Months ago, I posted about how much I missed the Showtime Era LA Lakers. After the recent war of words between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, the nostalgia for the old team is even stronger.
Now that O’Neal has been traded to the Miami Heat, he and his former teammate, acquited rape suspect Bryant, aren’t holding back on their distaste of each other.
The latest revelation came this week when it was revealed that Bryant told investigators in Colorado [when he was questioned about the alleged rape] on July 2, 2003, shortly after his infamous transgression, that Shaq has paid women up to $1 million to remain silent about sexual encounters.What a man Bryant is. Whether the allegation about O’Neal is true or not, the revelation betrays quite a bit about Bryant’s lack of character: irrelevantly give up someone else when your reputed-to-exist testicles are in a vise.
Though I’ve not been too fond of O'Neal either—not since the blatant swearing incidents before the cameras--his response has been a little more muted. But not much:
“This whole thing is ridiculous. I never hang out with Kobe, I never hung around him. … And one last thing: I’m not the one buying love. He’s buying love.”Former Laker coach Phil Jackson will have his say about Bryant’s character in an upcoming memoir:
The former Lakers coach said he became so frustrated with Bryant that he told Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak in January, "…I won't coach this team next year, if he is still here…He won't listen to anyone. I've had it with this kid…"And here:
Jackson said the Lakers footed part of the bill for Bryant's travel back and forth between Los Angeles and Colorado and that an ungrateful Bryant complained his private jet wasn't up to standard.
"Kobe was unhappy with the type of plane that was selected: he wanted one with a higher status. He should feel fortunate that he's not footing the bill himself," Jackson said.Frankly, I wish the Lakers had traded Bryant as well. Both he and O’Neal should bugger off, in my opinion (oh, wait; that is the problem in the first place). The San Andreas fault is already straining under the pressure of too many anal orifices sitting on top of its western-most layer. Great athletic skills do not equal great men and, while it isn’t a requirement that athletes be great men, these two are to absolute pits. Kareem and Magic, they ain’t.
After tonight's win [the 1980 Finals, in which Magic replaced the injured Kareem at center], the first rookie to be named Finals MVP didn't forget the man he replaced at center. "I know your ankle hurts, Kareem," Magic said, "but why don't you get up and dance, anyway?"*****
Trade Kobe, Laker higher-ups, and go through some rebuilding years yet again. You know that many great players want to wear that Laker uniform. Maybe you (and Laker fans) will get lucky enough to have as a magical (no pun intended) combination as was had in the eighties. It can happen.