Bryant scores 81
January 22, 2006 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Can you score your way out of disgrace? Kobe Bryant's 81 points tonight were the second most points ever scored by a single player in the 59 year history of the NBA, and the most scored since Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point night 44 years ago (when the league was much whiter than it is today). With a new campaign from one time sponsor Nike and sports writers increasingly touting Bryant as a leading MVP candidate, two of the three elements of modern sports superstardom (sponsorship, good press) have returned to Kobe since the rape allegations that threatened to end his career. Will the final piece of the puzzle (public sympathy) be next?
posted by jonson (119 comments total)
 
In his excellent book Wilt, 1962, Gary Pomerantz argues that Wilt's legendary offensive performance (the 100 point night) actually helped further break down the color barriers in the NBA, a sport which seems more suited to the black athlete than any of the four major sports, yet which was dominated in the years prior to 1962 by white stars such as Bob Cousy & George Mikan. America loves a dominant performance, and America loves celebrity. Will Bryant's ongoing scoring tear (his ~35 ppg are numbers unseen in the league since the era of Michael Jordan's scoring prime in the mid 1980s) erase the fact that he was charged with rape not three years ago, and settled with the victim out of court?
posted by jonson at 9:43 PM on January 22, 2006


What does the "whiter than it is now" comment have to do with this?
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:48 PM on January 22, 2006


I was thinking this the whole game (being one of possibly dozens of Raptors fans watching). Seeing as he wasn't convicted, and that there's a fair bit of doubt about what happened in Colorado, I don't think he deserves to be completely shunned, but I doubt that people will ever completely forget it either. Look at the doubt concerning Mark McGwire's upcoming Hall of Fame eligibility - a few years ago there would have been no doubt that he makes it in his first year, a few unproven steroid allegations later, and it's no longer a slam dunk, despite his all-American credentials and dominance.
posted by loquax at 9:49 PM on January 22, 2006


I don't think rape allegations can be forgiven/forgotten for any less than 82 points.
posted by spock at 9:58 PM on January 22, 2006


Remember when Kobe apologized to the girl after the trial and said that now he understood that he shouldn't have continued after she said, "no"?

Yeah, that's basically when I stopped caring how many points he scores in basketball games. At least Mike Tyson was fascinating in an "I'm an unapologetic vessel of rage competing in a sport of brutality" kind of way. Kobe Bryant wants to be too many things to too many people. He creeps me out. Oh, and he's a rapist. Go Clippers!
posted by billysumday at 9:59 PM on January 22, 2006


there's a fair bit of doubt about what happened in Colorado

Oh, there's no fucking doubt. The Broncos got their asses handed to them today. *sighs heavily*

What? Oh, sorry.
posted by scody at 10:00 PM on January 22, 2006


What does the "whiter than it is now" comment have to do with this?

Kickstart - it has to do with the fact that the talent level was doubtlessly lower in 1962 when a 7'1" Chamberlain towered over everyone in the league (except Bill Russell) than in 2006 when an entire generation of African American kids has been scouted and trained their entire lives to play in the high flying, high scoring style of Michael Jordan. Kobe is, in his game, quite similar to Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Dwayne Wade, etc. Shooting guards with score first mentalities and amazing vertical leaps are not as rare as Wilt was in 1962, making Kobe's dominance today that much more impressive/unlikely, making his performance based public redemption story that much more plausible. Some will hate him forever, some never did. It's that vast middle gulf of public opinion that's interesting to me.
posted by jonson at 10:02 PM on January 22, 2006


I'm not sure putting a sphere through a cylinder takes the sting out of violent rape. I could be wrong. Perhaps we should ask the (alleged) rape victim if 81 points is enough?
posted by Rothko at 10:05 PM on January 22, 2006


billysumday,

thats not at all what kobe said.

this is: "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did."

pretty huge difference.

and as for your question, jonson, it's fucked up. it's not a disgrace to be acused of something that is later dropped.

it happens every day to lots of innocent men and women.

what is a disgrace is making shaq and phil jackson leave LA right when things were starting to get really good.

tonight, he scored his way out of that disgrace -- for now.
posted by tsarfan at 10:06 PM on January 22, 2006


The Broncos got their asses handed to them today.

That's what you get when you start ex-Cards at QB!

Sorry, it's so rare we talk sports on mefi...
posted by loquax at 10:12 PM on January 22, 2006


How about a resounding, "I don't care about Kobe Bryant in any way, shape, or form?"

Not a callout, and normally I wouldn't post this, but you said you were interested in the "vast middle gulf" of public opinion.

This part of the gulf is utterly indifferent to the man. All he does is overcome opposition to put a ball through a hoop. I realize this is very difficult. I'll almost certainly never do anything in my life that's as good as what he does, but no matter how overwhelmingly good the man is, it's still fundamentally putting a ball through a hoop.

Excellence is great, but personally I'd be much more interested in the doings of a local schoolteacher, or a scientist, or a librarian. Or a local sports coach, even. Moderately skilled people doing useful things are much more interesting to me than an exquisitely skilled one doing something useless.

Fortunately for Mr. Bryant, however, I'm in a tiny minority. :)
posted by Malor at 10:14 PM on January 22, 2006


I guess I remembered it incorrectly. Thanks for correcting me. Still, though, I think that anyone who would concede that maybe the other person viewed a sexual encounter as non-consensual is feeling guilty about something. Like raping them.

But I'm not a prosecutor or judge, just a sports fan. And for myriad reasons besides being a possible rapist - like a lack of humor and personality, an astronomical arrogance, and giving the world's most insincere press conferences, I don't think I'll ever be impressed by Kobe's stats.
posted by billysumday at 10:18 PM on January 22, 2006


Kobe is a spoiled brat and premanently unattractive - to me because of his childish self-involvement.
That does not mean that a careful PR campaign will not idolize him.
The NBA has been about lionized players for a number of years; only the players, with a false show of modesty, claim it is a team sport.
Idols sell tickets, and sport is first of all a business.
posted by Cranberry at 10:18 PM on January 22, 2006


Kobe, the second rapist to score over 80 points in a single game.

(There is no way Wilt's 20K conquests were all legit).
posted by Falconetti at 10:21 PM on January 22, 2006


No. You cant score your way out of disgrace.

