rockets series -- and, really, it's turning into a 700-page novel -- has been Shane Battier's reaction to Kobe's antics. And that reaction is this: zero. None. He acts as though he can't hear or see any of it.

Hey, Kobe, we know you're great. You know you're great. Shane Battier knows you're great. How about letting someone else say it first every once in a while? The way it works now, you're telling us so often that we're getting tired of it. Let us be the judge of whether someone can or cannot guard you. It's pretty self-explanatory, to Doug Collins and everybody else.

You see, I want to be able to enjoy Kobe's talent. I want to see it the way I see LeBron's: transcendent, mostly pure and emanating outward. It probably will never happen, though. Kobe won't let it.

For a guy with such a constant flow of creativity running through his game, it's amazing to see how calculated he is about his image. He comes across as though he's reading a script, and he's all wrong for the part (maybe Alan Alda reading a part meant for Harvey Keitel). There are just too many false notes, and the worst part is, he actually seems to believe this is what people want from him. This is the persona he has cultivated, and he's going with it no matter what. It's really kind of sad.

And this is where Kobe veers from the arrogant antihero routine perfected by someone such as Barry Bonds. Bonds didn't care what you thought about him. He thrived off the anger he generated. But this preening, jaw-jutting, head-shaking character is what Kobe believes people want.

Maybe it's his attempt to answer the questions of the Lakers' toughness. I don't know, but in the playoffs, his performances generally follow one of two themes: (1) He takes over the game and taunts everybody in sight, demanding that all acknowledge his greatness or (2) he steps back and intentionally doesn't take over a game, in which case his attitude seems to be, "See what they look like without me?" Either way, it's a tough act to embrace.

In the wake of Sunday's Game 4 disaster, when Battier and Ron Artest did guard Kobe -- and after which Magic Johnson said the Lakers defiled the team's honor -- it's a good bet Kobe will be at his contrived best in Tuesday night's Game 5. He'll probably dominate, and he'll undoubtedly let us know.

But here's a radical idea: Stop with the smugness and the arrogance. Play your game and let your talent speak for itself. You might not know this, but it does a much better job than you do. And if you're not going to enjoy what you bring to the court, at least give us half a chance.

ESPN The Magazine senior writer Tim Keown co-wrote Josh Hamilton's autobiography, "here.
 

tmukg21

Banned
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Kobe will cancel said summer plans, find where TIm Keown works out at , and bench press 500lbs once.

*walks out with a scowl*
 
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This is deadass truth right here...

Son be lookin so stupid with that fabricated mug he tries to put on...


Shane is jus like eh & KB knows Ron will literally KILL him in an altercation
 
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Bill Simmons:
You get the idea. We learn nothing from today's superstars beyond the spin. Take Spike Lee's upcoming Kobe Doin' Work, which could be headed for an Oscar next year -- not for best documentary but for best actor. Blanketed by 30 cameras covering his every move during a 2008 game, Kobe tries to be funny, supportive, helpful, charming … really, there hasn't been a performance so convincing since There Will Be Blood. I nearly impaled myself with a Twizzler near the end, when Kobe jokes on the bench with Pau Gasol (who has an "I didn't even know Kobe knew my name!" look on his face), followed by Spike's cutting to Kobe's kids holding MVP signs. I had to take a postmovie shower.

Then again, kudos to Kobe Day-Lewis. This is how you use the media. Control the access, provide your own filter, say nothing profound, play a part, derive the benefits.
 
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Originally Posted by RyGuy45




Bill Simmons:
You get the idea. We learn nothing from today's superstars beyond the spin. Take Spike Lee's upcoming Kobe Doin' Work, which could be headed for an Oscar next year -- not for best documentary but for best actor. Blanketed by 30 cameras covering his every move during a 2008 game, Kobe tries to be funny, supportive, helpful, charming … really, there hasn't been a performance so convincing since There Will Be Blood. I nearly impaled myself with a Twizzler near the end, when Kobe jokes on the bench with Pau Gasol (who has an "I didn't even know Kobe knew my name!" look on his face), followed by Spike's cutting to Kobe's kids holding MVP signs. I had to take a postmovie shower.

Then again, kudos to Kobe Day-Lewis. This is how you use the media. Control the access, provide your own filter, say nothing profound, play a part, derive the benefits.

 
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i have to disagree with this.

His scowl, is what basketball is.

Right or wrong, on every level of basketball I've played...part of the fun is hitting a shot while being guarded and being able to scowl.

Kobe is no different.

Even Lebron is no different, regardless of how much the author would like to think he is.

EDIT: Then again the comments made by Bill Simmons and the reactions to the documentary do bring up some good points.
 
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such a d ouchebag....
It sounds wrong, but I can't wait for him to either leave the Lakers or retire so the fans can crawl back underneath their rocks.
He's like the kid in high school that tries way too hard for people to like him and everyone ends up hating him...

-J-
 
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Joined Feb 6, 2007
Nothing he said was wrong, Kobe be muggin since he first stepped on the court. It is what it is.

But Simmons himself is full of s***. That peice of sh*^ talks bad about anyone he feels like, the second they become Celtics, they're great.


I like Simmons, he's a smart dude, but I don't listen to one single second of his opinions on players other then on the actual court.

If you don't beleive me, look how wonderful KG and Ray Allen became once they put on Celtic green. Look how wonderful a coach Doc Rivers is now that theyare winning.

So F Simmons.
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2004
This writer probably didn't even see this happen considering it happened in Game 2 not 3. *+%+%%#. Just another hater. He is cocky, but so are half theplayers in the NBA. People just look for reasons to hate Kobe.
 
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Originally Posted by XAleXShaneX

i have to disagree with this.

His scowl, is what basketball is.

