Tag: Kobe

Kobe Bryant Korea Tour 2011

Kobe’s twitter account comes. Then goes. But will be back.

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Kobe Bryant was the talk of twitter Wednesday night. It’s not the first time, from hitting game winners to just being Kobe in post game conversations he’s been the buzz of twitter.

But Wednesday it was because he joined twitter.

For about three hours. Then the account was shut down after one tweet (“Can you hear me now?!?!”). Kobe’s official Facebook page was promoting it. Kobe racked up 35,000 followers in that hour.

So what was going on? They had the answer over at ESPNLosAngeles.com.

A source close to Bryant told ESPNLosAngeles.com that Bryant’s Twitter feed will return in the future and that a social media professional assisting Bryant in setting up the account “may have jumped the gun.” The source said Bryant will spend more time familiarizing himself with Twitter before the account goes live again.

May? May have jumped the gun?

Once it goes live, do you think Kobe will be doing the tweets himself? No. Unless the twitter feed uses a lot of profanity, sarcasm and slaps around some other players don’t bet on it. The real Kobe is fascinating, but you get the feeling this twitter feed will be more about marking than insight.

Kobe joins the “Hey, I may play overseas” parade

Kobe China

Make no mistake, this is about leverage in negotiations.

However the threat of going overseas to play sounds reasonable coming from Kobe, a guy who has the money and is a competitor at heart. Doesn’t mean the guy whose body could use a little rest is actually going to go over to Europe or China, or even Turkey.

But as you can see from the video (with quotes below) he is playing along with the union’s “I’m open to playing overseas game.

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“The one thing about basketball is it’s a global sport now, so you can play anywhere you want to.

“As far as myself, I just train. I just train and be prepared for anybody that calls, whether the NBA starts again or a team in Europe or a team here in China decides to call, then I’ll be ready….

“I always like being the hunter, I’m going after something. It doesn’t matter that I have one now, that means nothing to me. I have five (NBA titles), next year I’m playing like I don’t have five, you know what I mean? I’m playing for that one. I’m not looking over my shoulder and seeing who is coming behind me, I’m coming to get something else.”

The reality is that while may well do a barnstorming tour of China but don’t expect more, no matter how long the lockout goes. But he knows how to play the game… the negotiations game.

Other players say Kobe is most clutch. Great, this debate again.

Kobe Bryant, Lakers

It’s a debate as circular and weary as congressional budget battles (whichever party doesn’t have the president is suddenly filled with deficit hawks, not so much when there guy is in there).

Is Kobe Bryant clutch?

Other NBA players say yes. When polled by Sports Illustrated and asked to anonymously say who they would want taking the last shot, 74 percent of the 166 players surveyed said Kobe.

Followed by Kevin Durant (8 percent), Dwyane Wade (3 percent), Ray Allen and Dirk Nowitzki 2 percent each).

Knicks fans will note that Jared Jeffries and Bill Walker are not on this list.

We’ve been down the road before showing you numbers that say Kobe is not as clutch as you think he is. He hits a lot of key shots, but he takes and misses a lot more. But then you get into how to define clutch. And questions like does leading a team to rings count as clutch?

Circular argument. I’d rather watch him, and just enjoy what he brings. Because he is one of the all-time greats and we are not going to have him around to wow us that much longer.

Kobe Bryant starts annual playoff pushing of Pau Gasol

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol

Every late April the weather starts to warm, flowers start to poke their heads out of the ground, birds undertake their migrations and Kobe Bryant starts pushing Pau Gasol to be more aggressive. It is one of the rights of spring.

It started Sunday night, when Gasol struggled to score or defend the pick-and-roll, two of the things that were at the heart of the Hornet’s Game 1 upset of the Lakers. Chris Paul is the best all-around point guard in the game and given room he abused Gasol, pulling the big man out into space then shooting over him or making pinpoint passes to teammates.

Gasol owned up to it, as quoted at ESPN’s Land O’ Lakers blog.

“I was just not very sharp. I couldn’t get into a good rhythm in the first quarter. I didn’t get myself going at all. So it’s up to me to get some energy out there and be a little more aggressive and find ways to find that rhythm.”

Nor did Gasol bite when the assembled media asked in multiple ways if his anemic stats were due to a lack of touches. “Maybe I let that effect me a little bit early on in the game, but I can’t afford that,” he said. “I’ve got to be more aggressive. I’ve got to make myself available, whether the ball is coming or not. I’ve got to be there, and get myself active and don’t get discouraged whatsoever if the ball is not coming. You’ve got to pursue it sometimes, and in different ways. I had zero offensive rebounds, that’s something I don’t like at all.”

Gasol is intelegent and self motivated — he knows what he has to do.

That doesn’t mean Kobe isn’t going to give him a kick in the… um, behind.

“We could have gotten a little bit more out of everybody. But Pau is our guy. He’s our guy. He’s the next in line. Responsibility and the pressure comes along with that,” he said, “and he’ll be ready to go next game…

“Rightfully so. I put pressure on myself. It’s one and two, it’s me and him. We’ve got to deal with it. When you get all the praise when things go your way, [you also] get all the blame when things don’t. It’s part of the seats we sit in,” Kobe said of the pressure he’s putting on Gasol. “It’s just [a matter of] him being aggressive. He’s one of the best in the world.”

This little movie has played out the last three playoffs almost the same way. It wouldn’t feel like the postseason in L.A. without it. And based on history, look for a better game from Gasol, and look for the Lakers to actually get the ball inside to him more early in the game this time around.

Kobe fined $100K for “distasteful term” used toward referee

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant reacts during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in Los Angeles

Kobe Bryant’s emotional use of a derogatory slang term toward gays aimed at a referee Tuesday night — caught and shown to a national television audience — has led to a hefty fine from David Stern and the league office.

“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable,” Stern said in a released statement. “While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. Accordingly, I have fined Kobe $100,000. Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society.”

Stern is right; there is no place for it. It doesn’t matter if it is a word commonly thrown around on many NBA courts and in junior high football locker rooms too, that does not make it right. To say it is a societal problem is both correct and does not absolve any one person.

Stern, of course, also has a league image issue to maintain. You can be sure that also was part of the reasoning for the large fine.

The incident happened in the second half, when Kobe picked up a technical foul for clapping his hands demonstratively after not getting a foul call he thought he had earned (it was one of the “respect the game” technical that have been called inconsistently all season for showing up referees). Kobe stormed to the bench afterwards, punched his chair and threw a towel.

Then — with the camera still on him closely — called referee Bennie Adams a derogatory name for homosexuals.

That incident caused an almost instant backlash and debate on twitter among NBA fans and carried on into today. Our own John Krolik wrote a thoughtful piece on the matter today.

Kobe himself issued this statement through the team:

“What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”

Kobe called and spoke with an apologized to the heads of some gay and lesbian advocacy organizations. Phil Jackson sounded like a guy who just wanted to move on to the playoffs.

“It’s unfortunate he got caught saying something like that. It came in the heat of the game. He made his apology, and we move forward,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before his team faced the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.