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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, May 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: Bryce Harper getting mooned by a Dodgers fan, how dumb interleague baseball is, or random spamming of Yankees/RedSox news that barely counts as news.

Tripon Posted: May 01, 2012 at 10:28 AM | 2330 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4122927)
The Knicks then blew out a 60-win, fully healthy, defending champion Laker team in the Finals. It's ridiculous to assume the Celtics would have beat the Knicks even with Havlicek.
Are you sure? According to Simmons, 1973 is a more blatant injury-related footnote than 2012 (Rose), 2009 (Garnett) or 1965 (Baylor) because Boston was clearly the favorite that year, but for the cold, uncaring hand of fate.
   302. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4122928)
I enjoy how it appears that it's taken SBB over an hour to read this article, and he's not reading it in order.
   303. robinred Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4122946)
As a Celtics fan, I have trouble with J.A. Adande, and he's not half the homer Simmons is.


You played the Adande card after the 2009 Finals. Like I said then, when Adande writes a 700-page bestseller on the history of the NBA and has 1.7 million Twitter followers, let me know.
   304. robinred Posted: May 03, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4122950)
I think the real takeaway here, perhaps, is that Simmons' "footnote" piece has triggered a discussion ob the thread among NBA fans. That, more or less, is a huge part of his job, and he is extremely good at it.
   305. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 03, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4122978)
I propose that the next time this thread comes up for renewal, in order to more accurately reflect the content, the title be changed to: OT: Bill Simmons Monthly Thread, June 2012
   306. robinred Posted: May 03, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4122983)
accurately reflect the content,


Nah. This thread, like Walt Whitman, contains multitudes.
   307. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4122991)
Hey, Adande is approaching 250k on Twitter, don't count him out!

I think the real takeaway here, perhaps, is that Simmons' "footnote" piece has triggered a discussion ob the thread among NBA fans. That, more or less, is a huge part of his job, and he is extremely good at it.

We have a winner!

As much as I hate them (and stupid Spike Lee and his stupid hats and stupid gesticulating), the Knicks crowds make the playoffs more fun to watch.

   308. thok Posted: May 03, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4122993)
I'm sort of surprised Simmons didn't include last years Mavericks. Between Gasol suddenly getting sulky for the playoffs, the Spurs suddenly realizing they were old, and Miami's lack of effort, the Mavericks could easily have been in that top 20.
   309. robinred Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4122994)
We have a winner!

Hey, a compliment of sorts.

I will pay you back: Pierce was awesome as all hell in Game 2.

(I am going to set myself on fire now).
   310. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4122997)
rr, you know I love you. Let me say something nice about the Lakers now.

Kobe was also excellent in his game 2.

Plus, it's been almost a whole week since a Laker committed a violent act!

(Okay, I tried.)

   311. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4122998)
Nah. This thread, like Walt Whitman, contains multitudes.

Hey, whatever a man does in his own bedroom, is his business.

rr, you know I love you.

And on that note, get a room you two.
   312. robinred Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4123000)
Plus, it's been almost a whole week since a Laker committed a violent act!


Yes, but NO CONVICTIONS, at least not lately.
   313. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4123006)
Big close of the half by Miami.
   314. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4123010)
That last pass... wow. Lebron is not human.
   315. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4123045)
I would disagree that every season has an equal reason. Some reasons are more equal than others.


IMO, officiating snafu's are the only legit reason to ever even consider taking a series' actual results at less than face value. Injuries are part of the game. Biased or incompetent refs shouldn't be.

The '99 Spurs being on the list, much less #2 on the list, is just silly. Robinson still pretty much in his prime; Duncan a total beast -- that team was borderline juggernaut.


Yeah, I agree. I think 1999 might actually have been the best of the Spurs title teams. Simmons reason for devaluing that title is basically the same one he uses to discredit Malone's MVP from the same year - it was just an awful season overall and nothing from that year should count as being legit. That's seriously his argument.
   316. Booey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4123054)
I get why people, ESPECIALLY Lakers fans, have trouble with Simmons. As a Celtics fan, I have trouble with J.A. Adande, and he's not half the homer Simmons is. That said, I think a lot of you read what you want to read in his columns. I am guessing, if I had certain other allegiances, that I might often do the same thing.


I actually like reading Simmons and find his articles entertaining. But IMO his greatest strength is also his biggest weakness; his homerism and biases (along with the jokes, pop culture references, etc) make him seem like "just one of the guys" and a real down to earth fan who's watching sports cuz he truly loves them and not just cuz it's his job. But it also makes it hard to take him seriously as a credible analyst.
   317. Spivey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4123081)
Miami really brought it the 4th quarter here. LeBron was big. Wade was really big in the 3rd. Having those two guys on the same team is ridiculous.
   318. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4123082)
That was an unreal block by Lebron on Carmelo - clean, I think, too.
   319. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4123084)
Having those two guys on the same team is ridiculous.

Pure class.
   320. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4123085)
Pure class.

?
   321. Yardape Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4123089)
the Knicks crowds make the playoffs more fun to watch.


The Knicks, on the other hand...
   322. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 03, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4123094)
The Knicks, on the other hand...

Not ready for prime time. Never were. Might have been with a team-oriented Anthony added to the Linsanity gang, but Melo's a very selfish player so wasn't happening.

   323. tshipman Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4123126)
I'd like to point out that Simmons doesn't give an asterisk to the 2004 Pistons, when Malone, the Lakers' 2nd or third best player that year, was injured in the Finals, yet he does give an asterisk to the 2009 Lakers because of KG's injury when Boston didn't even make the conference finals.

That, right there is why Simmons is a helpless homer when he talks about the Celtics.
   324. Spivey Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4123135)
Dallas cannot buy a bucket.
   325. Yardape Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4123153)
I'd like to point out that Simmons doesn't give an asterisk to the 2004 Pistons, when Malone, the Lakers' 2nd or third best player that year, was injured in the Finals, yet he does give an asterisk to the 2009 Lakers because of KG's injury when Boston didn't even make the conference finals.


2004 also featured an injury to Sam Cassell, the second-best player on the top seed in the West. But no asterisk.
   326. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4123154)
Tshipman, you seem to be suggesting that Simmons would consider Malone to be a plus rather than a minus.
   327. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4123161)
I'd like to point out that Simmons doesn't give an asterisk to the 2004 Pistons, when Malone, the Lakers' 2nd or third best player that year, was injured in the Finals, yet he does give an asterisk to the 2009 Lakers because of KG's injury when Boston didn't even make the conference finals.


