Friday, April 15, 2011
Kobe Defenders Selling Crazy.... In Bulk
I'll try to make this short and sweet, because there's truly not much room for alternate opinion on the Kobe Bryant "fucking faggot" comments caught on camera the other night.
And yeah, I spelled out the slur, so you can look at it, and absorb it in all of it's undiluted, vulgar, hatred.
What Kobe said, how he said it, and when and to whom he said it, were all completely unacceptable on a good day, and reprehensible on most.
Yet, to my amazement, I fielded way too many calls on my show the following day, that tried to excuse, rationalize, or somehow soft pedal the incident.
Here's some of the amazing stupid... no "crazy".... I was pitched by callers.
CALLER #1: "If cameras were on everybody in the NBA, you would hear language like that all the time."
MY RESPONSE: Maybe, maybe not. But that's irrelevant. Prevalence, does not mean it's acceptable.
CALLER #2: "You guys don't understand, because you didn't grow up in inner city. That's how guys from the 'hood talk to each other."
MY RESPONSE: Again, irrelevant and stupid. The NBA is not "the hood" and besides, Kobe didn't come from it. The guy went to private high school in Lower Merion, PA and grew up in a two-parent upper class family.
CALLER #3: "All of the old star players like Magic and Michael and Larry said stuff like that."
MY RESPONSE: Whatever. /eyes rolling now in total disbelief.
And on and on...
Honestly, I've never heard more fans "not get it" so loudly, and be so ready to call up the radio to show how much they "don't get it."
Granted, not EVERYONE who called, believed this was "no big deal." And I got some good emails supporting my position.
Now, let's be clear. I am not "outraged" by this. Because I don't expect much from NBA players in terms of civility or sense. Also, I am not sure that David Stern's gunslinger-quick $100,000 fine was appropriate either.
Trying to fine NBA players into "getting it" is going to be a fruitless endeavor. They don't. And won't. Ever.
I would have preferred a strongly worded rebuke from David Stern, and then a reminder from him to Kobe and the Lakers that they will be accountable to those in their community who find such comments outrageous - and just leave it at that.
Kobe's first 2 or 3 attempts at an "apology" were complete airballs. To think he's first draft actually said "I did not mean to offend anybody" was hilariously un-true on it's face.
Kobe: when you call a referee a "fucking faggot", it is with the EXPRESS INTENT to offend, if not publicly humiliate the person. He also said it was in the "heat of the moment." Again, untrue. He had already left the court, taken a seat on the bench, and tried to get the ref's attention before unloading his crude slur.
The larger point to take away from this episode, I believe, is the utter childishness of today's NBA "stars." They seem to be oblivious to the fact that a) referees are game officials who deserve at least some modicum of respect and b) they are just trying to do their job and call the game equitably.
Kobe, like LeBron, like Dwight Howard, like dozens and dozens more, somehow think they never commit a foul, and that every shot they miss deserves a whistle on somebody else. Certainly the "old guard" of NBA stars, circa 1986 (and older) lobbied for calls, and complained.
But not like today. Todays NBA stars are completely out of control, and it was for that reason specifically the league introduced a new, almost draconian, zero tolerance technical policy on bitching.
Well, we see how that worked out.
So for everyone who thinks what Kobe said was "no big deal" I urge you to go ahead and mix that innocent phrase into your every day lexicon, and just see how that plays out.