Regardles, 81 points is a hell of an achievement. Regardless of the fact that it was Kobe Bryant.
posted by SirOmega at 10:21 PM on January 22, 2006


As much as I dislike the man, he does know how to put the ball through the hoop. He has to understand that he has the chance to redeem himself, but I don't know if it's in his nature to do it.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:24 PM on January 22, 2006


I doubt anyone has scored more points over a 10 game period. Where's statboy when you need him?
posted by zerolives at 10:27 PM on January 22, 2006


the only thing he felt guilty about was cheating on his wife.

and if he really did rape that poor girl who had sex with 3-4 others that week - no way in Hell (or Denver) would they have dropped the case.

hate the player cuz he doesnt wear your colors, but you cannot hate kobe for rape since he clearly was not guilty of that.

is he a cocky punk with a crazy wife and messed up relationship with his dad and the source of bad vibes in the Laker lockerroom? damn straight. but hes got rings, hes got hardware, and now hes got a milestone that even MJ never got close to.

if you cant be impressed by a non-center scoring 81 points then you obviously know nothing about hoops and should keep your nba opinions under your hat(e).
posted by tsarfan at 10:28 PM on January 22, 2006


but hes got rings, hes got hardware, and now hes got a milestone that even MJ never got close to.

Wouldn't that have something to do with MJ having a team around him and understanding the fundamental team nature of basketball?
posted by xmutex at 10:33 PM on January 22, 2006


Kobe took 46 shots and the rest of his team took a combined 41. I think at this point in his career, after winning 3 championships on Shaq's teams and probably realizing he'll be past his prime by the time the Lakers have another shot, he doesn't care about much else beyond his personal stats.

Kobe is an unbelievable talent, and scoring 81 is unheard of these days. But I think there are a handful of guys that could do it, if they lacked a conscience as does Mr. Bryant.
posted by b_thinky at 10:36 PM on January 22, 2006


the only thing he felt guilty about was cheating on his wife.

Exactly!

and if he really did rape that poor girl who had sex with 3-4 others that week - no way in Hell (or Denver) would they have dropped the case.

I bet she wore a short skirt, too!

hate the player cuz he doesnt wear your colors, but you cannot hate kobe for rape since he clearly was not guilty of that.

I'm a Pacers fan first and foremost, but I like the Clippers because Kobe Bryant isn't on their team.

but hes got rings, hes got hardware, and now hes got a milestone that even MJ never got close to.

Proving once again that in America, it's ok to be an amoral asshole so long as you make a lot of money.

if you cant be impressed by a non-center scoring 81 points then you obviously know nothing about hoops


I'm from Indiana! Them's fighting words, son!
posted by billysumday at 10:37 PM on January 22, 2006


I wonder if he was motivated by this recent Bill Simmons article, it's funny to read it now...

[Bryant] could have scored 80, and no one besides Wilt has ever topped 73. But when Phil Jackson asked if Kobe wanted to keep on playing in the blowout, he shook his head no. He was done. Apparently, he thought that passing up a chance at immortality would prove he was a good guy.

Bill Simmons - An L.A. Tale
posted by bobo123 at 10:37 PM on January 22, 2006


eh, scoring 81 points to barely climb above .500 for third place in the Pacific. Kinda seems to be missing the point, no?
posted by xmutex at 10:37 PM on January 22, 2006


so youre saying that if MJ thought that his team won if he scored 81 points he wouldnt have done it?

look at the team that the Lakers had out there tonight. Lamar Odom - who should score 20 a night - was 1 for 8.

kobe carried the team. scored his points, and won the game.

i have no kobe jerseys in my house and i live 4 subway stops away from Staples.

but if you cant give it up to him tonight... again, you dont know hoops.
posted by tsarfan at 10:38 PM on January 22, 2006


xmutex, so you never watched the bulls in the mid 80's, then?
posted by jonson at 10:38 PM on January 22, 2006


I hate sports. Tremendously. But even I recognize that 81 points is a major achievement. As for the rape charge -- meh, I'm inclined to believe his story, it took two to tango, etc.

And re: Michael Jordan -- he did score 50+ on several occasions, didn't he? It's not 81, but that's still pretty good (AFAIK).
posted by davidmsc at 10:38 PM on January 22, 2006


Kobe, Kobe, don't be rapin', Kobe.
posted by Eideteker at 10:39 PM on January 22, 2006


It's really important to understand how many shots 46 is in one game. A few years ago when the 76ers were good and Iverson was there only real scoring threat, the conventional wisdom was that if Iverson could find a way to jack up 30 shots a game, the 76ers would win.

AI is one of the bigger ballhogs in the league and probably the most energetic person in the NBA. So when he had a hard time shooting 30 times... I think it kinda puts the 46 into perspective.
posted by b_thinky at 10:41 PM on January 22, 2006


On the contrary - I watched Iverson shoot fifty times in one game, and he ended up with 50 points. 81 is remarkable; dislike the player, dislike the man, but you can't argue with the fact that, were it easy to do, someone in this league would have done it (or at least come close).
posted by jonson at 10:44 PM on January 22, 2006


Yes you can score your way out of disgrace. He doesn't even have to score 81 points. He could, frankly, simply score very well, without breaking any records and the disgrace would shed away in time. He could even continue to rape women every day while he did it. There are only a few small things that people want from athletes:

1. they must be infallible.
2. failing that, they must be willing to go along with everyone pretending they're infallible.

couple that with some people's desire to put terrible things like rape (among others) out of their heads because it's such a bummer, and you've got the absolution of the american athlete in a nutshell. The fact that the criminal charges were dropped is evidence of this.

fuck kobe bryant. and fuck fans.
posted by shmegegge at 10:45 PM on January 22, 2006


Fuck Kobe, indeed.
posted by ryanhealy at 10:47 PM on January 22, 2006


shmegegge: Do you like have some proof to back up your passionate belief in the rape charge, or are you just choosing to believe it? You seem pretty hot about the whole thing.
posted by xmutex at 10:53 PM on January 22, 2006


jonson: Kickstart - it has to do with the fact that the talent level was doubtlessly lower in 1962 when a 7'1" Chamberlain towered over everyone in the league (except Bill Russell) than in 2006 when an entire generation of African American kids has been scouted and trained their entire lives to play in the high flying, high scoring style of Michael Jordan.

I hate it when people unnecessarily bring race into sports. Athletes are athletes, regardless of race. Jonson, I don't mean to pick on you but I've noticed the people who randomly bring up races of athletes as though it is the predominant factor in their skills (or lack thereof) are typically the ones who never played sports or weren't any good at them.