Simmons has been as open about his hatred for Malone over the years as he has been about his hatred for the Lakers. Do you really expect him to give credit to BOTH of them in a single paragraph?
   328. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4123172)
Here's the thing:

You need to make the freaking finals to have a case for an asterisk. 2006 Heat deserve a footnote. That's about it.
   329. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4123180)
2006 Heat deserve a footnote. That's about it.


They would've been #1 on my list. And only one other team from Simmons list would've made mine, but I'll refrain from going into that again.
   330. PJ Martinez Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4123195)
So I haven't read the Simmons piece yet. But the concept seems to me connected to one of my least favorite things about his writing (with which I have many problems, even though I read it often and frequently enjoy it): his fascination with "what if" scenarios. He even devoted some major portion of his big book to them. I just find those boring generally.
   331. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 08:06 AM (#4123247)
Scrolling through Hollinger's Chat:

Ryan (New York)

Is there a more sensitive fan base than the lakers?

Yes, actually. I'd argue Dallas, Utah and Toronto, at least any time Toronto has been relevant. Except if Kobe is involved, then the Lakers shoot up to No. 1


What guys like Hollinger never quite grasp about the KobeWars is that the Haters are as "sensitive" about the whole thing as the Kobe-defending part of the Lakers fanbase is. As to Dallas, they have not had strong point differentials the last few years, so Hollinger has not taken them seriously as a contender for the most part. That, plus ESPN having a Dallas site, would make Hollinger a target for their ire.

Also, Hollinger called the playoffs "the San Antonio Invitational" and more or less mocked anyone who thinks otherwise. We shall see.
   332. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4123351)
How does Hollinger forget the Portland fans from a few years ago?
   333. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4123388)
Utah fans are in the same boat as Kings and Blazers fans - it's our only professional team (soccer doesn't count, sorry), so we're fiercely loyal when outsiders diss our boys (though we're very self depreciative amongst each other).

But I've wondered about the Laker thing myself. Any of y'all Laker fans care to help me out? Why ARE LA fans so offended by the Laker Haters and especially the Kobe Haters when they have teams and players they hate themselves? Most Laker fans I know who are old enough to remember the '80's hate the Celtics. Most the younger ones hate other teams. What's the difference?

As for Kobe, why is it so hard to admit that he'd be a pretty hard player to like if he wasn't on your team? Malone is one of my top 2 all time favorite players, and he seems almost universally disliked by everyone outside of Utah. And it doesn't bother me (except when guys like Simmons start making up bullsh!t criteria to discredit him). I admit he'd be a tough player to love if he didn't play for my homies for 18 years. Why can't Laker fans say the same for the Mamba?
   334. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4123399)
As for Kobe, why is it so hard to admit that he'd be a pretty hard player to like if he wasn't on your team? Malone is one of my top 2 all time favorite players, and he seems almost universally disliked by everyone outside of Utah. And it doesn't bother me (except when guys like Simmons start making up bullsh!t criteria to discredit him). I admit he'd be a tough player to love if he didn't play for my homies for 18 years. Why can't Laker fans say the same for the Mamba?

The other hard thing here is that your stereotypical Laker fan thinks Kobe is comparable to Jordan/best player in the league for many years*, when he's never been those things. It's a little bit like a stereotypical Yankee fan and Jeter for many years - a very famous guy on a very successful team in a huge market having his good qualities overstated while having his shortcomings overlooked - that guy is going to get more of a reaction, on both sides, than just about anyone else. That's just how it is. And, of course, there's further complication in that while Jeter is perceived as a classy guy (gift baskets aside), Kobe's history is, well, checkered at best.

*I don't include any of you Laker fans here in that, by the way - I'm speaking broadly.
   335. tshipman Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4123405)
But I've wondered about the Laker thing myself. Any of y'all Laker fans care to help me out? Why ARE LA fans so offended by the Laker Haters and especially the Kobe Haters when they have teams and players they hate themselves? Most Laker fans I know who are old enough to remember the '80's hate the Celtics. Most the younger ones hate other teams. What's the difference?


These are "why do you beat your wife" questions. No one's going to be able to answer them. I don't think they're accurate, so I can't help you.

re: Kobe:
He's been with the franchise his whole career, and the rape case polarized the debate around him to an ugly extent. Kobe is really tough to root for at times, and incredibly easy at other times, just like all players. He's got a persona, but he's also extremely generous with younger players.

Kobe will jack up a bad shot that makes you cringe. But he works hard every offseason (the best work ethic in the NBA) and tries to legitimately be the best player he can be. I don't think that's particularly hard to root for.

Edit:
when he's never been those things


I do actually think Kobe was the best player in the league for a couple years.
   336. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4123406)
But I've wondered about the Laker thing myself. Any of y'all Laker fans care to help me out? Why ARE LA fans so offended by the Laker Haters and especially the Kobe Haters when they have teams and players they hate themselves? Most Laker fans I know who are old enough to remember the '80's hate the Celtics. Most the younger ones hate other teams. What's the difference?

As for Kobe, why is it so hard to admit that he'd be a pretty hard player to like if he wasn't on your team? Malone is one of my top 2 all time favorite players, and he seems almost universally disliked by everyone outside of Utah. And it doesn't bother me (except when guys like Simmons start making up bullsh!t criteria to discredit him). I admit he'd be a tough player to love if he didn't play for my homies for 18 years. Why can't Laker fans say the same for the Mamba?

This seems pretty disingenous to me. As far as I can remember, nearly all the main Laker fans here have more than admitted that Kobe is fairly easy to dislike. At least a few them aren't really huge Kobe fans themselves. Second, Kobe is probably the single most polarizing player of the last 15 or 20 years. The level of sports-hate and even actual hate that he inspires amongst NBA fans and many parts of the NBA media is a couple of orders of magnitude beyond what somebody like Karl Malone sparks. I can very easily see why Laker fans would get very tired of it.

Finally:
And it doesn't bother me (except when guys like Simmons start making up bullsh!t criteria to discredit him).

This a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. I'm pretty sure that most of the Laker fans who get irritated by the Kobe haters think that the haters are doing exactly what you accuse Simmons of doing in your parenthetical.
   337. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4123409)
I do actually think Kobe was the best player in the league for a couple years.

He may have been around 05-06 or so - there's an argument for Duncan then as well - I was more getting at the past five years or so, when it was obvious Lebron was the best player in the league but some still insisted it was Kobe.
   338. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4123417)
I do actually think Kobe was the best player in the league for a couple years.

