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In January 2017 Lonzo Ball was positioned well within the NBA lottery on multiple Draft-centered websites. DraftExpress.com had Ball going fourth overall, and the website had Ball ranked fourth among its top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. NBADraft.net had Ball as its first overall pick, and Aran Smith ranked Ball fourth on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks Ball second on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects.

All of these website also had UCLA, Lonzo Ball’s team making the Final Four. The top 12 NBA prospects moved up the draft board, except for markelle fultz, due to their NCAA performance. Dennis Smith moved down the draft board, but he tore his ACL in August 2016.
Lonzo Ball had a weak NCAA performance scoring 10 points, being outplayed in every way by Kentunky’s De’Arron Fox, 39 points, but Lonzo still moved up the draft board. Lonzo was going to be drafted and he is a big time talent. Some people were concerned about his awkward shot and his horrible 65 free throw shooting percentage but on top of those concerns came the horrible NCAA tournament, yet he still moved up the draft board.
Why?
In The Gym Range had Lonzo Ball going 5th overall just before the March NCAA tournament and strangely enough that is when Lonzo’s father, the outspoken Lavar Ball began making regular appearances on well-known sports talk shows like ESPN’s First Take and Fox’s Undisputed.

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In March 2017, LaVar Ball remarked that Lonzo was a better player than current NBA MVP Stephen Curry. By mid-March he was asserting that Lonzo was better than Jason Kidd,  LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. The memes and videos of Lavar’s appearances spiraled out of control. By the start of the NCAA tournament some draft boards had Lonzo as the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Meanwhile Lavar said that his son Lonzo was going to be a Los Angeles Laker, the Lakers had the #2 pick.
UCLA fell to Kentucky in the 2017 NCAA Division I Tournament, Lonzo Ball had two uninspiring performances in each game. Before the tournament T.J. Leaf UCLA’s Power Forward was projected in the top 10 of the NBA draft. After UCLA’s tournament performance some sites dropped Leaf to the 28th pick.
LaVar Ball said, “Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.” After this causal sport fans began to question Lavar’s parenting skill and techniques. However, Lavar Ball was ratings gold and and must-see tv for morning sports shows. See the sports gods know that Lavar as two more very good basketball playing sons coming through pipeline. They were using him for ratings, but he was going to be around for awhile.

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LaVar was ready to handle any backlash thrown his way. Lavar knew that this promotion was tied to college basketball, so Lavar expanded his on-air boasting to include himself. “Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one. He’s too light in the ass.” This boast prompted Charles Barkley to challenged LaVar to play one-on-one. With each appearance LaVar’s statements grew bolder, he said that he believed his three sons would be worth $1 billion for a shoe deal.
LaVar compared Lonzo to Magic Johnson and said his boy would bring showtime back to LA. There were circulating rumors that the L.A. Lakers wanted Lonzo and that Lonzo was a game changer. Most shows, articles and social medianites mused that Lavar had put too much pressure on his son and hurt his sons draft stock. In the tournament Lonzo Ball was outplayed in both of his match ups with top five picks at his position. Naturally, you would assume that draft boards would charted Lonzo (who was 5th) as losing ground to other top guards.

Lavar Savage
The big picture was that the NBA, the fans and the media want a light-skin toned ball player to promote. Lavar Ball was smart enough to realize that he was now part of the machine and his next moves proves it. In April, Lavar shifted from basketball and said that his family’s Big Baller Brand apparel company, would compete with Nike. The following week, Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas declined to sign an endorsement deal with Lonzo, according to LaVar.

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On May 4, 2017, Big Baller Brand announced its first signature shoes, the ZO2, with a retail price of $495 to be shipped on November 24. Shaquille O’Neal criticized Ball for overpricing the shoes. Dick Vitale took aim at the price by citing Lonzo’s performance against Kentucky at the NCAA Tournament. Social Media and sports talks shows were highly critical. Ball answered critics by posting on Twitter, “If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!”
By now surely people had forgotten any remnants of NCAA tournament and Lonzo’s poor performances, but how could the man with the megaphone be sure…A week later he tweeted, “LaVar Ball: Lonzo Ball ‘Only Working Out’ For Lakers; Predicts Playoff Drought Ends With Son In L.A.”

