Did Kobe Bryant Deliberately Throw Game 4?

I believe he did. So does LA Times columnist TJ Simers. And it’s not the first time.

I don’t believe that there has ever been a  champion as immature and selfish as Kobe Bryant in the history of sport. He’s a disgrace. If I had a Hall of Fame ballot, he wouldn’t get it.

15 Responses to Did Kobe Bryant Deliberately Throw Game 4?

  1. Charley Rosen, Phil Jackson’s longtime friend and book collaborator, has weighed in with the same opinion: Kobe was “sticking it” to Jackson for criticizing his shot selection:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/los-angeles-lakers-oklahoma-city-thunder-game-4-042410

    Shameful. Not a hall of famer.

  2. I’m no Kobe fan, but I think this is a little harsh. To me, it looks like what Barkley said, Kobe is on the downside of his career. He’s a very high mileage guy who is also playing through injuries that would have stopped other players. He looks slow and even clumsy at times (fouling two 3-point shooters). The Thunder’s young legs are way faster that Kobe and Derek Fisher, which creates havoc.

    It’s a premature to say he’s dogging it, but after the series I could change my mind. I’m old enough to remember Rick Barry’s petulance in 1976 so I know what immaturity and selfishness can look like. This isn’t it — yet.

  3. You can’t judge what he did in game 4 by what happens later in the series. Game 4 was Game 4, and to my eye it happened just like Rosen and Simers said it did. Its something that has happened several times in the past, most memorably to me in a playoff series against the Suns that the pre-Gasol Lakers got waxed in.

    I saw it coming, and predicted how it would play out after watching Game 1. Kobe would rather lose this series than let Gasol outshine him.

    He’s set himself up now as the Laker’s only saviour. Now watch him go off in Game 5 at home. If you can stomach it.

  4. Feltbot Sucks

    Feltbot is nothing more than a HACK. Kobe is better than any player the Warriors have ever had. DON NELSON SUCKS AS A COACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Feltbot Sucks

    More reason Don Nelson suck…. Stephen Jackson in the Playoffs. Why is he not on the Warriors??? Don NEVER WON A TITLE Nelson

  6. Whoa. Do we see a reason against ‘net-neutrality’ here?

  7. Off subject, but I see Jan Vesely has taken himself out of consideration for this draft. Good. This means the W’s won’t be tempted by another 6’10″+ skinny 19 year old project.

    Next year, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him high on their board.

  8. Think what the next three years will be like, when Kobe is pulling $30m.

    To me the problem is the franchise system: the only way to win is to get one (of only a handful) of superstars and build around them. It creates a system that inflates players’ egos and gives them too large a role, too much authority in relationship to the rest of the team. And it creates a mark by which players measure themselves and see themselves, with the same effects. Cf. Monta’s remarks earlier when he said he was as good as — I’ve forgotten who.

    An environment is created which would have allowed Kobe to do as you suspected.

    And yet the franchise player teams still have to throw 40-60 million to get players around their franchise player, and this still doesn’t always work. Look at Cleveland, and the Lakers the last ten years.

  9. I agree the system is terribly flawed, which is why you need selfless superstars to make your team work. The Celtics big three, Duncan and the Spurs, Nowitzki and Nash come to mind.

  10. Name five more selfless superstars today.

    I think we really see the problem with the near-franchise players — such as Arenas? Most teams have to settle for these, and these players try to assume the mantle — and take a huge chunk out of the salary cap and show the same kind of behavior as Kobe and have the same effect of having the team centered on them. But they don’t produce as well as the superstars, and their teams’ performances can be fickle and spotty.

    A lot of people, I suspect, would be happy to get a near-franchise player for the Warriors no matter what, and there is pressure to do so. For so many reasons, this would be a mistake.

  11. The Lakers are Kobe’s team and if he wanted, Jackson would be canned. I see Curry as our superstar and that his ego stable and relatively balanced thanks to his parents and three years of college.

  12. (Feel free to pull this one, FB)

    About the playoffs: I’m bored. I like to see players run the court and pass and shoot. I miss my Warriors. So I have a few modest proposals to change the game:

    1. The low score rule
    If a team doesn’t score at least 100 points, the game’s results are nulled and the game has to be replayed. These guys are pros and I want to see them put the ball in the hoop.