I don't think Kobe's ever been the best player in the league (Shaq, Duncan, KG, LeBron have all had runs off the top of my head) but what makes him so great or worthy of awe is that he's basically been a Top 5 guy for a decade and a half. This is what I was getting at a while ago when I raised the idea of him as better than Magic is that depending on how you weigh peak vs. career you could legitimately feel Kobe is one of the very few greatest of all time. Of course, I guess there's more value in peak in the NBA than there is in MLB just because of the effect one guy can have on championship chances though. Still, Kobe is incredible and I don't know that we'll ever see another wing who is this good for this long.
   339. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4123419)
He may have been around 05-06 or so - there's an argument for Duncan then as well - I was more getting at the past five years or so, when it was obvious Lebron was the best player in the league but some still insisted it was Kobe.

Sure. I think he was one of the top 3 for a few years there. The criticism gets old when you hear guys just hammer away at how he shoots too much, and how "hero ball" is bad basketball, etc. As I've said before, he's won 5 titles and been the best or 2nd best player on all of them. So, is having him that bad? Is he really that bad of a player? It goes overboard when a guy that has consistently won is criticized for doing things that have led to his team winning. Even this year, his skills have degraded some, but he had a really good season. And the Lakers are in contention, and he's being criticized. It just gets old.
   340. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4123427)
As far as I can remember, nearly all the main Laker fans here have more than admitted that Kobe is fairly easy to dislike. At least a few them aren't really huge Kobe fans themselves.
I think the Laker fans in this thread, to a man, has expressed something to the effect that Bryant is not a normal guy, and he's probably not someone you want to just hang out with. Also to a man, there's the acknowledgement that he's not the Lebron is or Jordan was. Hard to love even when he's on your team, and easy to hate if he's not.

He IS the most captivating player of his time, though. For most of his career he was a physical freak, and he was the type of high-wire act that you couldn't not watch. 81 points in a single game! Nine straight 3-pointers! Four straight 50-point games! Nine straight 40-point games! Doing it while taking shots most players would never consider! Yes, he's the most arrogant, self-centered S.O.B. ever. He's also works harder, prepares better, and is as single-minded and winning-obsessed a player as there ever was. When he's good, he's top-tier Hall-of-Fame great, and when he's great you win championships. But win or lose, love him or hate him, you wanna watch.

This topic gets brought up a lot on this thread...
2183. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim- Posted: June 05, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3207828)

It's hard to explain to non-Laker fans how traumatic (in a sports sense) the Kobe-Shaq feud was, and how perfectly awful the end of the 2003 and 2004 seasons were for the franchise fan base. L.A. loves its stars, and here we had the two biggest stars in the NBA in O'Neal and Bryant ... and they hate each other! And then the team doesn't win! Not only do they not win, but they get blown out the last two games of those seasons! Then Shaq and Phil left and Kobe was blamed for nuking a mini-dynasty.

During the Shaq-Kobe run, L.A. was always split between two favorite sons, and when Shaq left, the Shaq half the fan base turned on the team, and the Kobe half dug trenches and ran razor wire. Then the Kobe Lakers miss the playoffs, then got booted from the playoffs in the first round two years in a row while Shaq got another ring and LeBron establishes himself as the Next Jordan. (Hey, didn't we have the next Jordan? Didn't we blow up a dynasty for him? AAAGH!)

Kobe and L.A. is a shotgun wedding that we're constantly trying to justify as a great idea. That's why Bryant has to win a ring, that's why he has to be better than LeBron.

East Coasters like to think of L.A. fans as being casual, but there's nothing remotely casual about Laker fans. We Laker fans are spoiled, spoiled to the rotten cores of our rotten cores. We are unreasonable, irrational people with unreasonable, irrational expectations. Cavs fans think they're disappointed? Man, if Denver had beat L.A., people would have hurled their infants off the Santa Monica Pier (which is a big deal, because that water is not right) rather than have them grow up without a ring. Manifest Destiny! Dynasty or die!
   341. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4123442)
These are "why do you beat your wife" questions. No one's going to be able to answer them. I don't think they're accurate, so I can't help you.


I don't think that's really true. We all have teams and players we dislike. It's part of being a fan. I don't think Laker hate is any worse than any other kind (maybe more common, but no less defensible).

This seems pretty disingenous to me. As far as I can remember, nearly all the main Laker fans here have more than admitted that Kobe is fairly easy to dislike


I'm not being disingenous at all. And I wasn't speaking about anyone on this site; I was just replying to the comment posted above about why Laker fans in general seem to be more sensitive than fans of other teams and agreeing that I've noticed it too. Surely you've had to notice that fans of some teams seem to be more touchy that fans of some other teams, right? I commented on why I thought Jazz fans tend to be amongst the more sensitive ones. I was just wondering what Laker fans thought about why their fans were also mentioned in the Hollinger chat referenced above.

And it doesn't bother me (except when guys like Simmons start making up bullsh!t criteria to discredit him).

This a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. I'm pretty sure that most of the Laker fans who get irritated by the Kobe haters think that the haters are doing exactly what you accuse Simmons of doing in your parenthetical.


The only reason it bothers me when Simmons does it is because he's getting paid lots of money to be an actual sports analyst, and I tend to think analysts should go more off facts and stats than personal opinions. He's not just some random fan on an internet website. If people say they don't like Malone (or Kobe, or whoever), I don't see why that should bother anyone. Those are valid opinions. If they start making up statistics or claiming things are "facts" when you can definitively prove them wrong, then yes, I can see why that would be annoying. I've never done that with Kobe. If other people do, then yes, Laker fans have every right to correct them.

I'll never like Kobe. He's got too many habits that bug me and he's got too much of a negative history. But I've also never at any point implied that he wasn't a great player. I'd probably rank him top 10 or really close to it on the all time list.
   342. Manny Coon Posted: May 04, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4123446)
He may have been around 05-06 or so - there's an argument for Duncan then as well - I was more getting at the past five years or so, when it was obvious Lebron was the best player in the league but some still insisted it was Kobe.


I really don't see any good argument for him over Duncan (or probably Garnett either) during that time, unless you completely ignore or minimize the defensive impact of an elite defensive big. Before then Duncan and Shaq were always clearly better and since then Lebron. Nowitzki has probably been just about as good his entire career, but some people would think you were crazy saying that.

I think the comparison to Jeter is accurate: great player, consistent, durable, certain all of famer, lots of good post-season narrative, and built into his fan base into something bigger than he is, often at the expensive at it teammates. If you're not a Laker fan, but you like Pau Gasol for example, hearing Kobe get credit for almost everything the Lakers have done the last few years can be really frustrating.

