Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm On Team Kobe Now

It's amazing the effect that time, experience, and perhaps a little sour grapes can have on one's opinions. This time last year, I was a huge Shaquille O'Neal fan. Despite being bludgeoned by the Chicago Bulls in Rd. 1 of the 2007 NBA Playoffs, memories of the glorious 2006 championship run still filled my heart with contentment. Although Dwyane Wade was the undisputed king of that run (according to ESPN, the best Finals performance ever), Shaq was an important piece of the championship puzzle. He was big, brash, and a delight to watch in post-game press conferences, the "big Aristotle".

I'd always taken Shaq's side in the feud he had with Kobe, even before Shaq donned a Heat uniform. Kobe is, after all, a narcissist malcontent. No longer. I'm on Team Kobe now. For those that haven't heard, Shaq (not Kobe) decided to rip open old wounds at a New York nightclub on Sunday night while performing a freestyle rap. Here are some of the lowlights:

* "You know how I be...Last week, Kobe couldn't do without me."

* "Kobe...tell me how my a$@ tastes." (this one he got the mesmerized crowd to chant repeatedly)

* He took another, more subtle swipe at the Heat, saying that he was "the difference between first and last place." (someone should remind him that the Heat was in last place on the day he left for Phoenix)

Shaq is an immature dolt. He is trying to play it off as a frivolous thing that rappers do all of the time. But don't believe it. Ever since he left the Heat, he's made public infantile tomfoolery a personal mission. Remember his uncalled-for shots at Ron Culp, Ricky Davis, and Chris Quinn of all people? Besides, while it is true that rappers blast others in freestyle rap, they do it to people they have genuine beefs with.

I think this latest episode illustrates at least two things: (1) That boyish quality that we loved about him while he was down here is the same thing that he uses to stab us in the back when he is out of here; and (2) Pat Riley was an enormously positive influence on him while he was down here - without Riley's sage words and discipline, Shaq is reverting to the lost child he was before he arrived in Miami. Pitiful.


Christian said...

he's fat

Alex said...

I've always been on Team Kobe... or rather on team Not-Shaq, ring or no ring (and he doesn't get it without Wade). He's the biggest baby on the planet. Plus his game is ugly