I was (am still somewhat) a pretty good athlete. I played football all the way through college and my team won a BCS game and finished #3 nationally (this was in the past 5 years). I played against a lot of playeres: white, black and most everything else, and thoroughly believe race ain't got shit to do with it.
posted by b_thinky at 10:55 PM on January 22, 2006


If you're going to compare AI to Kobe tonight....then you also need to bring up AI's absymal 40% FG-shooting compared to Kobe's 61%. If you're on a team with a guy who's shooting over 60, you keep feeding him the ball and stop asking questions.
posted by Mach3avelli at 10:57 PM on January 22, 2006


I hate it when people unnecessarily bring race rape into sports. /kobefans
posted by Rothko at 10:58 PM on January 22, 2006


I played against a lot of playeres: white, black and most everything else, and thoroughly believe race ain't got shit to do with it.

sure, race may not got shit to do with athleticism and/or competition per se, but for better or worse (and mostly for worse) it's got plenty to do with the socio-cultural reception (not to mention economics) of sports in this country.
posted by scody at 10:59 PM on January 22, 2006


i hate sports but holy shit 81 points

oh also unless he was convicted of rape kindly fuck off with the bullshit accusations guys
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:00 PM on January 22, 2006


b_thinky - you're delusional if you don't think race has any place in a discussion of the modern NBA compared to the early 1960's NBA. However, you're totally not delusional when you say that I'm not a good athlete, because I suck. But that's totally okay, cause I'm white, and I'm too busy opressing people to have any time for sports.
posted by jonson at 11:01 PM on January 22, 2006


On the contrary - I watched Iverson shoot fifty times in one game, and he ended up with 50 points. 81 is remarkable; dislike the player, dislike the man, but you can't argue with the fact that, were it easy to do, someone in this league would have done it (or at least come close).

Nobody said it was easy to do, but there are a handful of players that have the ability to do what Kobe did tonight. The circumstances have to be right of course, and even when all the stars are aligned, they only have a shot at it.

I think the main factors are *beyond the player in question being an unbelievable individual talent* playing a crappy team; a favorable individual matchup vs that crappy team; player in question being "on"; a close enough game that player in question can play a lot of minutes; player in question willing to jack up a ton of shots; coach and teammates willing to grant player in question that many shots.

Kobe has basically beaten his team and coach into submission that he can and will shoot the ball whenever he wants to. Nobody on that team can challenge Kobe for any authority, and I don't think he cares what anyone - fans, coaches teammates, etc - thinks about his selfishness.

But hey I think he was 28/46, which is awesome so nothing to complain about. I think my only point is that his team sucks and I think that's the way he wants it.
posted by b_thinky at 11:05 PM on January 22, 2006


b_thinky - you're delusional if you don't think race has any place in a discussion of the modern NBA compared to the early 1960's NBA.

Of course it has a place in discussion because it's obvious blacks weren't allowed in the league back then unless they were all-star caliber players.

However, to judge talent on race as though there is a linear relationship is wrong. I think the number of white player in the league has probably gone up in the past few years due to all the Euros.

IMO, the disproportionate number of african-americans represented in basketball and football has more to do with afro-american culture than it does with genetics. From my observation, blacks do better with in-your-face competition than do whites (not coincidentally bball and fball are the two dominant in your face sports today). A black guy getting burned on a play or chewed out by a coach will be less likely to sulk and give up than a white guy. That's just from what I've seen though.
posted by b_thinky at 11:14 PM on January 22, 2006


xmutex: you mean besides the testimony of the victim? sure I'm hot about it. I'm pissed off at the treatment of athletes in general and this is one of the biggest examples of it. No, I'm not privately investigating the rape charge, but I don't have to be. It wouldn't be the first time that athletes got off with a slap on the wrist or less for commiting a crime specifically because of this country's feverish devotion to its athletes. Hell, look at the famous Chicago Black Sox, whose trial for defrauding the public was bought and paid for.

This is why comments like Chyme's are absurd. It's a basic refusal to acknowledge the way that things work, here. And it's not because of the athletes, the managers or the institution. It is entirely because of the fans. That pure irrational devotion is the great force that sways these things, and fear of it. Sure there are people who'd LOVE to be the guy that busted kobe bryant, but it's like that line in 8 men out: "You prove they cheated and this town will never forgive you." And that's enough to cause any politician, chief or sherriff to balk.

Do I know that he did it for certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt? No, but then I never got to see the trial, did I? In fact, no one did, because it never happened. And there's every reason to believe that it never happened for fear of fan reaction toward any politician and/or public servant who brought an athlete of that caliber up on criminal charges while he was still active in the sport. So I don't have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt. Because I'm not calling for him to be jailed without due process. I'm just saying that rapists get off scott free when they shoot like he does, and that's true. And it's the fans' fault.

So yeah, it upsets me. Why doesn't it upset everyone else?
posted by shmegegge at 11:17 PM on January 22, 2006


b_thinky, I think the reason Blacks are overrepresented in American sports is primarily economic. Sports is an accessible path out of poverty, due to college athletic scholarship at least, but in some cases much more.
posted by Chuckles at 11:22 PM on January 22, 2006


because your "logic" is flawed in pretty much every way.

1. kobe is not beloved.
2. kobe was pretty much hated in the state where he was accused.
3. the nba is not above the law.
4. Black men do not get to rape young white women in the USA simply because they are in the NBA
5. you're totally not bringing up the fact that she had a pretty healthy (and open) sexual history with several men the same week that she got it on with Kobe
6. Los Angeles would have totally been fine if their shooting guard would have been convicted. we've done fine without the NFL, we would survive without #8
posted by tsarfan at 11:23 PM on January 22, 2006


b_thinky - height, eye colour & heart disease are passed down genetically; why wouldn't speed & athleticism also be?
posted by jonson at 11:24 PM on January 22, 2006


also, tsarfan, you point #5 is extremely troubling. It doesn't matter how many people someone sleeps with, you still shouldn't rape them. Unless you're bringing up her immediate post "alleged rape" sexual activity, which did seem to cast some doubt on the accusation.
posted by jonson at 11:26 PM on January 22, 2006


Rape accusations are pretty sticky. There will always be a segment of society that remembers him for that more than anything else.