Simmons can be a fun writer, but some people (including himself) seem to take him way to seriously, especially now that he's pretty big time. He does a lot of armchair psychoanalysis stuff that is popular is sports discussion this days, but it almost always nonsense. With basketball he also values post-season narrative over almost everything else a player does, which is often why his ideas clash so much with the discussion on this site, where tend to look a little deeper.
   343. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4123454)
I've never liked Kobe (for some of the same reasons I can't take a shine to Jeter - though they're very different people/players/teammates), but I immensely respect what he's managed to do on the court - in part because I don't think that he was ever an 'amazing' athlete. Very, very good - sure - but a lot of what he's been able to do is through brains and work.
   344. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4123455)
I'd like to point out that Simmons doesn't give an asterisk to the 2004 Pistons, when Malone, the Lakers' 2nd or third best player that year, was injured in the Finals

You meant to say that Malone was the Lakers' 3rd or 4th best player, right?
   345. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4123457)
in part because I don't think that he was ever an 'amazing' athlete.

Really? Not even young Kobe? Kobe Bryant Slam Dunk Giant?
   346. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4123463)
The only reason it bothers me when Simmons does it is because he's getting paid lots of money to be an actual sports analyst, and I tend to think analysts should go more off facts and stats than personal opinions. He's not just some random fan on an internet website.

I can only imagine how Lakers fans would feel if a guy like Simmons had spent most of his career taking potshots at Kobe and tempering any acknowledgement of his talent and achievements with some sort of backhanded dig. I bet they would be pretty irritated though.
   347. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4123468)
in part because I don't think that he was ever an 'amazing' athlete.

Really? Not even young Kobe? Kobe Bryant Slam Dunk Giant?


Yeah, I don't agree either. Without a doubt he was an amazing athlete (and still is for someone his age). The fact that he has the brains and work ethic too are what set him apart from guys like Vince Carter or Tracy McGrady.
   348. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4123470)
I can only imagine how Lakers fans would feel if a guy like Simmons had spent most of his career taking potshots at Kobe and tempering any acknowledgement of his talent and achievements with some sort of backhanded dig. I bet they would be pretty irritated though.


He's done the same thing with Malone. And yes, it's annoying, which is why I specifically mentioned him as sort of an exception to the point I was trying to make. I was talking more about regular fans and why it seems you'll be accused of being a "hater" if you say you dislike Kobe more than you will if you say you dislike Garnett or Pierce or Melo or Iverson or any of the other players people have mentioned on this site. It's not "hating." It's just part of being a fan.
   349. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4123477)
Why can't Laker fans say the same for the Mamba?


Trust me on this one: even the most braindead Lakers fans are aware of why other fanbases hate Kobe. We are reminded of it, in one way or another, any time we are on the internet. Good example: the Lakers are up 2-0 on Denver, and Kobe was great in Game 2, going 15/29, making some plays down the stretch. This Tweet, however, is up on True Hoop as we speak:

Henry Abbott
RT @Shaaban_Biggz: Kobe needs to get that memo too RT @NBAonESPN: RT @TrueHoop: Andrew Bynum needs the ball more.


Abbott's article today is called "The Exasperation of Andrew Bynum."

One of the 20-something True Hoop geeks working under Abbott, Beckley Mason, had this to say during the LAC/MEM game:

Beckley Mason?@BeckleyMason
OJ Mayo is an imitation of Kobe imitating MJ


Harmless enough, but the Clippers/Grizzlies game was a good playoff game that had nothing to do with Kobe. But there it is anyway. You add that sort of thing to Simmons, to Abbott, to Ian Thomsen, to all the message board trolls and opposing fans and small-time bloggers...that is what I mean when I say the Haters are as into it--maybe more so--than the Fanboys are.

To put it in baseball terms, Bryant combines elements of Derek Jeter (as noted) with elements of Barry Bonds. He is a great player on the sport's most loved/hated franchise, and like Jeter, has five rings. He is known for his work ethic and durability. He is known as being "clutch." He also has an element to his game (shot selection, defensive range) that leads to a lot of criticism. The metrics show him as being less valuable than some MSM types and many of his fans see him as being.

Like Bonds, he is seen as not just being "kind of a dick" or "arrogant", but as being truly evil, a criminal, a sociopath, a really bad guy. Like Bonds, he has been accused of crimes, in Bryant's case far worse ones. Like Bonds, he is chasing/chased some of the game's legendary records and is linked with the game's most legendary and beloved names (Ruth, Aaron, Jordan). Like Bonds, his public persona shows that he is intelligent and articulate but also icy, a little creepy, a little off the norm. Like Bonds, he has national writers with huge audiences who are fixated on him. Simmons, picking up on all these things, once said that Kobe Bryant being nailed for PEDs is #2 on his "sports wish list."

So, whatever your angle--stats, morality, big markets, history, basketball reasons--you have a reason to hate Kobe Bryant or something related to him.

Think about how much bandwidth at BTF and elsewhere has been devoted to Bonds and Jeter and how many arguments have been had and will be had about them. Kobe Bryant combines a lot of the elements of both guys, plus he plays for the Lakers.

So, it is not really about Lakers fans being "too sensitive." It is just about this particular guy and about contemporary sports culture, and it certainly is "different" than other kinds of "sportshate."

   350. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4123488)
I can only imagine how Lakers fans would feel if a guy like Simmons had spent most of his career taking potshots at Kobe and tempering any acknowledgement of his talent and achievements with some sort of backhanded dig. I bet they would be pretty irritated though.
Every NBA writer outside of Los Angeles do so regularly, but generally it's confined to their region. Simmons is a regional/provincial writer with a national (and ubiquitous) presence, so even when he writes about things outside of his region, he brings that POV with him.

Have you guys read "Those Guys Have All The Fun", the history of ESPN? In the sections on Simmons, one editor talked about how Simmons basically refuses to be edited. He doesn't want to be an impartial national voice. He wants his style to be his style and FU if you don't like it. I find that pretty admirable to a great extent, but it makes his biases all the more glaring when put in a national context, and it lends him little credibility as an impartial evaluator of game and talent when the topic is either the Celtics or the Lakers.

So, it is not really about Lakers fans being "too sensitive." It is just about this particular guy and about contemporary sports culture, and it certainly is "different" than other kinds of "sportshate."
Between Simmons, the most widely read writer on ESPN and a relentless Celtic homer and professed Kobe hater, and Abbott, the gatekeeper to ESPN's basketball blogs and a relentless Kobe hater/critic, Laker fans get hit with a lot of anti-Laker and anti-Kobe literature. It's wearying.
   351. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4123489)
He's done the same thing with Malone. And yes, it's annoying, which is why I specifically mentioned him as sort of an exception to the point I was trying to make.

