Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Some Sanity and Some Jibberish

I skimmed ESPN Page 2 today and noted that Tim Keown had a brief write-up on Robert Horry not being a Hall of Famer. It’ll be interesting to see how many posts I have up on this site after Horry retires responding to writers who argue for Horry to make the Hall, so I figured I’d link this now.

Then there’s Scoop Jackson.

There's a term used in the community called "thirsty."

“The community”. How about “the world”. There’s a term in the world of English speaking people. Why be so exclusionary, buddy?

It means what you think it means, but it's now being used in different contexts. Only to make a point of the extremes to which some people will go to get what they want. More severely, what they need.

Nooo…that’s pretty much what I figured you meant. You're not writing about nutrition on ESPN.com.

Kobe Bryant, for lack of more sophisticated terminology, is thirsty.

Gotcha. So what else are we going to talk about? Matchups? Some Lakers-Celtics history?
Oh, much much much more on Kobe Bryant’s thirst?

His thirst for another NBA title is that of an amplitude we may not have ever seen before. Not in sports, business, crime, corruption or politics.

Kobe Bryant, a 3-time NBA champion, is not more thirsty than John Elway was to end his career as the guy who kept losing the big game. He’s not more thirsty than Jordan, Isiah, or Shaq were to break through and win a championship. He’s not more thirsty than Andy Fastow was to siphon money out of Enron or than Bill Gates was when he started Microsoft.

Keeping it community: He's thirsty like a fiend.

Scoop, I’m just going to come out and ask you this. Do you not want me reading this? I’m white. Is “community” supposed to be “the black community”? Are you just talking to people in that community? Can you “keep it” in a more inclusionary manner please? Is this why I never understand you? Because you don’t want me to?

Now I understand how Bill Maher it is to use a dependency as an analogy to describe Kobe's mental range, scope and capacity and how wrong it probably is to compare "the greatest player of his generation" (as TNT labeled him to promote the Western Conference finals) to Ashy Larry or Bubbles, but it fits. Like disloyalty and Scott McClellan. In technical terms, Kobe is an obligate anti-carnivore.

I have no fucking idea what that paragraph means. None. Is Dennis Miller ghost-writing Scoop Jackson columns now? That doesn’t jibe with the “community” talk but it’s the only explanation.

This thirst -- whether he admits or denies or realizes it -- comes from a needing to do this without Shaquille O'Neal. It's a needing to come as close to Jordan and Jordan's legacy as any other basketball player alive right now … and maybe in the future. It's a needing to prove to himself what he's known and told himself ever since he challenged Brian Shaw to play one-on-one at age 11.

I agree – Kobe Bryant wants to win. Do we need a column for this? I say no.

Redemption, chip on his shoulder, edge, anger. None apply. There's a fiend-like component inside Kobe that exceeds all of the above labels that no athlete in any other sport possesses,

Not Tiger Woods?

and the closer he gets to attaining another championship ring, the more impossible it is going to be for anyone -- or any one team -- to deny him. His want has gone into an almost dependence stage of validation, of recognition, of being the last man standing.

You sir, are just making stuff up to fill up a column. You are offering nothing. No examples, no analysis – just jibberish.

There is no player or collection of players on Boston's squad -- no player(s) on any team that the Lakers have faced throughout the playoffs, no entire 12-man roster in the league, to be honest -- that can match his need to win this championship.

The Lakers are a good, young team. They will be awesome for the next few years. The Celtics have maybe 2 shots at a Championship. Garnett has never won. Kobe has won 3. I think Garnett’s “need” is on par with Bryant’s.

A compulsion to prove to himself -- and us -- that he's been right all along is what's at the center of this. Right that he's not a bad guy, a prima donna, arrogant, aloof or antisocial. Right that he is engaging and personable. Right that he might be the best basketball player your kids will ever see.

Look – only a grade A-moron would confuse basketball brilliance with not being a bad guy or a prima donna. He’ll diffuse very little of that by winning this championship.