I found his attitude and behaviour during the trial to be enough to condemn him as a man.
posted by fenriq at 11:29 PM on January 22, 2006


This is why comments like Chyme's are absurd. It's a basic refusal to acknowledge the way that things work, here. And it's not because of the athletes, the managers or the institution. It is entirely because of the fans.

Quick note: I don't give a shit about sports. I had forgotten about the 81 points between the time my comment was posted and yours was. That's how little I care and how little I'm swayed by athletes.

Now: the charges against Bryant were dropped. They were dropped because the alleged victim would no longer cooperate with law enforcement. To me, that says that Bryant is an innocent man. I understand that a lot of women don't report rapes out of fear or shame, and that's a bad thing, but this woman was already in the thick of it. For her to suddenly stop cooperating is an insane move and it casts doubt on her story. If we stand in judgment of every person accused of a crime, not just those convicted, then we are barbarians and witch-hunters and god knows what else.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:29 PM on January 22, 2006


jonson,

im not saying that sluts shouldnt be raped. or that its impossible to rape a slut.

nor am i saying that the accusing woman was a slut.

im saying that a woman who had that sort of sexual history in the same week with several different men has a hard time proving her case.

what is far more troubling though is your "rape" tag on this post. bro dropped 81 points, that is a fact. however he was only accused of rape - never tried nor convicted. you can keep "scandal" up there if you insist, but rape has no business being there.
posted by tsarfan at 11:32 PM on January 22, 2006


im not saying that sluts shouldnt be raped

I . . . certainly . . . hope . . . not?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:38 PM on January 22, 2006


But he raped the Raptors, no?
posted by xmutex at 11:39 PM on January 22, 2006


For her to suddenly stop cooperating is an insane move and it casts doubt on her story.

it does cast doubt on her story, but only because it's difficult to imagine the things a victim will do and why. There are raped women who have abandoned charges and refused to cooperate with law enforcement after an initial call to police. Why it happens isn't something I'm an expert on, but I think it's a mistake to assume that she's insane or lying.

tsarfan:

1. yes he is.
2. by some people. other people hated the victim, and still more the cops investigating him.
3. yes it can be, but not always.
4. this statement is so loaded that it's ridiculous. Men of any color get away with a lot of things just because they're in the NBA.
5. you're totally blaming the victim. her sexual history has nothing to do with what happens on any individual occasion, nor does it imply that she is either crazy or a liar.
6. la would undoubtedly have moved on, but what about their mayor? what about their DA? Remember Marcia Clark?

If you think my logic is flawed, it's only because it doesn't fit with you're idealized vision of your hero. You've even objected to rape being a tag for the post.
posted by shmegegge at 11:50 PM on January 22, 2006


b_thinky, I think the reason Blacks are overrepresented in American sports is primarily economic. Sports is an accessible path out of poverty, due to college athletic scholarship at least, but in some cases much more.
posted by Chuckles at 11:22 PM PST on January 22 [!]


I agree with you, sort of. But that type of one-tracked thinking by the black community usually ends up screwing the black athlete in the end. The athlete ends up so single-minded that he has no preperation for academics or professionalism. If you look at the graduation rates for black players vs white players, it's sad to see such a disparity when our resources at that level are exactly the same. Many of my black teammates are now back home doing whatever, pretty much as if they never attended college in the first place.

7 of my former teammates on NFL rosters. The average NFL career is 3 years. 4 of them will end up about average, earning about $500,000 after-tax for their careers (not a lot when you consider they're "done" at 26) . Of the remaining 3, one is a bona-fide all-pro, one is on the verge and a third will probably have a long productive career but never be a star.

The point is, it's stupid to have such a singular life goal, especially when your chances of success are so low. But this thinking permeates black communities.

b_thinky - height, eye colour & heart disease are passed down genetically; why wouldn't speed & athleticism also be?
posted by jonson at 11:24 PM PST on January 22 [!]


Not saying athleticism isn't genetic, but young white athletes have more outlets (mountain biking, skiing, vacations, piano lessons) than do their black counterparts. It's no wonder black athletes wind up more specialized athletes.
posted by b_thinky at 11:53 PM on January 22, 2006


So yeah, it upsets me. Why doesn't it upset everyone else?

I know we pretend to believe in "innocent until proven guilty" in this country, but for many, many people that simply doesn't apply to rape. If you are accused of rape, you are a rapist to a lot of people, and clearly you are one of them.

I for one don't like Kobe, don't like basketball, and thus have little interest in this particular case. But I find people like you (if he was accused of rape, he's a rapist) and people like tsarfan (He's good at basketball, and she's a slut, so he's totally innocent) equally unappealing.

We don't know if he raped her. 2 people in this world know for a fact if that was the case.

I've had several friends that either suffered sexual abuse as a child or were raped as adults, and I know of two cases where women I know lied about a man sexually assaulting them (in both cases it started off as embarrassment at fooling around with someone, which became a denial of culpability which then got pressed upon until they had to keep enlarging the lie to avoid admitting to the first stupid lie told out of embarrassment).

If he raped her he deserves all the scorn in the world, if he didn't rape her then I feel for him, it's a terrible mark to bear that he will never be able to erase. But the fact is we just don't know, and as such I think acting as if he's 100% guilty is just not right., just like claiming that you know for a fact he isn't a rapist.

I think being wary of him and his claims and thus being hesitant to pile on accolades is totally reasonable, but claiming he deserves to be a pariah without his guilt being conclusive seems to be going too far.

So yeah, that's why I'm not upset by it.
posted by Jezztek at 11:56 PM on January 22, 2006


Too much hatred...the man can play ball like none other...leave the politics out of it.
posted by stratastar at 12:06 AM on January 23, 2006


just wait until he scores 101 points in a single game -- the fans themselves will be bringing him young women to rape.

he won't need to travel to faraway mountain resorts anymore, and he'll have more time for corporate engagements.

among rapes, you know.
posted by matteo at 12:06 AM on January 23, 2006


jezztek,

i think he's innocent because she dropped the charges.

period.

therefore that bogus rape tag on this post is just as obnoxious as shmegegge's fucked up logic.

i am no kobe bryant fan, but what he did tonight was amazing. and what he did in colorado was unfortunate, but it wasnt illegal.