But he doesn't harp on the Malone thing nearly as much. And more importantly, it's not just Simmons who harp on Kobe. Today, the Lakers are up 2-0 on the Nuggets and just won a close game where Kobe scored 38 and Bynum scored 27, both fairly efficiently. And yet, Henry Abbott has a new article up about how Kobe's ball-hogging frustrates Bynum.

The whole conversation takes place in context of all of that. It's completely polarized and Lakers fans tend to react accordingly. I don't believe there's anything about it that is unique to Laker fans, other than maybe the fact that there are a lot of them. The whole situation is just unique to Kobe at this particular point in NBA history. You put another player in another town and stick Kobe's persona, history, and all the assorted things that go with that on him and the other fanbase would very likely react much the same way. Fans are fans, they stick up for their guys, particularly when their guys have been as successful as Kobe has.
   352. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4123491)

I can only imagine how Lakers fans would feel if a guy like Simmons had spent most of his career taking potshots at Kobe and tempering any acknowledgement of his talent and achievements with some sort of backhanded dig. I bet they would be pretty irritated though.


I would think they would feel great. Here's a fan of your greatest rival, who hates your team's guts, and yet he was obligated to praise you nonetheless, which is like walking barefoot over broken glass for him. Wouldn't that be delicious?
   353. steagles Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4123493)
game 3 is tonight. if the sixers are gonna win the series, tonight is pretty close to a must-win situation.


limiting the bulls on the offensive glass is still an issue.
so is limiting the quality of their looks from beyond the arc.


i think they have a chance here, but they really cannot fall behind again like they have in the first 2 games. this team is just not offensively skilled enough to consistently claw back double digit deficits.
   354. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4123494)
#349 - Good post, robin. Thanks for the insight. :)
   355. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4123497)
I would think they would feel great. Here's a fan of your greatest rival, who hates your team's guts, and yet he was obligated to praise you nonetheless, which is like walking barefoot over broken glass for him. Wouldn't that be delicious?
Not really. His greatness is obvious, so acknowledging that he's great is like acknowledging that the sky is blue.

To put another player in his place, how about Kevin Garnett? Remember when there was that spate of KG-is-a-jerk stories, how KG only picked on smaller players, how his in-game intensity manifested itself in crap like barking like a dog at other teams? Now, imagine if we got a steady stream of those stories every week from every non-Boston outlet in America. On top of that, imagine that ESPN had a guy dedicated to criticizing KG's game (his diminishing post game, his history of coming up short in every postseason except 2009, his growing history of injuries, etc.) on a near-daily basis, then bringing that same analysis to ESPN's regional radio and television affiliates. Add on that the most widely-read sportswriter in the country also happens to hate your team and wants KG to be hit by a truck, and mentions that at least five times a week on the Internet and on podcasts.

Now, imagine that happening non-stop for fifteen years.
   356. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4123498)
Booey,

Thanks. Maxwn said more or less the same things and added some other good points. And Simmons gives The Mailman way too much crap in TBOB IMO.
   357. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4123500)
I think the real takeaway here, perhaps, is that Simmons' "footnote" piece has triggered a discussion ob the thread among NBA fans. That, more or less, is a huge part of his job, and he is extremely good at it.

I think it's a poor topic because what title doesn't have something like that?

Guys get hurt. It's part of the game. Sometimes randomness just strikes at a bad time. Deal with it.

RT @Shaaban_Biggz: Kobe needs to get that memo too RT @NBAonESPN: RT @TrueHoop: Andrew Bynum needs the ball more.


It's absolutely killing them this series
   358. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4123505)
But he doesn't harp on the Malone thing nearly as much.


Still quite a bit though, considering The Mailman retired 8 years ago. Any MVP article with Simmons has to mention how awful he thought the '97 selection was, even though he's never been able to come up with a legitimate reason why using actual statistics. The Malone digs in his book were pretty frequent too.

Who's Henry Abbott? A sportswriter, I assume. I've seen him mentioned several times now on this site but I'd never heard of him before.
   359. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4123509)
Most Laker fans I know who are old enough to remember the '80's hate the Celtics. Most the younger ones hate other teams. What's the difference?

I'm sure they are out there, but, despite having met thousands of Lakers fans that despise those Celtic teams, I've never met a Laker fan who won't acknowledge the greatness of those teams and of the individual players on them.

Frequently, however, the Kobe commentary seems to work really, really hard to pretend he isn't a great player. That is false. And kind of annoying.

I think the comparison to Jeter is accurate: great player, consistent, durable, certain all of famer, lots of good post-season narrative, and built into his fan base into something bigger than he is, often at the expensive at it teammates. If you're not a Laker fan, but you like Pau Gasol for example, hearing Kobe get credit for almost everything the Lakers have done the last few years can be really frustrating.

This is not an example of the point I made above, but I still think it is a bit off.

Pau Gasol played in the playoffs three times before he became a Laker. He and his teammates achieved a grand total of zero wins in those three playoff appearances. Subsequently, he was traded to the Lakers, and in his first three playoff appearances with those Lakers, he and his teammates improved that win total ever so slightly from 0, to 46.

Now, you won't find a bigger fan of Derek Fisher and Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic than me. I am also a big admirer of Bynum's efforts to play through injuries in two of those playoff years (he missed one completely) and a huge fan of Lamar Odom (who I'm sure will become a top player in the league once he gets away from the ball hogging 2guard he's been forced to play with for so long.) But, it's not clear to me that that cast of characters is substantially better than what Pau was playing with in Memphis.

Of course, Pau did get older. And he got better as a player. But, if it wasn't Pau being teamed up with that un-clutch, hero balling, team killing chucker that suddenly made him and his teams a playoff wrecking ball- what exactly was it?





   360. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4123513)
Who's Henry Abbott? A sportswriter, I assume. I've seen him mentioned several times now on this site but I'd never heard of him before.


He trolls the Anti-Kobe blog at ESPN. Extolling the greatness and winning ways of Chris Paul and the losing ways of Kobe Bryant.
   361. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4123518)
Couple of adds to 350:

Should be noted that Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports pimps Kobe a lot and bashes LeBron a lot. Also should be noted that Ian Thomsen and Zach Lowe of SI.com are both Celtics fans. Lowe is a very solid analyst and I like his work, but his Green-tinted view of things does show at times; Thomsen is often pretty biased.
   362. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4123519)
Pau Gasol played in the playoffs three times before he became a Laker. He and his teammates achieved a grand total of zero wins in those three playoff appearances. Subsequently, he was traded to the Lakers, and in his first three playoff appearances with those Lakers, he and his teammates improved that win total ever so slightly from 0, to 46.