Lakers

Lakers Ball

And on draft night the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the 2nd overall pick, and the fans rejoiced saying Lonzo Ball is the perfect fit. If Lonzo had fallen like he normally would have the Lakers could have traded down, gained additional picks and still drafted Ball. Lavar’s hype and the NBA’s need to have a lighter-skin tone person to train camera’s on prevented the Lakers from making additional moves.
After the playoff it was clear that the Celtics didn’t need a point guard and the other top point guards had outperformed Lonzo.

Lavar Is Trying To Get Off The Plantation

The Celtics traded the #1 pick. Magic Johnson said “Lonzo is the new face of the Lakers.” and then he signed him to a 4 year $33 million dollar contact. If Ball had fallen to #10 and the Lakers could have traded down, Lonzo’s contract would have been 4 year $14 million dollars…So Thank Dad.

Forbes NBA Salary List

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All of LaVar Ball statements and boasting elevated his son’s draft stock, an basically doubled his contract. The boasting also increased the spotlight on Lonzo Ball, increased the expectations and of course it has brought out the racist. I am sure that was a calculation by Lavar, get the psychos to hate him and not his son. Almost every negative commentary on LaVar Ball is about his parenting skills, his mouth almost of the comments are sprinkled with overtly or coded racist language.

The elder Ball has become one of the most visible figures in basketball due to his tireless promotion of his talented brood and his seemingly magnetic attraction to any microphone or camera pointed his way. The audacious absurdity of Lavar’s decades-long plan to get all three of his three boys to the NBA is exceeded only by the increasingly bold, eye-roll-inducing boasts that made him a one-man 24-hour news cycle.
Lavar raises the bar and his sons keep sailing over it, checking boxes, and stuffing their resumes with head-scratching feats, like LiAngelo 72 points and LaMelo 92 point games. Yes, all three brothers played on the Chino Hills high school national championship team, systematically destroying every scoring records they could find.

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LaVar toned it down during the NBA Finals, he even wore suits to his on-air segments while promoting his son’s $1,000 shoe (which are signed and come in a lighted case). He also claimed that he can’t play Jordan or Barkley one-on-one anymore due to he fact that he’s is ‘retired and now a CEO.’

People don’t even like Lavar due to his constant bombastic nature. He talks the way he talks to everyone, but when a women, especially a white woman is involved they call him sexist only because that’s the agenda Ace card to put him in his place. That’s how you turn all women against him, and that’s how you get his supporters to discredit him. You see the media used him as they elevated him, and they will use him as they lower him. At the end of the day Lavar is a Black man and Black men can’t behave as if they have no master, as if they set the rules, and they can’t talk anyway they want to white women…that’s a definite no-no.

Being sexist is easy for people to fathom, but believing that the NBA wants to promote lighter skin tone Black players isn’t. Although, fans do seem to accept that to sports shows must have two or three black athletes/ex-coachs/ex-presidents and one white person as the slave-mast, err moderator and that somehow little blonde hair, blue-eyed white women keep getting sports show gigs and side-line reporter jobs. not to mention how if you look really carefully that white sportscasters have their chair elevated, making the black ex-player commentator seem shorter…in hierarchy.

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Fans doesn’t want to believe that they just witnessed the NBA and sports media orchestrate colorism. We want to believe that these players marketability have nothing to do with it skin tone. To accept this we would have to also accept that we, the fan, the poster, the commentator, are apart of elevating lighter skin tone Blacks over darker ones, even if we didn’t notice.