Just as he was right about publicly forcing the Lakers to make some roster moves, in every fabric of his being he has to be right about how he sees himself and what he sees himself as. Even though he said in the ESPN Sunday Conversation that he was comfortable being the No. 2 guy while winning rings with Shaq, and in so many words to please stop the Jordan comparisons because there will never be another ("He's a different person … the greatest ever … let me do me …. Thank you!"), those who have watched his evolution -- his ascendance -- know better. He tries to cover it up in interviews and private conversations, but once he gets in "black" Jack Bauer mode it becomes clear as Claritin. He's on something extra. Something that once he calls it quits about five years and three more rings from now, he's going to need some serious form of detox to get out of his system.

He’s competitive. We know this.

Hopefully he has the sense that Jordan did not and just quietly ascends into retirement instead of botching the personnel thing, trying a comeback, and then doing whatever Jordan is doing now (I know his title, but I don’t know what he actually does, other than piss off people in Charlotte).

To everyone else, this is about basketball. To him … this is about survival.




No it’s not, it’s about basketball. Basketball is about throwing a ball into a hole. If I was actually going through any real drama in my life, like if I had cancer or something, I'd probably be offended by this column.

It's the life of a fiend. Trapped inside the shell of a basketball player who almost had the game taken from him. The fact that he could have been responsible for not being able to show the world this stage of his life probably still eats at his mind. It might be what ultimately drives him.

Did Kobe Bryant botch a suicide attempt at some point?

Maybe it's something deeper, something that revealed itself at birth. Who knows? And the beauty, he'll never -- not even in Spike Lee's documentary about him -- be the one to tell.

Do you think Scoop’s editor reads this and actually knows what the hell he is talking about?
What’s “it”. The fiendish thirst?

The Celtics are thirsty for that ring, too, but they aren't dying of thirst.

Well that clear’s that up.

Which essentially is the difference between Kobe and them -- maybe Kobe and maybe all other human beings. And until KG, Truth and Jesus (anyone: Tiger, Roger, Peyton, LeBron, Kimbo, etc.) can equate death with what it will mean to not win a championship on these terms, until they can make themselves believe -- as Kobe has -- that their survival depends on getting this ring, then their collective and collaborative effort may not be enough.

We’re lumping Kimbo Slice in with Tiger Woods at this point? This column is redefining the sports column as we know it. It literally is about nothing. It’s just a bunch of poetic-like sentences about absolutely nothing of substance. It’s terrible.

Winning is the difference between a mission and an addiction. The Celtics are on a season-long mission against a dude that for the last five years has forced an addiction on himself to win. Winning substantiates this dude.

Dude, is Paulie Shore writing this thing? Back to back sentences referring to Kobe as "dude"?

It eliminates every doubt that may have somehow crept into his überconfident mind about his ability to carry and lead a team at the highest level of this sport. He has tasted something his competition (outside of Sam Cassell and James Posey) has never tasted, is hooked on something they've yet to sample. Addiction does not come by osmosis, whether it's meth, crack, coke, chocolate, caffeine, nicotine, sex, gambling, drinking or body art. To feel what it feels like to want to experience that same feeling again, you would have had to have it in your system before. The power of that feeling always makes those who reach that level of necessity more powerful than those who wish they knew what it felt like.

For a guy so hell bent on winning, he sure hasn’t been very good at it the last few years. Funny how the addiction is driving him this year, when he’s playing with better teammates. Last year? Not so addicted.

Kobe has that feeling. The others don't. And he is still thirsty.

That sentence strikes me to the core of my being and leaves me with the undying desire to want to experience the feeling that Kobe Bryant is living and breathing……drinking, if you will.

As those who are close to the game and those who still hate him despite what he's done since the playoffs started will testify, you can't beat a fiend at his own game when his game is basketball and basketball is all he has.

Is that sort of like “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”?

Which leaves only one thing left that Kobe Bryant can do: Obey his thirst.



John Foley said...

Just as he was right about publicly forcing the Lakers to make some roster moves,...

Hey Scoop, one of the moves that Kobe tried to publicly force the Lakers into making involved trading him to another team. Was that part of his plan? The Lakers were going to win a championship with Kobe playing for the Bulls? That is one Machiavellian dude.

AwesomeSean said...

Wow. Naturally I avoid Scoop's writing so I can hang onto the last few brain cells that are still reporting for duty but that was just nuts. Who exactly is his audience and how does he feel about the "thirst" now?

JimArmstrong said...

"Which leaves only one thing left that Kobe Bryant can do: Obey his thirst."

So this whole column was a lead in to a Sprite commercial?