Seriously?
   363. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4123520)
game 3 is tonight. if the sixers are gonna win the series, tonight is pretty close to a must-win situation.

Yes. I will be surprised and disappointed if the Bulls lose tonight.
   364. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4123522)
Extolling the greatness and winning ways of Chris Paul

I never said anything about it here because I was not really in the mood after what happened, but his post-Game 1 analysis of the last-second offenses of the Grizzlies vs. the Clippers was probably the single most irritating thing I read after that debacle. It essentially boiled down to the genius of the Clipper's anti-hero ball crunch-time offense where they give the ball to Chris Paul and let him do Chris Paul stuff. If only the Grizzlies had been smart enough to run their last second offense through Chris Paul.
   365. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4123523)
Abbott is the founder of the True Hoop blog network, which ESPN bought and Abbott runs. It is on the front page of ESPN's NBA site every day, and Abbott's posts are there almost every day. He is known by some as the "godfather of NBA blogging." He was a successful journalist before that. He has replaced Simmons as the most hated national writer from the POV of the Laker fanbase and is a lifelong Portland Trail Blazers fan, which of course has nothing to do with his view of Kobe Bryant.
   366. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4123525)
What Abbott does is actually much worse than what Simmons does. Abbott's anti-Kobe argument is actually a moral judgement, that Kobe Bryant does not play basketball the way it should be played and, thus, Kobe Bryant is bad for basketball.
   367. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4123526)
It essentially boiled down to the genius of the Clipper's anti-hero ball crunch-time offense where they give the ball to Chris Paul and let him do Chris Paul stuff. If only the Grizzlies had been smart enough to run their last second offense through Chris Paul.

For a guy who's got as much playoff success as Carmelo, Chris Paul gets a lot of leeway.

And, the first time Abbott has another example of non-isos for the last play, it'll be the first time.

(I hate his hero ball bullshit.)
   368. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4123527)
Still quite a bit though, considering The Mailman retired 8 years ago. Any MVP article with Simmons has to mention how awful he thought the '97 selection was, even though he's never been able to come up with a legitimate reason why using actual statistics. The Malone digs in his book were pretty frequent too.

Marlone led the NBA in PER that year (28.9). MJ's was 27.8. MJ led the league in WS (18.3) and WS/40 (.283). Malone was at 16.7 and .268. MJ was 121/102 ORtg/DRtg and Malone was 118/101. MJ played 108 more minutes and the Bulls won 5 more games. Sure looks pretty close to me, and I'm obviously biased towards titling it in MJ's favor. Obviously he's wrong to imply or say it was a bad selection.
   369. smileyy Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4123531)
Have you guys read "Those Guys Have All The Fun", the history of ESPN? In the sections on Simmons, one editor talked about how Simmons basically refuses to be edited. He doesn't want to be an impartial national voice. He wants his style to be his style and FU if you don't like it.


I respect Simmons for this a lot. I mean, I'm an on-and-off fan of his writing -- more off these, days: I need to be in the mood for it. Actually, he might be like the The Onion -- good because he was original and new, except he's still doing the same things so he's not original and new anymore.

Anyway, while editing might make him a better writer, it'd probably diminish his marketplace value. He's going to live or die by Brand Simmons (and it seems like he's living). To that end, he's portable to whoever wants to pay him, rather than beholden to ESPN's editing or content guidelines or direction.

He strikes me as a good example of the individualist nature of our new economy.
   370. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4123532)
Another point about Simmons that gets overlooked sometimes: he lives in LA. It would be sort of like if I moved to Boston, and brought my 1980s fan history to that environment, and wrote about it all the time, while making various observations about "all the Celtic fans I know" and watched the Celtics all the time whie pointing out why I don't like them--and did that for a huge, national audience.

And, of course, Simmons has his Clippers season tix, so he will be/is pimping the Paul/Griffin/Stern Clippers teams all the time as well as doing his usual thing.
   371. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4123534)
Simmons has certainly run his career, as I once said, with "entrepreneurial flair."
   372. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4123535)
And I get why a Laker fan could dislike Abbott, but I'm not understanding the level of anger from everyone else and I say this as someone who is the fan of a team that employs arguably the second most notorious heroballer.
   373. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4123536)
Bonds and Jeter threads up on Hot Topics...
   374. smileyy Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4123537)
I was watching superhero movies all day so I missed game coverage and chatter, but how do NBA writers just not get efficiency?

Kobe scores 38 points on 29 FGA. You want that. Sure, Bynum was a little more efficient, but if your gripe is about the guy with the 129 ORtg not giving the ball up more, you're making the wrong argument.

I guess that's the polarizing nature of Kobe right there. The narrative should be "Maybe Bynum should get even more touches", but because Kobe is on the team, the narrative is "Kobe should give Bynum some of his shots."

   375. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4123539)
And I get why a Laker fan could dislike Abbott, but I'm not understanding the level of anger from everyone else and I say this as someone who is the fan of a team that employs arguably the second most notorious heroballer.

Because I find beating a dead horse to be tedious even if it's not my horse.
   376. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4123540)
but I'm not understanding the level of anger from everyone else and I say this as someone who is the fan of a team that employs arguably the second most notorious heroballer.


Repetitiveness.

"Everyone else" here is just Jimmy P, who has made it clear that Abbott's schtick really bugs him. On Abbott's actual blog, there are usually angry posts from Lakers fans mixed in with, "I am no Kobe fan, Henry, but can't you give this a rest?"

If Anthony had been the #1 or #2 guy on five championship teams, and Abbott were a Nets fan who pissed on him for being a losing type of player every other week, I would call him out on that as well.
   377. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4123541)
Coke to Maxwn.
   378. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4123542)
"Everyone else" here is just Jimmy P, who has made it clear that Abbott's schtick really bugs him.

Hey me too, although I probably haven't posted on it quite as much.
   379. smileyy Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4123543)

For a guy who's got as much playoff success as Carmelo, Chris Paul gets a lot of leeway.


I think its been his success in the regular season, where, if I'm looking at NOH's roster right, he turned #### Sandwiches into .500 teams. Making your teammates better gets you tons of leeway.
   380. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4123544)

To put another player in his place, how about Kevin Garnett? Remember when there was that spate of KG-is-a-jerk stories, how KG only picked on smaller players, how his in-game intensity manifested itself in crap like barking like a dog at other teams? Now, imagine if we got a steady stream of those stories every week from every non-Boston outlet in America. On top of that, imagine that ESPN had a guy dedicated to criticizing KG's game (his diminishing post game, his history of coming up short in every postseason except 2009, his growing history of injuries, etc.) on a near-daily basis, then bringing that same analysis to ESPN's regional radio and television affiliates. Add on that the most widely-read sportswriter in the country also happens to hate your team and wants KG to be hit by a truck, and mentions that at least five times a week on the Internet and on podcasts.

