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Archive for Sunday, November 4, 2007

Commentary: Kobe’s critics completely misguided

November 4, 2007

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Kobe Bryant, the greatest basketball player on Earth, is unwanted by a certain segment of Chicago's population for the following reasons, as far as I can tell:

He shoots too much.

He isn't a good guy.

He isn't a team guy.

They shouldn't "gut" the whole Bulls team to get him.

Wow. What a bunch of bull.

I have heard a lot of nonsense in my days, but this ranks among the most nonsensical.

Yeah, how could you possibly want a 29-year-old nine-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champion, two-time NBA scoring champion and seven-time NBA All-Defensive Team member on your basketball team?

There has been no deal and "there's not going to be one," Bulls general manager John Paxson stated flatly Thursday, declaring the case closed. These are sad words indeed.

There are people vehemently opposed to a trade that would bring the Lakers great to Chicago.

Oh, brother.

Kobe Bryant would be the best Bull for the next five to 10 years if he plays in one shoe. To say a basketball team would be better off without Kobe Bryant is like saying a golf tournament would be better off without Tiger Woods.

No. 1: Bryant shoots too much

Man, who shot more than Michael Jordan did?

Jordan's 49 shots against Orlando on Jan. 16, 1993, is still the NBA record for shots in a game.

Four of the top 10 highs for field-goal attempts in a game belong to Jordan. Twenty-one of the 64 highs belong to Jordan. Wow, how can one man shoot so much? I guess that Jordan must have killed the Bulls when he played for them, shooting so much the way he did.

Jordan shot a lot for the same reason Bryant shoots a lot. Because they make 'em.

No. 2: Bryant isn't a good guy

Yes, all of our Bulls heroes have been squeaky clean. None ever has made a mistake.

That includes Jordan (gambling habit, sued by a lover); Scottie Pippen (arrested for gun possession, refused to go into a game); Dennis Rodman (head-butted a ref, kicked a TV cameraman); Scott Skiles (drug possession and DUI in college, did time in jail); Ben Gordon (arrested in college for assault of a female student).

Oh, and Lonny Baxter (fired a gun near the White House, sentenced to jail for illegal firearms shipments); Ron Artest (went into the stands to punch a fan; arrested for domestic abuse); Antonio Davis (went into the stands after a fan); Quintin Dailey (accused of sexual assault).

Nah, no member of the Bulls' organization ever has had a character issue.

Bryant did commit adultery. A woman who accused him of assault would not testify against him in court. Bryant has not been convicted of a crime.

He is no saint, but the Bulls have had plenty of sinners.

No. 3: Bryant isn't a team guy

Sure, that's why the Lakers won three NBA championships with him. Shaquille O'Neal did not win those trophies by himself. Kobe helped. Kobe passed. Kobe rebounded. Kobe guarded his man. Kobe gave teammates pats on the back. Kobe took a lot of shots in the final minutes because Shaq can't shoot.

You ask why Kobe can't win a championship without Shaq?

For the same reason Jordan couldn't win one with the Washington Wizards.

Because he needs help.

No. 4: Don't 'gut' this team

Gut what?

Is this a championship team? No.

You don't want Kobe Bryant?

Are you nuts?

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