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Instead of the NBA being concerned with the imbalance in conferences they are worried about racial politics. Here are some headlines from this years articles: “LeBron versus #TeamLightBright.”, “The Golden Skinned Warriors.” “the Splash Brothers look like they maybe have a splash of coffee in their cream.”, “Too Pretty to Play”
Sports Racial Politics

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“When i first met Curry, I thought he was white,” Kevin Durant said. He was the only one who said it out loud.
“I’ve never seen anything like that light-skinned dude,” Allen Iverson said.
“Steph is light-skinned, so they want to make him out to be soft.”- Draymond Green, Steph Curry’s teammate
“The Light-Skin Movement is very strong, “It’s Light Time,” Austin Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers

NBA players, including LeBron James have taken note of this ‘light privilege’ and have questioned the sports media and the NBA’s quick promotion of Stephen Curry, all the way down to his little daughter Riley. Klay Thompson can play and Curry had a great year, but soon LeBron James was taking a backseat to Curry.
Exploiting people’s internal biases is a marketing mainstay, before Curry it was the Los Angeles Clipper’s Blake Griffin, who because of his skin tone had a ‘broad cultural appeal’, he was advertiser’s golden boy.
Griffin NBA’s Golden Boy

After Stephen Curry won the NBA’s 2016 MVP Award Lebron James said “If you do it by a year-to-year basis, I think sometimes the word ‘valuable’ or best player of the year, you can have different results.” Curry ignored LeBron’s chaffing and most people chalked it up to jealousy, but LeBron, like Kanye at the MTV Awards, saw what was happening and wasn’t going to let it go down without saying something.
LeBron Doesn’t Like Steph…

Over the last three seasons the Golden State Warrior have won more games than any other team. The Golden State Warriors are fronted by Curry and Thompson, dubbed the Splash Brothers and both are light skin toned men who can shoot. They have won two out of the last three NBA titles, but in the off-season everyone talks about the Lakers, but now the Lakers has its own light-skin tone to promote.

Shot mechanics…suspect, ball handling…suspect, passing…pretty good but don’t worry because of course Lonzo Ball will have a little help to make sure he does well. NBA Summer League games are packed and Facebook is producing a Ball Family reality show, maybe this Ball hype and the NBA seems to be more alive than ever, so maybe hype is all the fans really want or need. Los Angeles is a major market, this historic team returning to greatest will be a big benefit to the NBA, fans and the Los Angeles Lakers will lead a lot of story lines, and don’t forget that Lavar Ball will be along for the ride.

 

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There are no accidents

The NBA likes to populate the good white players to play in Indiana, Utah and Boston. Right now the NBA is planning to separate Klay Thompson to another team, so this promotion will spread, rumors are already circulating.

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As the NBA Playoffs begin I reflect on the excitement of the regular season. Miami gets Lebron James, Shaq’s battle with father-time, The looming lock-out, the Sacramento Kings heading for Anaheim, the Lakers manic play, Kevin Love setting the NBA consecutive double-double record, the best dunk contest in a decade, Derrick Rose’s climb to the MVP,  the ridiculous fine David Stern unjustly levied on Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin’s High Fly better than Lebron’s Rookie-Non-Rookie season and oh yeah, the trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Carmelo Anthony’s summer wedding to television personality La La Vazquez, is where Charlotte Hornet guard Chris Paul toasted that he and Anthony should get together in New York, for their version of a dream team, since then everyone knew that Carmelo Anthony would be traded. Why?  Mostly because Anthony refused to sign a three-year 65 million dollar extension with the Denver Nuggets. Denver offered Anthony the extension only to over inflate Anthony’s value so they could dupe Mikhail Prokhorov the New Jersey Nets new Russian Billionaire owner into giving away the farm to get Carmelo. The trade talks swirled out of control with rumors that the Nets were sending as many as five first round draft picks as well as players to the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony. The rumors stayed absurd until January when the Nets owner arrived in the states and showed the NBA exactly how he made his Billions. He shut down the season long trade negotiations, which shifted pressure on New York to get a deal for Anthony done.