and again, theres no way that if he really raped her that she or her family would have let him wiggle off the hook.
posted by tsarfan at 12:06 AM on January 23, 2006



posted by tsarfan at 12:15 AM on January 23, 2006


jezztek, that's a pretty fucked up way to characterize my position. I don't know if he raped her. I already said that. I was speaking to whether or not it would even matter to his sports career, and whether the fans would care if he did. tsarfan's posts, for instance, go a long way towards proving my point. like I said, I'm upset not because I think for certain that he raped her, but because to a lot of people it doesn't matter because he's a great ball player.

i think he's innocent because she dropped the charges.

period.


no offense, but you think he's innocent because you don't know what you're talking about. Rape vicitms drop legitimate charges all the time. Sometimes out of fear of reprisals from the rapist or people close to him. Sometimes out of a desire to put the whole thing behind them when constantly reliving the episode during investigations proves too much for them. sometimes for other reasons as well.

what it comes down to is that there are plenty of ways that victims don't do what they should to ensure they receive justice under the law. so you believe he didn't do it either because you just don't want to believe it or because of ignorance regarding rape victim behavior.
posted by shmegegge at 12:18 AM on January 23, 2006



and again, theres no way that if he really raped her that she or her family would have let him wiggle off the hook.


See, that sounds insane to me. You don't believe there is anyway a woman who has been raped, would choose to give up on a case that was being played out in public, with lots of people making judgements about her personal life, and implying that she is a lying whore.

I read all the Smoking Gun stuff. Kobe may not be your hero, but that hardly means he is innocent. Her dropping the case does not mean she is lying.
posted by thirteen at 12:19 AM on January 23, 2006


The fry-cook at my local diner makes a great fucking omelet. But I heard he served time on a rape conviction. So, fuck him. I can't believe he tried to buy my favor with his delicious omelets.
posted by mullacc at 12:21 AM on January 23, 2006


and again, theres no way that if he really raped her that she or her family would have let him wiggle off the hook.
posted by tsarfan


Are you typing that with a straight face? No woman who was raped ever dropped charges because she didn't want to get dragged through the mudd? I mean, you yourself brought up how many sex partners she had that week. Real classy.

I love sports, but it's freaking neanderthal attitudes among a certain segment of fans that makes me ashamed to admit it. It's just embarrassing on all levels.
posted by justgary at 12:23 AM on January 23, 2006


fake victims of crimes drop fake charges all the time too.

sometimes out of a desire to stop the investigations into their not-so-pristine lives and their very big lies.

so you believe he did do it either because you want to believe that kobe bryant felt like raping someone before his knee surgery or because of your ignorance regarding some who cry wolf and then buckle when the truth is about to be revealed.

are you seriously trying to live up to your screenname?
posted by tsarfan at 12:24 AM on January 23, 2006


and with that, the discussion has lost its civil face. such is life, I suppose.

so here's the deal: you've resorted to calling names because of this, and you insist, when there is no reason to believe this, that the girl is a liar because she was promiscuous.

maybe if you take a step back and realize how personally you're taking a discussion of your sports hero you might realize how perfectly you're illustrating my point.

so it might be a good idea for you to call it a night before you say much else.
posted by shmegegge at 12:31 AM on January 23, 2006


shmegegge: Do you believe that her alleged promiscuity is totally irrelevant to the case?
posted by mullacc at 12:35 AM on January 23, 2006


shmegegge,

obviously youve called it a night before you even started

i said she was a liar because she dropped the case

i also said that her being promiscuous did not make her a liar, it just made her case tougher to prove

and ive also said that im no fan of kobe's

it might be a good idea for you to actually read the things that people write in these threads.

but sure, i'll call it a night because obviously people would rather turn this historic nba night into a hateful discussion about a case that was dismissed leaving the accused innocent, which clearly doesnt sit well with more than a few.
posted by tsarfan at 12:39 AM on January 23, 2006


You can't get a rape conviction without the victim's testimony. In this case, Kobe paid the accuser an undisclosed amount of money (but probably more than is in all of our bank accounts combined).

You also have to remember that the girl resisted taking a settlement for about a year and only did so after the DA shit on her by accidentally releasing her name for like the 5th time.

So if I was that girl, I'd probably choose to take Kobe's millons over the hope that the prosecution that can't even keep my name out of the paper could land a conviction.
posted by b_thinky at 12:43 AM on January 23, 2006


i said she was a liar because she dropped the case

Again, you seem to be ignoring the possibility that someone can be not lying about a rape and yet still decide to drop the case. Is that really impossible for you to imagine?
posted by mediareport at 12:50 AM on January 23, 2006


I think the whole case was about anal. The chick probably wanted to do it with Kobe. But Kobe went in the back door and she didn't like it. Fast forward 2.5 years: she's a millionaire and he scored 81, so it seems like a win-win to me!
posted by b_thinky at 12:50 AM on January 23, 2006


tsarfan,

obviously youve called it a night before you even started

well said. you, sir, are a paragon of debate.

i said she was a liar because she dropped the case

and I said there was plenty of reason for her to drop the case without her being a liar. I said this because it's true, as opposed to what you said, which is false.

i also said that her being promiscuous did not make her a liar, it just made her case tougher to prove

and I said that you're casting doubt on her testimony because of her promiscuity, which is true.

and ive also said that im no fan of kobe's

and everything else you've said here implies that this isn't true. Maybe you're not. Maybe it's only the sport itself that has put you into such rabid denial that a sports star could do what kobe was accused of. either way, same thing.

it might be a good idea for you to actually read the things that people write in these threads.

I'm starting to wonder where those pot and kettle sock puppets are when you need them.

but sure, i'll call it a night because obviously people would rather turn this historic nba night into a hateful discussion about a case that was dismissed leaving the accused innocent, which clearly doesnt sit well with more than a few.

heaven forbid that anyone might actually remember that he was once accused of rape, right? heaven forbid that anything, even rape, get in the way of you enjoying the game, right? not even a tag!

sleep well, tsarfan, and a flight of delusions sing thee to thy rest.
posted by shmegegge at 1:00 AM on January 23, 2006


mullacc: yes, that is what I believe. IANAL, however.
posted by shmegegge at 1:01 AM on January 23, 2006


This discussion is just sad. What the hell is wrong with you people?
posted by nightchrome at 1:23 AM on January 23, 2006


Don't forget: it's only a website.
posted by gen at 1:47 AM on January 23, 2006


b_thinky: The chick probably wanted to do it with Kobe. But Kobe went in the back door and she didn't like it.

