Friday, November 2, 2007

Boooing Bryant

When Chicago Bulls General Manager John Paxson declared that they are done negotiating for a trade that would give them Kobe Bryant, it opened a humongous sigh of relief for Bulls players and fans. The players did not deny that the trade, if concluded, would mean adjusting to Kobe and that some of them will have to go. Fans in Chicago still hold fond memories of Michael Jordan and would not want this "usurper" to take his place in their hearts.

And so, it was back to Los Angeles for Kobe, who said that he was not expecting anything unusual, neither did Coach Phil Jackson.

And then it happened. Resounding and vigorous boos echoed throughout the Staples Center. Kobe was being booed, not by out of town fans of other NBA teams, but by Los Angeles Lakers fans right in their home court. Being used to boos in different states was one thing, but losing the support of your own home court is ominous.

Kobe's 45 point output that failed to win the game, seemed like an "in your face" performance directed at the booing crowd. He looked unfazed, but it created more tension between himself and his teammates.

Known for being dedicated followers of their team, the Lakers fans made the Team realize that they wanted a divorce from Kobe. How did it come to this?

There was that rape case sometime back and the lingering tiff with Shaquille O' Neil. Theres also the disagreements with Phil Jackson, and the complaints about teammates' skills and heart that makes him do all the work. Then his demand to be traded and critical statements against Lakers management and owners. All these were quietly evaluated by the fans. He never admitted any wrongdoing and he never apologized. The fans realized they are not just holding on to a prodigal son, but were actually perpetuating the self-serving and bratty tantrums of an unreasonable and immature swell head.

Boooing Kobe must have felt good for the fans who have been seething for some time. If I'd been there, I wouldn't just boo him... I'd throw the entire content of my spittoon.


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