Every fan and sandbox sports prognosticator, analyst and commentator said “Get Carmelo Anthony at any cost”, “Talent like Carmelo Anthony don’t come by often”, “Get him now and sort out the details later.” They asked questions like “could Anthony and Stoudamire co-exist” , “would there be enough basketballs to go around” and “could Anthony handle the spotlight”. As the trade deadline loomed the deal for Anthony formed. Denver received Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash. New York received Carmel Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer.  New York wanted Chanuncy Billups included in the deal to make sure that ‘Melo’ was comfortable in his transition. The Nuggets received a host of young energy players with potential, New York waived Corey Brewer. Since the trade the Nuggets have played with good offense and passion, and the Knick have played with a lack of defense, motivation and chemistry. All of New York’s issues I am sure that columnist and commentators from around the nation will find a way to blame Isiah Thomas for.

In the off-season Amare Stoudamire left the Phoenix Suns and signed a 100 million dollar contract with New York. He led a resurgence of a failed franchise. He had the commentators talking about the Knicks, but more importantly he had the fans believing. The Knicks were winning with Stoudamire leading the way. Amare wasn’t happy in Phoenix, always in Steve Nash’s shadow never getting the credit he deserved. He went to New York and was proving that his gripe was legitimate. Amare led the Knick to some stunning and amazing victories and he was the leading candidate for MVP, until the NBA trade deadline came near. The nearer the deadline, the more the newly resurgent Knicks began to falter. Never mind that trading away half of your team mid-season for a player who never defended is not a good idea. Never mind that the team could have waited and signed Anthony to a reasonable contract at season’s end, save for a lock-out.

No. The pressure was get Carmelo now, Do the deal now and What are the Knicks waiting for. Was it the media’s pressure? Was it owner James Dolan’s myopic focus on Denver that he allowed the a deal for Utah’s star point guard Deron Williams slip through his fingers? New York could have had Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams and still kept a player or two. In fact many in the media were surprised when Utah traded Deron Williams. Williams was abruptly traded to the New Jersey Nets and the Billionaire’s clinic was complete. Had any of these commentators actually seen Carmelo play? 22 million per year for Carmello when Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are earning 16 million per year. As a point guard Chauncy Billups is no slouch, but he isn’t two players either. Since the trade the New York has played a 14 -14 record and the Denver Nuggets have surged with a record of 18-6, Denver has also moved up two playoff positions, and it didn’t take a year to gel together like, Carmelo has said it may take in New York. The new Nugget players have played hard, fast and together. They run ten deep, share the ball and play defense. The real story of this blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade isn’t the season long drama, it isn’t that the commentators were wrong or that New York win or lose may have to make a few more moves to get things right in the Big Apple. No the real tragedy here is how the Carmelo Anthony trade cost Amare Stoudamire this years MVP award. Now, Mr. Stoudamire wont suffer with his 100 million dollar contract, but if he never wins an MVP award he can look to the player standing next to him, to the owner and to the media.

MG Has Spoken on Twitta

In the 2012 NBA season, even with the addition of Tyson Chandler, have been having a horrible season and have been outplayed by those cast out to get Carmelo, particularly Danilo Gallinari. The Knicks traded everything to get Carmelo, but yet they are still losing. “Expectations are still high. Things will still be great,” he said. “I’m not down, I’m not regretting anything. I’m not regretting the trade.” Carmelo Anthony. With Jeremy Lin playing like not other guard before will Carmelo seed the helm of the Knicks to him…I don’t think so. Big dogs don’t like little dogs even if it is to their benefit.

During the process for writing my new book I had the privileged and opportunity to speak with hundreds of diverse people. I spoke to many immigrants illegal and naturalized.  I had numerous conversations with many Hispanics on the issue of immigration, but more importantly on the issue of  illegal immigration. What these many individuals imparted to me, for my book, was enlightening to say the least. I won’t say that the Arizona Bill is right or wrong, but here is what I will say. The Media has been all over this topic reporting this, investigating that, showing numbers and stats. And we, the masses,  are tuning in and posting. Even our “leaders” and elected officials, who haven’t done anything of note in their city and who we haven’t seen or heard from in months, have also chimed in with their own share of face time about SB 1070. Even Los Angeles’ misguided Mayor Antonio Villarigosa convinced the city of Los Angeles to have all businesses boycott Arizona, but somehow the boycott didn’t extend to businesses, colleges or professional sports teams.