Apparently this whole thread is about a man who came in second place.
posted by fleacircus at 2:00 AM on January 23, 2006


Kobe's wife got a big-ass diamond out of the whole deal. I hear she has blood on her hands.
posted by fixedgear at 2:12 AM on January 23, 2006


Isn't scoring what got him in trouble in the first place?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:25 AM on January 23, 2006


Kobe wasn't up against these guys.
posted by banished at 4:22 AM on January 23, 2006


If we stand in judgment of every person accused of a crime, not just those convicted, then we are barbarians and witch-hunters and god knows what else.

I absolutely agree with Optimus Chyme.

Chamberlain on "selfishness":
He bristles at suggestions that scoring 100 points in a game might be called the ultimate selfish act by a basketball player.

"Lots of people look at scoring as selfish," Chamberlain said. "When you go out there and do the things you're supposed to do, people view you as selfish.

"They don't look at you that way if you're O.J. Simpson or Eric Dickerson or Walter Payton and you're trying to get as many yards as you can every time you touch the football. But when you're a scorer in basketball, you can get labeled a gunner or a selfish player."
posted by languagehat at 4:26 AM on January 23, 2006


who's kobe bryant?
posted by quonsar at 5:39 AM on January 23, 2006


I might just add that today's scoring records in the no-defense-NBA is about as impressive as a home run record in Major League Baseball will be, after they legalize aluminum bats.
posted by spock at 6:15 AM on January 23, 2006


Big ups to the Raptors. They make bad players look good. They make good players look great. They make great Players look unbelievable.

Notice Jalen Rose holding the matador's cape on the front page of the ESPN's NBA section.

To temper it a bit the raps are at the end of west coast road trip which is very hard on a team. Game 4 of 5 in a 7 day trip. My guess is they took a night off while kobe knew he had 4 days off coming up.

I might just add that today's scoring records in the no-defense-NBA is about as impressive as a home run record in Major League Baseball will be, after they legalize aluminum bats.

I assuming sarcasm even though there are no cues because I just can't wrap my head around someone actually saying that.
posted by srboisvert at 6:52 AM on January 23, 2006


Did anyone read the depositions, with the transparent redactions, and not-so-far-between-the-lines implications?

Girl consents to quickie, Kobe tries to switch to the back door as was his standard procedure with his other extramarital sweetie. Girl say "whoa there big boy!" and leaves. Starts to stew about "how dare he?"

Complains to friends, it snowballs.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:59 AM on January 23, 2006


My aunt works as a sexual education and abuse/assault counselor as a state college. This summer she went to a seminar where one of the prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant case spoke. I believe the context was a discussion about rape stigma and the tendency to blame the victim--he showed the attendees what an open-and-shut case it would have been if not for the media circus and the pressure on the girl to drop the charges. There were bruises on the girl's neck from Bryant's hands, bruises on her wrists and inner thighs, damage to her genital area from the forced penetration, samples of his semen on her face . . . All that, all that evidence that couldn't be shown to the media until the case was over and it was too late anyhow.

Fuck him. Fuck him. May that arrogant, rapist fuck burn in hell where rich evil bastards like him belong.
posted by schroedinger at 7:11 AM on January 23, 2006


Okay, schroedinger. You make good points, but I'm still inclined to split the difference. (All the things you describe were SOP with that other "sweetie."
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:15 AM on January 23, 2006


schroedinger

Well, someone that somebody is my family once heard speak said something completely different.

Fuck him. Fuck him.

Why not just rape him?
posted by wah at 7:31 AM on January 23, 2006


Not to mention the fact that there is a prosecution and a defense in trials for a reason.

If you only listen to one side, it makes drawing a conclusion quite easy.

posted by wah at 7:32 AM on January 23, 2006


81 points and only 2 assists. That sums it up. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 7:39 AM on January 23, 2006


W

That's the only number that matters. :)
posted by wah at 7:52 AM on January 23, 2006


He was playing the 14 and 27 Raptors folks, no cause for excitement.

Canadian teams in the US National Basketball Association is like US teams in the Canadian National Hockey League.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:02 AM on January 23, 2006


wah, I suppose your argument is she liked it rough? Or perhaps that the police photographs were doctored?

Given that the defense rested on discussing the girl's sex life, and not on attempting to find evidence that the rape didn't happen . . . Well, personally, I'm skeptical of someone's innocence any time their highly-paid starts trying to change the subject rather than prove the crime never happened.

I also find the argument the girl dropped the charges because she was lying ridiculous. There were photographs of not just her, but her house and family posted all over the internet. Her address and telephone number were readily available. Her entire life was dissected by millions of people and she received death threats, pressures for interviews, and abuse for months.

Given the experience of rape is already traumatizing and piling that on top of that, you can hardly blame her for just wanting to make it all go away so she can just live her life.
posted by schroedinger at 8:04 AM on January 23, 2006


You also have to remember that the girl resisted taking a settlement for about a year and only did so after the DA shit on her by accidentally releasing her name for like the 5th time.
posted by b_thinky at 12:43 AM PST on January 23


If you take a private settlement from the party who allegedly raped you in exchange for dropping the criminal proceedings, then you lose all sympathy with me. If my wife or daughter were the victim I would be horrified at even the suggestion of such a thing. You might as well call it retroactive prostitution.

My aunt works as a sexual education and abuse/assault counselor as a state college . . . [snip] . . . All that, all that evidence that couldn't be shown to the media until the case was over and it was too late anyhow.

All the more reason to reject a settlement.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2006


Disgrace is hard to overcome. Just ask Pete Rose.

Kobe wants to be like Mike, but he will never be Michael.

Shaq is still better.
posted by caddis at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2006




wah, I suppose your argument is she liked it rough? Or perhaps that the police photographs were doctored?

Well, I'm no big city defense lawyer, but if there was evidence that any of her numerous other lovers would testify that she did, indeed, like it rough...then I would probably bring that up in court.

I don't think you have to go all the way to doctored photos, but if one could show the size of Kobe's hands vs the tender skin of a young woman, there's other arguments there.

All I'm saying in this context is that your anecdote was blindingly one-sided. I don't know what happened. I do know that the case was dropped. I also know that the rich get special treatment in this country (via their ability to trade riches for justice).

I also know that Kobe scored 81 points, and as far as his basketball reputation is concerned, he is in pretty good shape. His personal reputation is another matter.

And that's all before we get to the nature of the NBA and the HUGE NUMBER of golddiggers out there.

