Ok, lets try to forget the Knicks/Heat game for a minute and remember the other “big” game that went down yesterday. While watching the Lakers/Thunder game the other day some thing rare happened. Late in the game, I actually felt bad for Kobe. Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted Oklahoma to pull off the win, but deep down inside of me I was actually rooting for Kobe. As weird as it sounds, I felt like I was going for the underdog. Why? because he was being treated unfairly….or, in my opinion, disrespected, mind you by Kobe standards. I can’t be the only one who sees this and I’m not even a Laker fan so it’s not like I’m making this up.
Well, this isn’t some thing new. I’ve seen it happen in a couple big games through out this season (many which the lakers lost). That’s why I came up with this post. It’s pretty surprising to see this happen consistently. I’m talking about the lack of respect given to supposedly “the greatest player of all time” after Jordan. Case in point, Kobe screaming “and one” after hitting a late jumper where he was clearly hit on the elbow by the defender. This is a call Jordan notoriously got, but Kobe…..nope.
Kobe isn’t Jordan, however, but wheres the respect? If Kobe is still arguably the best player in the league along with 5 titles, numerous MVP awards, a couple scoring titles and now 7th on the all time scoring list, shouldn’t he get a little more of it. Remember, this is a player not long ago who did get the royal treatment. Now I see him regularly called for travels, techinical fouls, and a couple crucial no calls on late in the game shot attempts.
Is it because Kobes been labled a winer and the ref’s are tired of him fighting every call? Does Kobe have a point when he feels like he’s not getting some calls. I think so. It’s kind of like the boy who cried wolf. Now no one wants to hear it even when its true. I think some refs are turing a deaf ear for a reason.
Kobes like 32, I think? He’s clearly lost a step in the past two years and everyone knows it. Still, hes proven more than a few times this season that he still has “it”. I mean, he just got the all-star game MVP and he was the leading vote getter. Not to mention he’s a defending champ and until another team beats them this postseason hes still the leader of the Best Team in the NBA. People seem to forget this from the players, to the refs and the fans.
So why all this Kobe hate despite his continued success? Laker fans would argue “when your that good you gotta be hated right?” as if to win you have to make some enemies….I don’t think so. In comparison to other legends: Everyone loved Magic. Jordan had respect of everyone….players officials, coaches, media, press, etc…until his career ended. Kobe not so much.
As his carrer winds down it seems like the NBA is ushering Kobe out to make way for one of the new stars, Lebron, Wade, Melo, Durant and Rose. I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy, but more like a weeding out. I don’t think they want Kobe to win anymore if it comes at the cost of these other new stars. I could be reaching by why else would Kobe be getting the raw deal with the refs?
Typically Nba superstars get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to plays like these. Especially in tight end of game situations. These calls can go either way and more often than not favor the superstar. No matter how small it may seem they can end up costing either team the game. If the league really wanted to see Kobe and the Lakers win, then, no doubt, Kobe would still get these calls. Maybe refs just hate Kobe, or maybe the Lakers really are on their last leg and should be considered the underdog. There’s always a debate on this with the older teams. I can’t call it. Yea, it seems like they’re past their time, but they did just win four straight.
This doesn’t matter though. As far as the NBA is concerned, their position has shifted marketing wise and they’re moving past the Lakers and Kobe towards the future: Okc, Miami, Newyork, and Chicago, to name a few, who are home to the Leagues new superstars. You know how they say, “ Out with the old, in with the new. Kobe won’t be around forever. His demise is not far away, some say it has begun. As much as I agree with this I don’t agree with the league trying to bring about this prematurely.