There is so much misinformation on both sides of this issue. Are illegal immigrants employed in the low tedious work that a lot of Americans don’t want to do? Yeap. Is there a difference between illegal immigrant and an immigrant? Yeap. Why does the media and spokespeople seem to put them all in the same barrel? Coalition politics. The fact of the matter is that America, like it or not, is a nation of immigrants. And what that means is that the person next to you, the person you call friend, the person you know and love maybe an immigrant. However, the immigrants who have legally come to the U.S. do have a problem with the illegal immigrants from the Western border…and rightly so.

Many immigrants that have come to the U.S. by boat or by plane and they had to wait in line, or they had a work/school visa. Many of them have taken naturalization classes and fulfilled all of the necessary steps to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. The fact is that most immigrants are white collar workers and and thus pay a large amount of taxes.

The majority of American’s either supported the Arizona bill or something legislation close to it. There have been many assertions concerning potential police abuse, but doesn’t every law have the same potential? If you don’t trust law enforcement officials, then why trust them on anything. Why pass a bill at all? Why not just make the federal government enforce what is already the law? They are elected by us, so that means that they work for us. We don’t want them on television, we don’t want the sound bites and we damn sure don’t want the politics. What Americans want, not let me rephrase that, what Americans demand is action. Politicians will use the public emotions to get elected and then do nothing about the issue.  Arizona appears to simply be one of the many battle grounds for a much larger American issue.

What if the Arizona Legislature were to pass a law saying that Arizona would be an “English Only State”? And by English only no non-English store signs, no DMV with 11 languages printed forms, no banks using your money to print things in who knows how many languages, would that be divisive or unifying? President Bush sent 6,000 troops to the border and the problem became worse, so why is President Obama is sending 1200 troops to the border? Politics, and  to generate good headlines that galvanize the base and Hispanic voter incase of a low voter turn out election.  The United States deports over 1000 people per day, so even if immigration reform were done, it would only be part of the solution. The DREAM act, would provide amnesty for many illegal immigrants living in this country, has been tabled by congress. As other states follow Arizona’s lead the federal government waste tax payer monies by filing a lawsuit against Arizona. The bill wont solve Arizona’s problem, if anything SB 1070 is a cry for help.

Now here is the Truth. The border and immigration issue will nver be properly addressed because many non-latino illegal immigrants, who are in America have families with deep pockets. This is especially true on the East Coast, which enjoys a healthly amount of illegal immigrants from Europe. Also many illegal immigrants come from Asian countries and now live hear with their well-to-do children. The media chooses to focus on the Hispanic community because they have the least amount of in-country power. There are many illegal immigrants in America and only 70% of them are hispanic. The most important reason the border issues with not be resolved is because the FAA does not track airplane flights below a certain height. This means that if your airplane is below that height you are not tracked, don’t need to have a flight log and do not have to register your flight with the FAA. This is how the majority of human trafficking and drugs gets into the country. This is one of America’s dirty little secrets… The Border Issue extends to the sky. As long as the powers that be can keep the citizens and congress focused on what is happening on the ground, the skies are and have been wide open. The FAA has admitted that they have not been about to track 120,000 planes in the United States, but somehow news agencies always reports the one commerical flight that has a problem. I don’t think that the people we see being  arrested on T.V. and running through fields own a single plane, do you?  While Home Land Security puts out warning and squeezes the average traveller putting them through invasive pat downs, making them wait in long lines, scanning them with radiation and repeated questions and searches, they have been letting those who own planes come and go as they please. I was shocked when I discovered this fact during the course of research for my book It Ain’t Just the Size. Furthermore, all of the immigrants legal and not that I honestly spoked to advocated Closing the Western Border, for a limited time period, “it’s chaos, if they don’t vote to close it then you know who they really work for”.