Now, imagine that happening non-stop for fifteen years.


And then after all that he says "I was wrong. Mea culpa."
   381. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4123545)
He's also works harder, prepares better, and is as single-minded and winning-obsessed a player as there ever was.

Yeah, but you know what? Kobe didn't want Shaq around when Shaq was still really, really good. Kobe preferred being .500 to winning with Shaq.

So I can't get behind the idea that Kobe is "winning-obsessed."

I don't particularly care for Kobe, but this is the main reason I separate him from LBJ and the other inner-circle types. LBJ, in addition to being absurdly gifted, is the perfect teammate. I can't in a million years imagine him getting into a pissy catfight with a guy as cool and good as Shaq and not wanting him on the team.

(Unless Shaq banged Gloria, of course .... but still.)
   382. Booey Posted: May 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4123549)
Marlone led the NBA in PER that year (28.9). MJ's was 27.8. MJ led the league in WS (18.3) and WS/40 (.283). Malone was at 16.7 and .268. MJ was 121/102 ORtg/DRtg and Malone was 118/101. MJ played 108 more minutes and the Bulls won 5 more games. Sure looks pretty close to me, and I'm obviously biased towards titling it in MJ's favor. Obviously he's wrong to imply or say it was a bad selection.


Exactly. It's never bothered me one bit when people have said something along the lines of: "It was close, but I probably would've picked Jordan." They were essentially equal, and either would have been a fine choice. What bugs me about people like Simmons is that they don't acknowledge how close it was; they deny all statistical evidence to the contrary and suggest that it was just a completely ridiculous selection, usually using nonsense reasons like "Jordan was a better player for his career than Malone" (true, but irrelevant for a single season award) or "Jordan outperformed Malone in the Finals" (also true, but also irrelevant for a regular season award, especially considering that the Finals hadn't happened yet). Simmons himself called the 1997 MVP vote "a crime scene" and rated it as the #1 worst MVP vote ever. THIS is what bothers me; not peoples opinions, but when they deny statistical facts. Don't like Malone? Fine. Think Jordan should have won in a squeaker? Also fine. Think it was a completely ridiculous choice? Sorry, no. That's something that can be disproven using actual stats pretty easily.

Oh, and when people mention that Malone won cuz of the "sympathy" factor in 1997, they ignore that the same factor worked against him in 1998, when both players were also essentially equal and Jordan won easily. I'm not saying Karl should have won this one too - when two players are equal two years in a row, it seems perfectly fair to me to split the MVP's - but it should've been closer than it was. Jordan beating Malone in the Finals the previous season shouldn't have factored into the discussion.
   383. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4123551)
"Everyone else" here is just Jimmy P, who has made it clear that Abbott's schtick really bugs him.

Hey me too, although I probably haven't posted on it quite as much.


And me. I read TrueHoop every day before it was bought by ESPN. Now, I never read anything by him. All because of this.
   384. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4123552)
And then after all that he says "I was wrong. Mea culpa."

Not really, he didn't. He mostly just reintrepreted all the stuff he had written before to explain why the Lakers won despite Kobe being the selfish, ball-hogging jerk that Simmons always said he was.
   385. smileyy Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4123557)
Yeah, but you know what? Kobe didn't want Shaq around when Shaq was still really, really good. Kobe preferred being .500 to winning with Shaq.

So I can't get behind the idea that Kobe is "winning-obsessed."


I can get behind the "Shaq is an ####### of a teammate who manages his public perception and doesn't bother to get into shape" narrative. I can see that trait grating on Kobe. Depending how far you want to turn that dial up, the perception of the Kobe-Shaq feud changes.
   386. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4123560)
I guess that's the polarizing nature of Kobe right there


Partly. Karl has been running a lot of doubles at Bynum, and if that happens, Kobe is going to "shoot the damn ball."

But it is mostly just Abbott being Abbott. Bynum did have 27 in the game, and as Hollinger pointed out in Chat, the entry pass is not always there. Kobe played well late, including a nice feed to Bynum for a slam. The Lakers got the W; they are up 2-0. Getting on Kobe's ass after that game means one is either obsessed or a troll or both.

A better story, and the KBros wrote about it, is that Pau has been willing to shoot a bit less and play more at the high post, where he is often less effective on O, to allow Kobe and Bynum to "eat" and has done this in a year in which he was traded, the trade was revoked by the league, and in which the team kept trying to trade him right up until the deadline. Pau also played all 66 games on the schedule and has not complained at all; in fact, he has said many times he wants to keep being a Laker and put a home video up on YouTube on March 16 thanking the fans for their support, saying how happy he was to be staying.

Abbott could have written about that, and still gotten in his shots at the Mamba. He chose not to.
   387. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4123563)
Repetitiveness.

"Everyone else" here is just Jimmy P, who has made it clear that Abbott's schtick really bugs him. On Abbott's actual blog, there are usually angry posts from Lakers fans mixed in with, "I am no Kobe fan, Henry, but can't you give this a rest?"


Exactly. He's paid to write about basketball and the entire NBA. Yet, he focuses so much on two teams end game situations that it makes him worthless. And, due to the ESPN echo chamber, it just gets amplified.

He's a talented writer. He has some interesting ideas. He'd just rather focus on the last two minutes of every LA game. It's fine, it's just too bad he's wasting talent.

Hey, I hammer Abbott as much as some people hammer Simmons. We all have pet peeves.

Added: And me. I read TrueHoop every day before it was bought by ESPN. Now, I never read anything by him. All because of this.


This. If his bosses let him do it, fine. But he hasn't gotten a click from me in years, and I don't download any podcast that he's on.
   388. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4123564)
Some of it was lost in the West stuff, but IIRC LBJ and Shaq didn't exactly get along either. After the Superteamup in Miami, some folks wondered if Shaq would sign there too. But it sounded like it was a resounding "Hell no" from everyone down there - LBJ, Wade, and Riley (Bosh probably doesn't like him either, not after the RuPaul comments, but that's a different story).
   389. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4123565)
Hey me too, although I probably haven't posted on it quite as much.


I know, but NJ used the word "anger." Abbott seems to actually PO Jimmy a little; you just seem to find HA tiresome.
   390. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4123566)
Abbott could have written about that, and still gotten in his shots at the Mamba. He chose not to.