Right or wrong, on every level of basketball I've played...part of the fun is hitting a shot while being guarded and being able to scowl.

Kobe is no different.

Even Lebron is no different, regardless of how much the author would like to think he is.

EDIT: Then again the comments made by Bill Simmons and the reactions to the documentary do bring up some good points.
Did you even read it??


Its not a essay on the history of the scowl in basketball...
its abouthow phony & forced it looks when Kobe does it..
 
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Originally Posted by JBug88

such a d ouchebag....
It sounds wrong, but I can't wait for him to either leave the Lakers or retire so the fans can crawl back underneath their rocks.
He's like the kid in high school that tries way too hard for people to like him and everyone ends up hating him...

-J-
pretty much. i've always been a fan of his talent, but his personality is such a facade.
 
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Joined Jun 19, 2003
Originally Posted by Mister Negative

Originally Posted by XAleXShaneX

i have to disagree with this.

His scowl, is what basketball is.

Right or wrong, on every level of basketball I've played...part of the fun is hitting a shot while being guarded and being able to scowl.

Kobe is no different.

Even Lebron is no different, regardless of how much the author would like to think he is.

EDIT: Then again the comments made by Bill Simmons and the reactions to the documentary do bring up some good points.
Did you even read it??


Its not a essay on the history of the scowl in basketball...
its about how phony & forced it looks when Kobe does it..
Yes, I did read it.

I don't interpret it as being about how phony & forced it is.

I read it as the author saying that the scowl makes it difficult to like Kobe Bryant because it conveys the sense that he does not enjoy playing the game. Infact, I'm pretty sure he flat out said that a couple of times.

So...did you read it?
 
7,285
10
Joined Jan 29, 2005
Originally Posted by XAleXShaneX

Originally Posted by Mister Negative

Originally Posted by XAleXShaneX

i have to disagree with this.

His scowl, is what basketball is.

Right or wrong, on every level of basketball I've played...part of the fun is hitting a shot while being guarded and being able to scowl.

Kobe is no different.

Even Lebron is no different, regardless of how much the author would like to think he is.

EDIT: Then again the comments made by Bill Simmons and the reactions to the documentary do bring up some good points.
Did you even read it??


Its not a essay on the history of the scowl in basketball...
its about how phony & forced it looks when Kobe does it..
Yes, I did read it.

I don't interpret it as being about how phony & forced it is.

I read it as the author saying that the scowl makes it difficult to like Kobe Bryant because it conveys the sense that he does not enjoy playing the game. In fact, I'm pretty sure he flat out said that a couple of times.

So...did you read it?



And that's the deal about Kobe: None of us is sure. How can a guy with that much talent play with such little joy? Why does he feel he has to put on that phony tough-guy show all the time? Underneath all that pre-fab armor, who is he? Does he even know?

It's sad, maybe, but Kobe will never be appreciated in a manner commensurate with his ability. He's in the process of turning himself into an antihero. (In many respects, he is similar to Alex Rodriguez, another tin-eared superstar.) Everything he does reeks of insecurity, which is a really weird trait for a guy who -- along with LeBron James -- is a once-a-decade basketball talent.







Originally Posted by KB8sandiego

Kobe's scowl > Bron's shimmy.
I was like
when Bron did that
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2006
Originally Posted by Mister Negative

Originally Posted by XAleXShaneX

i have to disagree with this.

His scowl, is what basketball is.

Right or wrong, on every level of basketball I've played...part of the fun is hitting a shot while being guarded and being able to scowl.

Kobe is no different.

Even Lebron is no different, regardless of how much the author would like to think he is.

EDIT: Then again the comments made by Bill Simmons and the reactions to the documentary do bring up some good points.
Did you even read it??


Its not a essay on the history of the scowl in basketball...
its about how phony & forced it looks when Kobe does it..
Yea, and KG in a suit on the bench lookin like he get smelled someone drop *!% from the first row isn't phony or forced at all.
 
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Why does he feel he has to put on that phony tough-guy show all the time? Underneath all that pre-fab armor, who is he? Does he even know?
Phony. Fake. Facade.

Kobe fans



Way to prove my point herb above me... Who said anything about KG??
He's just as big of a phony as Kobe yes
 
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Joined Dec 17, 2003
Originally Posted by RyGuy45




Bill Simmons:
You get the idea. We learn nothing from today's superstars beyond the spin. Take Spike Lee's upcoming Kobe Doin' Work, which could be headed for an Oscar next year -- not for best documentary but for best actor. Blanketed by 30 cameras covering his every move during a 2008 game, Kobe tries to be funny, supportive, helpful, charming … really, there hasn't been a performance so convincing since There Will Be Blood. I nearly impaled myself with a Twizzler near the end, when Kobe jokes on the bench with Pau Gasol (who has an "I didn't even know Kobe knew my name!" look on his face), followed by Spike's cutting to Kobe's kids holding MVP signs. I had to take a postmovie shower.

Then again, kudos to Kobe Day-Lewis. This is how you use the media. Control the access, provide your own filter, say nothing profound, play a part, derive the benefits.

 
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Joined Sep 1, 2004
Originally Posted by MisterP0315

Who cares?

Dudes telling other players how to celebrate? Bigger issues at hand...

and OC get a life this dude loves to post bron or Kobe storys
 
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Joined Feb 6, 2007
You really pushin the points home huh OC?

REALLY wanna make sure everyone reads and re-reads this article. Underlinin and boldin and sh*^. Jus tryna help your NT brothers out huh?

Funny that it speaks of insecurities eh?

Hmmm.

 
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Joined Jul 3, 2005
agree 100%...I respect Kobes game, but his personality makes it tough to like him. Like that primadonna #@+@ he pulled with Spike's documentary...
 
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