There have been some in the media and even in the blogs who have had Lebron James’ name of the tip of their fingers ever since the season started. They are even those who feel that Lebron might be the first could be the NBA’s first unanimous pick for MVP.  Aside from Lebron James there has been almost no mention of another other candidate for MVP  that could possibly win the award this year.  The fans don’t get to vote, well the NBA has come up with this gimmick, presented by Kia, which allows fans to vote, with the combined fans’ choice counting for one vote on the official ballot, when Shaquille O’Neal received 1207 votes in 2000, that one vote that the millions of fans cast really doesn’t amount to much. Will Lebron James win the award for a second time, or will someone else steal his thunder?

The results are in…

Lebron James: The Cleveland Cavaliers have the most wins. He is having a dominating season. He is a living breathing highlight. He has been dominate and he captivates every single night.

Knock:  For all of his dominance Lebron is not making his teammates better especially All-Star veterans like Antonie Jamison, and Shaq.  He is doing himself a disservice by the nightly high fly highlights.  It will just make it that much easier to notice when he has lost a step.

Kobe Bryant: The Los Angeles Lakers have the most wins in the west and at times they have looked unbeatable and for those other times there is Number 24 saving the game yet again.

Knock: He can shoot his team into a game just as quickly as he can shoot them out of it. When he is not happy he tends not to pass to wide open teammates.

Dwight Howard: For the Orlando Magic he has been unstoppable in the paint, whether he is throwing down dunks or blocking shots.

Knock: Push him out past 6 or 7 feet and he’s just body count. Shot arsenal and block shot control are his kryptonite.

Kevin Durant: He is a scoring machine and has not been contained in a game yet. He has challenged Lebron all year for the scoring title and he does whatever the team needs to win even if that means not scoring 3o points a night.  He has all of the younger players following his lead.

Knock:  No edge. How will he respond to the pressure of the big stage?

Stephen Jackson: Not a joke, but because of the famous “Brawl”  he may never get an award, but the fact remains that he is equally solid on both ends of the court. In the half court he will guard the smallest guard to the tallest foward equally effectively.  He is the glue and the sole reason the Charlotte Bobcats are in the playoffs this year.

Knock:  Needs a better publicist.

All of these player deserve the award, but only one will win it. Now remember before you cast your vote, that the MVP award is awarded to the player who is the Most Valuable Player, not the most popular, not the home town favorite. It is awarded to the player that makes his teammates better.

Surprising Results:

Stephen Jackson wins with 43%

Kevin Durant 21%

Lebron James 14%

These results are very interesting indeed. Now I am glad I included Stephen Jackson in this poll.  He does deserve more credit than he has been given maybe this little poll might help.


We liked Michael Jordan, although he gambled, fought other players, cheated on his wife, and was at times classless. We liked Shaq, although at times the big fella was just too sensitive. And despite all of Magic’s faults we still like him. We like Lebron, even though he jilted Cleveland.  We Like Dwayne Wade and we like a whole lot of other players, but why don’t people like Kobe? Even though he takes the team on his back and saves the game, still a majority of  league players  say that they don’t want to play with him. The guy has six rings for goodness sake, but when your own teammates say that you should opt-out at the end of the season,  it’s time that we examine why people don’t like Kobe. This list is in no particular order.

1. He was very selfish when he came in the league and he still is.- go to the tape
2. When Magic suggested that he spend some time with his teammates his response was “For What?” – go to the tape
3. He slapped Samaki Walker in the back of the head on the team bus. Samaki got up and started to choke Kobe. When Kobe asked for assistance… His teammates kept looking out the window.- I just threw this in because it is mildly humorous.
4. He originally said that growing up he never paid Michael Jordan much attention.-That is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard!
5. He cussed out Tex Winter. -Tex is like 7,000 years old, I mean really.

6. He called Karl Malone old, and then told him “I don’t need yo pick”.
7. He also ruined the last year of The Mailman’s playing career. -This you can debate.
8. If there is a Man Code he became the top violator when he ratted out Shaq.- Some things you just don’t do.
9. In game seven of the crucial 2006 playoffs Vs. Phoenix, Kobe let it be known that he quit on the team, by standing 6 feet above the three point line watching and waving to his teammates for much of the second half. You saw him do it, you just didn’t know what he was doing, so Charles Barkley called him out on air by saying “Kobe quit that night, plain and simple”.- go to the tape.
10. He’s a whiner- go to the tape(s).