There were photographs of not just her, but her house and family posted all over the internet. Her address and telephone number were readily available. Her entire life was dissected by millions of people and she received death threats, pressures for interviews, and abuse for months.

The same thing happened to Kobe. Oh, and he was accused of rape.

While I understand the 'want to make it go away' argument, I also think there are other, just as plausible explanations for the way things turned out.

Personally, I think that if Kobe hadn't tried to drive down the hershey highway, we would have never heard a peep about his sexual preferences.

As it stands, legally, he is innocent of the charges brought against him. (period)

Now, should be talk about the motivations of a prosecutor who lost a major case under a national spotlight?
posted by wah at 8:18 AM on January 23, 2006


I thought Kobe paid her off, simple as that.

So in answer to the question:

No.
posted by mikel at 8:41 AM on January 23, 2006


I hate it when people think there's only room for one sentence in a paragraph. Carry on.
posted by goatdog at 8:53 AM on January 23, 2006


before last night I thought MJ was much much much much better than kobe, now, I think MJ was only much much much better than kobe..
posted by pez_LPhiE at 9:07 AM on January 23, 2006


No, MJ was better, Kobe just plays in a much suckier NBA. I'm not saying he's not good, but it's not hard for a diamond to shine out when planted in a pile of shiat.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:51 AM on January 23, 2006


He was playing the 14 and 27 Raptors folks, no cause for excitement.

But those Raptors started the season 1-15, and have gone 13-12 since then with an excellent group of improving young players, including Chris Bosh (who should get some MVP consideration).

Canadian teams in the US National Basketball Association is like US teams in the Canadian National Hockey League.

What? They're all American players anyways. The Raptors made the playoffs three years in a row earlier this decade before Vince Carter decided he didn't want to try anymore. Does the same apply for the Blue Jays of baseball? They've won one more WS title in the last 15 years than the White Sox or Red Sox have won in 90. And the NHL is hardly the "Canadian" NHL seeing as 24/30 teams are US based, and even in the good old original 6 days, 4 were US based. Not to mention that no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since 1993. Your statement makes little sense.
posted by loquax at 10:06 AM on January 23, 2006


schroedinger: I think some of that evidence got media play. I seem to recall Kobe telling investigators his other mistresses around the country would testify that that's the way he likes to have sex.

I once heard a Kobe-rumor from one of my friends who may be in a position to know. A few years ago, the Pacers Reggie Miller trash talked Kobe into such a frenzy, that Kobe attacked Miller as the buzzer sounded, despite the Lakers winning comfortably.

What did Miller say that so upset Kobe? Apparently, Kobe's preference for anal sex is well known around the league and rumor has it Kobe once was tricked into boinking a cross-dresser.

But I think if that were true a lot more people than Reggie Miller would be in Kobe's face about it. Kobe is almost universally disliked.
posted by b_thinky at 11:29 AM on January 23, 2006


"No, MJ was better, Kobe just plays in a much suckier NBA. I'm not saying he's not good, but it's not hard for a diamond to shine out when planted in a pile of shiat."

Wow. Not a basketball fan, then? The Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs are playing some of the best basketball games ever. Ever. The Pistons in particular, if you'll allow me a little home team pride, are unfuckwithable right now, and pretty well shut Kobe's ass down every time he comes to Detroit. So yeah, 81 points against the Toronto Cripples and Retards. Kobe's a fantastic basketball scorer, and was playing a team with absolutely no chance of stopping him, but when the Lakers play any TEAM in the NBA, it's, what, just over 50% that they'll win? And often by very thin margins?
posted by klangklangston at 11:33 AM on January 23, 2006


Toronto Cripples and Retards

You're going to be eating those words in a few years, when our rookies develop, Bosh becomes unstoppable, and we rid ourselves of the cap anchors that are Jalen Rose and the player formerly known as Vince Carter.
posted by loquax at 12:08 PM on January 23, 2006


Also, what's up with the Raptors coach not defending Kobe better? Usually when a player is hot, teams will double or triple team, play zone defense or maybe just foul the shit out of him. The Raptors didn't do anything.

If Kobe takes more shots than the rest of his team combined, I'd feel pretty safe in not guarding at least some of the other Lakers. Hell if Kobe attracted all 5 defenders and his other 4 teammates were wide open, I'm pretty sure he'd still shoot at least 30% of the Lakers shots anyways.
posted by b_thinky at 12:10 PM on January 23, 2006


Look at the doubt concerning Mark McGwire's upcoming Hall of Fame eligibility
-loquax


Of course being accused of rape is not performance enhancing.

It wouldn't be the first time that athletes got off with a slap on the wrist or less for commiting a crime specifically because of this country's feverish devotion to its athletes
-shmegegge


It also wouldn't be the first time some famous athlete was falsely accused of a crime in an attempt to get money, etc, from them.
posted by scottymacten at 12:14 PM on January 23, 2006


The Raptors didn't do anything

They couldn't!! He was travelling! Constantly! All they could do is foul at the end because the refs were calling nothing. And he was taking ludicrous shots that no one would normally think of guarding against. Cheating + luck + hogging the ball = 81 points.

Of course, that being said, the Raptor's defense is atrocious at the best of times.

Of course being accused of rape is not performance enhancing.

My point was that he'll never live it down despite his accomplishments (and he was a true golden boy), just like Kobe will never live down the allegations against him, no matter what he does. For the majority of people, the name Kobe will always be associated with rape (regardless of the facts or the outcome of the trial) in one way or another.
posted by loquax at 12:25 PM on January 23, 2006


I was joking about the NBA/NHL thing, by the way, no need for a treatise.

I still say the NBA sucks now compared to the Dream Team/Threepeat era when MJ was at his peak. Wonder why the ratings are down?

Interesting how much press this and the Kobe vs. Shack thing get too, right when revenues are in a slump... and you say the refs weren't calling anything, hmm...
posted by Pollomacho at 12:51 PM on January 23, 2006


for those of you who missed the game, here are Kobe's highlights.from last night

yes there were some "easy" shots, but there were some monsters too.

hat tip: raptor blog
posted by tsarfan at 1:01 PM on January 23, 2006


if only chris childs had been there.