The most egregious one was earlier this season when they lost after Bynum was ejected in one game, and the True Hoop write up was how they lost because Kobe was chuckin'. Literally never mentioning that Bynum was ejected.
   391. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4123575)
I can't in a million years imagine him getting into a pissy catfight with a guy as cool and good as Shaq and not wanting him on the team.


The Lakers' team D, as I have explained and showed with numbers, cratered in 2003 due largely to Shaq getting fat and being a joke on pick-and-roll D. They moved back up on D in 2004 thanks to Karl Malone and Gary Payton.

As far as how "cool" Shaq is...Tex Winter described Shaq as being "incredibly generous" but also "very selfish and manipulative." Based on his post-Laker history, that sounds fair to me.

Kobe is a consummate worker; Shaq never was. Both guys have ginormous egos and wanted to be The Man. Shaq screamed "pay me!" at the owner in public; Kobe has always been smart enough to kiss Buss's ass in public. The Lakers chose the younger, better-conditioned player, and they made the right call.
   392. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4123583)
Kobe / amazing athleticism: As I wrote that I thought:
- 'maybe amazing isn't the word to use here, transcendent?'
- 'am I remember too much of old Kobe and not enough young Kobe?'
but posted anyway.

I'm not backing down from the other comment (not yet, anyway) - but there's some footnotes.
   393. Maxwn Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4123587)
What bugs me is how selectively he interprets the games he looks at. The Clipper-Grizzlies game 1 that he wrote about, emphasizing the non-hero-ball Clippers and the hero-ball Grizzlies. He looked at the last couple of possesions of that game. The last 4 possessions went like this:

First Clippers possession: Paul runs a pick-and-roll with Reggie Evans. He drives and is in the air about to shoot when he twists and dumps it off to Evans because Marc Gasol is helping towards him and is very possibly about to block the shot. Nice play by him and a very acrobatic pass, but I'm not sure there is anything particularly noteworthy about anyone dumping that ball off in that position.

First Grizzlies possession: I can't remember the beginning of the play and the highlights cut it off, but the end result is Rudy Gay isolated on Paul in the post. Nick Young is guarding Conley out at the 3-pt line, so I'm thinking it was probably a 1-3 pick-and-roll or something similar and the Clips switched it. Either way, Gay backs down Paul to about 7-8 ft and then rises over him and makes an easy jumper, the only shot they made in the last 9 mins. I guess it was an isolation, but hero-ball seems a pretty dumb moniker for getting 6-8 Rudy Gay iso'd on Chris Paul 8 feet from the basket.

Second Clippers possession: This is just a straight iso for Paul as far as I can tell. They inbound it to him, everyone clears out and he drives on Tony Allen. Only he can't get past Allen, loses his dribble about 15-18 ft out and looks to be in some trouble when Tony gets too aggressive and fouls him. To my eyes, this is hero-ball as Abbott always describes it. It was very probably going take a tough shot from Paul to score until Allen lost his head and fouled him.

Second Grizzlies possession: Classic hero ball, certainly. They dribble off some clock with Rudy, too much time actually, and then he drives left. One of the Clips helps off and does a decent job of contesting the shot, but Rudy still manages to get an okay look at a 15-footer. He leaves it short and the Grizz lose.

I don't see very much difference there. One good possession with a good result for both teams and one much worse possession. Only the Grizz screwed up and fouled on Paul's possession, while the Clippers did not on Rudy's shot. It hardly seems like strong evidence either way in this hero-ball conversation to me, but then I'm no Henry Abbott.

   394. Fourth True Outcome Posted: May 04, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4123607)
What bugs me is how selectively he interprets the games he looks at.


This is my problem with Abbott. His anti-hero ball crusade could be interesting, but he doesn't get past his confirmation bias about which players are what. Kobe is the villain in the morality play, CP3 the greatest hero. If he spread credit and blame around, there are good points that can be made (though he is a bit shrill on the points anyway, I think) but it's hard to care about that when he's only yelling about a handful of players. He doesn't make me angry, per se, but he bugs the hell out of me because I want the person driving this conversation (and also the tanking one) to have a broader, better perspective and voice.
   395. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4123639)
And then after all that he says "I was wrong. Mea culpa."


As Maxwn said--no, Simmons has never done this. The 6/24 shooting line in Game 7 and the Perkins injury has made it so he doesn't have to. Where Simmons really showed his ass there was the fact that he has never to my knowledge really given Bryant or the Lakers any credit for coming back from 13 down in the second half in Game 7, or for any mental and physical toughness. Given the narrative he constructed around Game 7 of the 1998 ECF, and his general overarching psycho-historical narrative about what decides close NBA postseason series, that was simply bias-by-omission and emotional double standards.

In the reissue of TBOB, Simmons has moved Bryant to #8 all-time, which is too high, unless you place a lot of emphasis, as Simmons does, on career value, ringzzzzz and narratives.

Shaq at peak, whom Simmons has at #12, was without any question a more valuable player than Kobe at his peak, as evaluated by both the eye test and the metrics. But Kobe's career to this point has a better narrative in many ways--played on the same team his whole career, has worked much harder, has built a very impressive career statistical package, has won, as he said himself, "one more than Shaq" and has won titles with two different teams in the same uniform several years apart.
   396. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4123640)
What bugs me is how selectively he interprets the games he looks at.


This is a big issue with Lakers fans. It is what happens when you work backwards from a conclusion you have already reached and don't acknowledge your biases.

And as Hombre and others have pointed out, these things happen largely because Chris Paul has an historically transcendent offensive skillset that applies to any offensive possession and is therefore magnified on late posessions.
   397. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4123650)
Shaq at peak, whom Simmons has at #12, was without any question a more valuable player than Kobe at his peak, as evaluated by both the eye test and the metrics. But Kobe's career to this point has a better narrative in many ways

True, at peak Shaq was more valuable than Kobe (and probably just about everyone). But Simmons wasn't ranking value, or peak value, he was ranking careers. At this point, Kobe's got a pretty good argument to be ahead of Shaq. In my opinion, he's got a pretty good argument for top 10 career, too, with a few more seasons to build on it. I don't think that's a huge error.
   398. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4123651)
Simmons can be a fun writer, but some people (including himself) seem to take him way to seriously


The guy wrote a massive, best-selling book on the entire history of the league, ranking players, teams, and covering more or less everything in the shot-clock era fron one angle or another. The "don't take him so seriously" line might work with other sports; I don't see it flying when it comes to Simmons on the NBA.

He writes in a very light tone, but when it comes to opinions/content, I think he expects to be taken as seriously as any other writer, particularly on the NBA.
   399. Jimmy P Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4123657)
Stupid Double Post
   400. robinred Posted: May 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4123659)
Flip

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