11. He forced L.A.’s mayor to get off the parade bus. That day Kobe could be heard saying “I’m being infringed upon”. – Personally I might have done the same thing, but the mayor was crucial in helping the Lakers have a Parade in the first place.
12. He is Defensively Overrated. Back in the day Shaq was frowning on everybody that got past Kobe… and they did get past him. Now he has three seven footer behind him.

13. He made Filmmaker Spike Lee stand at his private gated community for an hour and still didn’t buzz him in, or come out to talk with him. -I would say watch “Kobe Doing Work”, but do so at your own risk not because I suggested it.
14. His feud with Phil Jackson.- The Zen Master
15. His Trade *explicative* Bynum, or I’ll be in Chicago Talk.
16. One minute before Lebron James was the Cleveland Cavaliers Number One Overall draft pick. Kobe chose to announced that we was opting out of his Lakers’ contract, effectively stealing Lebron’s spotlight.

17. In 1999 he was the only NBA player that voted to continue The Strike!
18. Lebron is fast approaching, but Kobe is the most Ref-Aided NBA Player in the game. Traveling and charging are supposed to be illegal.
19. Kobe didn’t change his jersey from eight to twenty-four for money, as Adrian Wojnaroswki has suggested, he did so that everybody would forget that he was charged with bending a young girl over a chair in Denver.

20. Kobe has a noted penchant for being sensitive, rhat’s when he won’t pass to his teammates even when they are open. See trust issues.

21. In game 5 of 2010 Western Conference Final, Kobe ruined his, Jordan to Paxon, Jordan to Kerr, Jordan to Wennington moment. Against the Phoenix  Suns in the 4th quarter with the game tied and 8 seconds left on the game clock Kobe dribbled into the right corner, double teamed.  Kobe elevated and shot an air-ball, which Ron Artest quickly grabbed  and banked in for the win.  For those that don’t know if you are double teamed that means that one of your teammates is wide open.

22. He has to be reminded every single season that he has Teammates. He usually has to be called out by team players and media.

23. An hour after Kobe and Shaq agreed with Lakers management to stop all the media bad blood between each other. Kobe called sportscaster Jim Gray to hold a private interview where he proceeded to call Shaq fat, out of shape and milking his toe injury for extra time off. Bad form Kobe, bad form.

24.  Kobe (Mr. Clutch) makes a little less than one of every three shots when The Lakers are down two points, one point, tied, or on the final ball possession, this stats actually which makes him one of the worst performers among players with at least 30 attempts in those situations.

25. After making 300 Million dollars during his career, with the NBA lock out in full swing, Kobe feels neglected. He saw how the media fawned over Lebron and his “Decision”. He chaffed at the way the media followed Carmelo’ Drama so he floated the idea of playing in the Italian league with Virtus Bologna for $300,000 to $1,000,000 per game. Great way to show solidarity and maintain the players leverage. He knew the NBA owners not only profit from not paying the players during the lockout, but they also want the players to play overseas to help grow the brand for future European expansion. Just enjoy the time off, try going back to school.

26. While in church Kobe thought that a man was taking photos of he and his wife. Kobe grabbed the man’s wrist and took his cellphone. Kobe returned the man’s cellphone after going through it to make sure that no photos of his family were on it.

27. In 2011 and 2012, The saga with center Dwight Howard played out longer than it should have for the Orlando Magic and the rest of the League, why? Because when Howard called Kobe to see what his thoughts would be on the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe said “It would be great to have you in L.A. now I don’t have to worry about defense…” Dwight Howard didn’t being told he’d be forgotten on offense, or not passed to and he began waffling back and forth on whether to stay with the Magic. To facilitate this stalemate, the L.A. Lakers when out and signed soon to be NBA Hall of famer Steve Nash to take the ball and decision making out of Kobe’s hands. After the Steve Nash signing Howard was more agreeable and was traded to the Lakers in a deal that included often-maligned, often unreliable center Andrew Bynum. (This may, or should turn out to be a great thing for the

28. While in training camp for the 2012-2013 season Kobe made a disturbing media comment. When asked whose team it was by a reportes Kobes said, “I don’t want to get into the…well we share… No, it’s my team.”