For the sake of the discussion, for those intersted, Kobe got called out by Nas on "These Are Our Heroes" (from his most recent album)

First he played his life cool just like Michael
Now he rock ice too just like I do
Yo, you can't do better than that?
The hotel clerk who adjusts the bathroom mat?
Now you lose sponsorships that you thought had your back
Yeah, you beat the rap jiggaboo, fake nigga you
You turn around then you shit on Shaq
Who woulda knew, Mr. Goodie-Two-Shoes
He love a little butt crack, got enough cash
Little kids with they bus pass who look up to you
To do something for the youth, stupid spoof
But you let them use you as an example
They would rep, but our heroes got they hands full
posted by 8 Bit at 1:04 PM on January 23, 2006


I was joking about the NBA/NHL thing, by the way, no need for a treatise.

No! You pricked my national pride! And on an election day no less. You can't expect to escape with anything less than a defense of...well, American players being paid millions of dollars by sports entertainment corporations to nominally represent the exclusive geographic franchise territory that is Southern Ontario.

Also, I agree that the NBA today is much worse than it was in the 80's and early 90's, although refs gave both MJs a wide berth. Bird too. Not mention that you couldn't touch them without having a foul called.
posted by loquax at 1:11 PM on January 23, 2006


so 8bit, youre saying that those little kids with they bus passes arent all pretending theyre kobe today in the playground as theyre shooting 3s?

i bet they are.

plus i bet none of them are pretending to be Nas.
posted by tsarfan at 1:12 PM on January 23, 2006


well, i'm not Nas , but i think he is saying you owe it to the kids not to dump on your teamate, cheap on your wife, and take on a persona that you didn't have when corporate america was behind you.

i'm sure kids are not thinking about this, so yes, they probably are pretending to be kobe, and not nas. and, there probably aren't too many who are pretending to be chris childs either.
posted by 8 Bit at 1:24 PM on January 23, 2006


Here is my take on it.

"Innocent until proven guilty" only applies to the government in regards to depriving a person of life, liberty or property. In regards to bonds of friendship, love, affiliation or business, it is entirely justified to sever a relationship with someone based on the whif, hint, or scandal of less than ethical conduct, even if that conduct can be justified as legal. Sports leagues are not obligated to wait until a criminal verdict to make a decision about whether someone should play.

Mr. Bryant's admitted actions, and the reasonable suspicion that what he admits to may not have been consensual, is in my opinion, enough justification to bar him from setting foot into any basketball arena. The lack of an ethical backbone in professional sports is a major reason why I don't watch.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:27 PM on January 23, 2006


kirk,

cut the shit. just admit you dont like pro sports. it has zero to do with ethics, backbone, or athletes being accused of shit so they can get tapped for their money.

we're all friends here.
posted by tsarfan at 1:48 PM on January 23, 2006


tsarfan: cut the shit. just admit you dont like pro sports. it has zero to do with ethics, backbone, or athletes being accused of shit so they can get tapped for their money.

Follow your own advice, please. You don't know me, or my history.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:45 PM on January 23, 2006


Also, I agree that the NBA today is much worse than it was in the 80's and early 90's, although refs gave both MJs a wide berth

I think the league was more marketable in the 80s because the players were more identifiable (no foreigners or high school players - only guys who spent 3 or 4 years in college), but back then defense was just a rumor.

If you ever catch a game on ESPN Classic, you'll see what I'm talking about. It's no wonder the league was so high scoring in those days.

On the other hand, talent is more dilluted now with all the expanision. Since 1988 there are 7 new teams (Heat, Hornets, T'Wolves, Magic, Grizzlies, Raptors and Bobcats) if I'm not missing any. Now imagine taking the top 2-3 players from the worst teams in the league and putting them on another roster. The league is suddenly a lot tougher.
posted by b_thinky at 3:12 PM on January 23, 2006


although refs gave both MJs a wide berth. Bird too. Not [to] mention that you couldn't touch them without having a foul called.

They were awesome thogh, weren't they? Superstars who still played team basketball. Kobe ain't never gonna play no team ball. Just ask Shaq.
posted by caddis at 3:12 PM on January 23, 2006


The lack of an ethical backbone in professional sports is a major reason why I don't watch.

Huh? Which entertainment industry features a strong "ethical backbone"? They're all driven by profit and pandering to public opinion? And which industry's top performers haven't demonstrated inclinations toward excess, selfishness, and poor judgement? I mean, you don't have to go too far to come up with examples from music, film, television, literature, etc... I don't see pro sports (the industry or the athletes) as being noticeably worse.

And amateur (college) sports are really no better. Different, but no better.
posted by 27 at 3:23 PM on January 23, 2006


Wilt Chamberlain has 15 of the top 20 spots on the list of most points by one player in a NBA game.

Michael Jordan has six NBA rings, and scored 50 or more points in a game 30 times. That's during the regular season; he did it eight more times in the playoffs.

Kobe Bryant has three NBA rings, and has scored 50 or more points in a game nine times, none in the playoffs.

Kobe couldn't win the title without Shaq, Shaq couldn't win the title without Kobe, and they couldn't win the title together until Phil Jackson showed up.

back then defense was just a rumor

Don't tell that to the "Bad Boy"-era Detroit Pistons.

Kobe ain't never gonna play no team ball.

It is kind of hard to imagine him doing something like dishing to Steve Kerr for the shot that won the NBA championship.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:10 PM on January 23, 2006


On-topic:

If you any doubt, incidentally, that Bryant's 81 points is an extraordinary feat, I highly suggest Stephen Jay Gould's Full House, which decisively answers the question "why doesn't anyone hit .400 any more" and which I think directly applies to Bryant's new record.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:48 PM on January 23, 2006


While I acknowledge that MJ was a great player, he was also the start of the modern era of the NBA with regard to officiating— he walked like he was backpacking in Europe. Kobe does the same thing. You count one-two-three-four-five steps on his drive instead of the two an' a half you're allowed. But it's been an open secret in the sports world for YEARS that the NBA explicitly gives their stars the latitude to make extraordinary plays. Refs get reamed if they call charges or travels on marquee players. While not as rigged as wrestling, sometimes the NBA comes close. (Not to start my Detroit bitching again, but the reffing team that called last year's championship WAS biased against the Pistons, and cost them the championship).

Oh, and on the Canadian Hockey League? Only one Canadian team leads a division, and it's also the only one to be higher in points than the Wings, and only by a couple... You can talk up Ottowa all you want, but when you call it the Canadian Hockey League, the Habs and the Leafs better not be suckin' wind, let alone Calgary and Edmonton.
posted by klangklangston at 8:13 AM on January 24, 2006


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