    I’m tempted make the rule if both teams don’t score at least 100.

    2. Designated free throw shooter
    Let’s face it. Seeing big guys miss free throws is embarrassing, for the players, for the fans, for everyone. So let’s allow a designated free throw shooter to come in and take the shots. The big has to wait until the next stoppage of play to come in. (Or we could do something like baseball, DFS in the west and not in the east. Should lead to interesting discussions.)

    3. Rules to cut down free throws
    But I’m also tired of watching guys who can shoot make free throws. So what? And there are games where 25-30% of the scoring comes from free throws. I’m especially tired of seeing guys plow into a crowd only to get to the line. It’s like watching demolition derby.

    One option would be to divide the court into concentric circles. Anything made in the circle closest to the hoop gets one point — or one free throw if there’s a foul and the shot missed. The next circle gets two, and let’s keep the three point arc. The court would look like a skee ball game, but with the scoring reversed.

    I’m also tired of seeing guys 20-30 feet out go through bizarre gymnastics, throwing up the ball improbably, to draw a foul and get to the line. I suggest there be a panel of judges, something like figure skating judges, who give scores on the esthetics of the shot. If the average score isn’t high enough, the ball goes to the other team. Throw out the high and low scores, of course — and try to not have any Russian judges.

    4. Get rid of free throws entirely
    If a player gets fouled, his team gets the ball back, but the shot clock keeps running. This way they have to look for open shots.

    But still count fouls and find ways to penalize them so teams just don’t maul each other to beat the clock.

    Also I don’t like seeing players play poorly because they rack up 4-5 fouls (or watching teams not have enough players on the bench).

    Instead of having players foul out, do something like they do in ice hockey. After a player gets two fouls in a quarter, say, on the third he has to go to the penalty box and sit for several minutes. No substitute for him allowed. This would set up power plays, as in ice hockey. They could build a plexiglass penalty box just into the stands where these players would sit.

    Actually, I’m curious how this one would work out.

    5. The franchise players rule
    OK, they’re great and no one can stop them. But I’m tired watching half-court sets where one player gets the ball all the time and dominates the game.

    Designate so many players as franchise players — use their salaries to decided. Divide the court into so many squares lit from beneath, something like a disco floor, which light up randomly. The franchise players’ shots only count when they are in a lit square. (But think about the effect this might have on the salary wars.)

    I realize I have a few details to work out. . . .

  13. Lol, some creative ideas there Nivrag :> I kind of like the idea of first team to 100 wins. That might force defensive teams to change their style in certain games, and create some real drama when one team neared the magic point.

    I totally agree with you Ape. Curry is our superstar, and a perfect one in terms of selflessness. Monta is a very interesting case study. He walked the line of Kobeness last year, but in the end appeared to make great strides at blending his game into the team.

    By the way, anyone who doesn’t believe that Monta and Curry can play in the same backcourt should be watching the Spurs play with Parker and Hill.

  14. hey feltie – thanks for these playoff write ups – as crazy as nivrag’s write up was, I must admit I am bored by these playoffs as well…. But I think there is one important point that has surfaced in your discussion that detracts from the nba game. The superstar concept. Definitely Stern has contributed to the idea of superstars to the detriment of team play. The worst example is Kobe. One of the last warrior games I went to watch in person, it seemed like Kobe was fouled every time he missed a shot. And he shot way more free throws than the entire warrior team. But according to the Donaghy remarks, which I believe, the refs understand to support the superstars. This concept is to my way of thinking every bit as bad as throwing the games by shoeless joe. Can you just imagine hearing announcers for the NFL routinely state, oh that was pass interference on that rookie receiver, but he will not get that call until he is in the league longer.. WHAT????? That Stern has instigated this concept or at least let it continue really undermines the game at many levels. As bad as NFL officiating can be, there is no parallel for the refs having an agenda.. Once you open that door, personal agendas can take hold and individual refs can affect game outcomes.

  15. Hey, Nivrag, I like those ideas, especially about cutting down on free throws. Last night, I used my DVR’s 5-minute skip button near the end of the Charlotte-Orlando game. In 5 minutes of elapsed time, the game clock advanced only 13 seconds! The next time I did it, the game clock advanced only 27 seconds. Some time was taken by commercials, but most of it was fouls/free throws. It’s ruining the game, especially in the 4th quarter of close games. Not good.