29. “In 2005, I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team! Smush Parker was is the worst. He shouldn’t have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on.”-  Kobe Bryant 10-11-2012 “You can’t knock the man’s legacy…What I don’t like about him is the man that he is. His personality. How he treats people. I don’t like that side of Kobe. Half way through the season I tried to talk to Kobe…He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious.”- Smush Parker

30. “In 2006, I was shooting 45 times a game. What am I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown?”-Kobe Bryant 10-11-2012 So much for trying around the Kobster.

31. New York Yankees benched Alex Rodriguez and were, down 3-0 to the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. Kobe had this to say about A-Rod, “I think that sometimes he forgets about how great he is, I don’t.” (mildly humorous)

32. In the famous 2011 Pau Gasol shooting slump, it was discovered that Gasol’s fiance broke up with him. This left Gasol an emotional wreck and rather useless in the playoff.  What does this have to do with Kobe? Apparently Kobe told his wife, Vanessa, about Gasol’s philandering.

Vanessa then became friends with Gasol’s finance, just so she could spill the beans to her. When Pau confronted Kobe about this an argument ensued and the two stopped speaking to each other. Gasol became the scapegoat for the team’s early playoff exit. –Kobe violates the man code again.

32.  His song K.O.B.E.

33. He gained the nickname Black Mamba not because he is deadly as a player. He gained his moniker because he refused to speak to his teammates on the court, instead he would make a hissing sound when he wanted the ball given to him. Naturally his teammates started called him the Black Mamba.

34. “I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team,”

35. During his Kobe and the Kids time with the Lakers, Kobe on the court the Lakers were -13.2, and +7.1 with him on the bench.

36. His refusal to say when he will actually retire, which held up the already lengthy Laker rebuilding process. Kobe and the kids lingered on for years.

37. After a story int he newspaper reported that he had tanked a game to spite Shaq. Kobe went up to each teammate with newspaper in-hand and asked, “Did you say this Motherf&^%er?… Did you say this Motherf&^%er?”

38. He once tried to beat up Tyronne Lue for blocking his shot during practice.

I could continue to list things,  but after that K.O.B.E. song I really need to stop.

Reasons Why People Like Kobe
I made this list for those that don’t care, now remember that these are in no particular order:

1. He’s Got One Hell of a Game, and he’s had One Hell of a Career and for most that is all that matters.

The Black Mamba

MG Hardie

The concert begins

on wood, dirt, blacktop, concrete

even packed snow.

Participants come in all shapes,

sizes and colors.

From all walks of life they come,

They come to show their affection,

Their love.

Do You have the love?

Center stage is 96′ by 50′

The performers are chosen

and take their places.

All eyes follow the orange sphere.

Running, spinning, leaping

Grunting, sweating, passing

Execution, chants, shouts

Breakaway! Explosive.

Timeout…

Do you have the Love?

Offense is Learned,

Defense is pure hard work

Can you feel the ebb?

The flow?

The Momentum of game one

with 81 more to go.

Old, New, Schooled

Post up, cross over

Black Mamba take over

Pull up jumper,

Power, Finesse.

The score is tied, 16 seconds left,

can’t rest.

Slam, Bank, Luck, Skill

Inside, Outside

Block, Steal

Cheers rain down from the sky

Cameras flash from nowhere,

Posterize.

Do You have the Love?

Penetrate, fake, jab step

hang time, pass dish

don’t foul, rebound,

fast break, barely miss.

Half court trap, or full court press?

Triangle, Isolation… Wrong guess.

Step back Three silence

…swish.

Beautiful.

I Love This Game.

MG Hardie © 2010