The Lakers championship parade is today and I for one am still annoyed. I am not and have never been a Kobe fan. The last time I cheered for the Lakers Kareem had on those silly goggles and Magic had on short shorts. I hate when people say Kobe is the best Laker. Um best Laker since Magic sure. Best Laker all time. No. Many people have asked me why I hate Kobe and since when was I a Celtics fan. My answer is two-fold. The Celtics answer is easy. I was a fan of Ron Mercer. Who you ask? Ron Mercer was a two time Mr. Basketball and had great collegiate success at Kentucky. When he was drafted by the Celtics I followed along. I even have a Celtics key chain to prove it. And who else am I supposed to cheer for? The Grizzlies. No thanks. Fast Forward to 2007 and the Celtics traded for my favorite player Kevin Garnett. So of course I'm a Celtics fan. Now on to why I hate Kobe. Let's get a few things straight. I know he's good. Great even. A proven winner. All that. I got it.
When I ask others why they hate Kobe they give me one of these responses:
* He raped that girl in Colorado (do you know that?)
* He's not MJ (of course not- no one is)
* He's cocky (a lot of NBA players are cocky)
* He beat my team (he beats everybody's team)
* He married a video chick who isn't black (he wasn't going to marry you so...)
I don't hate him for any of those reasons. My reason is my own and it has to do with my mom's chicken salad. It was May 30, 2007. I was three years into my time as a production assistant at ESPN. At 10:30 that morning I walked into the 6pm Sportscenter meeting. As we were going around the room getting our assignments we realized it was a slow news day. I was even wearing my slow news day outfit. A sundress and heels. (Sidenote- you are ALWAYS taking a risk by wearing heels at ESPN. You might be called to run at any moment.) So I was assigned all NBA news that wasn't playoff related. I almost turned cartwheels as I headed back to my computer. Since it was playoff time what else could there be to talk about? The day wore on and at noon I decided to run home for lunch. My mom was visiting me for the week and she had made her chicken salad. I could eat her chicken salad anything she cooks every single day. So I sent a quick instant message to my producer that I was heading home but would sign into my laptop so he could reach me. I got home and ma had my plate ready. JOY was mine. I sat down at the table, signed into work and I had 67 instant messages from my producer. I HAD JUST TALKED TO HIM 5 minutes ago and NOTHING was happening. Instead of eating my lunch and ignoring him like I wanted to I called him. He said you have to come back right now. I asked why. He said in what can only be described as a scream:
KOBE BRYANT JUST ASKED FOR A GD TRADE AND I NEED YOU ON IT!
I crumpled to the floor with my phone in my hand. I actually started to tear up. My mom, who knows her only child is melodramatic, didn't even look my way. She just said in her normal, calm tone. "It will be here when you get back." I wanted to eat not deal with some primadonna basketball player who didn't like where he was playing. Let's get one thing straight. NBA is far down on the list of sports I like. My list is as follows. 1. College Football. 2. NFL 3. Women's College Hoops 4. Men's College Hoops 5. NBA So with my stomach growling and my football brain getting more and more angry that I had to cover NBA I hopped into my trusty convertible and headed back to work. There are a few things that make you nervous in sports television. One of the worst is walking into a room and EVERY SINGLE PERSON screams your name. I almost ran back home. Here's what had happened in the 15 minutes since I had left the building- Kobe Bryant had asked for a trade from the only team he'd ever known. The team that he demanded Shaq be booted from. He called the Lakers front office a mess. He said he'd rather play on Pluto and he ALSO said his mind was made up. He was leaving. Now had he said that on a television interview my job would have been easy. Nope not Kobe Bean Bryant. He said it on ESPN radio to Stephen A. Smith and Dan Patrick as well as other radio shows in LA. Ugh- keep in mind I work on the TV side of things. So my assignment was to produce an 8 minute piece of him rambling about wanting to be traded to air at the beginning of Sportscenter. Now 8 minutes might seem like nothing to you but in television 8 minutes is a LIFETIME. So I take off running down to ESPN radio in my heels. I gather all the sound from all the shows and that's when I feel it. I feel air on the side of my foot. No no no I think to myself my shoe cannot be busted on the side because of Kobe Bryant. First the chicken salad now this. I loved those shoes. I'm more comfortable in heels due to these extremely high arches I have so to lose these was a tragedy. I managed to get my work done on one heel but the damage was done. I had no love for Kobe. I was hungry, sweaty, shoeless, and worn out due to a guy I didn't even watch. I've never been able to like him after that. He ruined a really easy day at work, a wonderful lunch with my mom, and some really expensive shoes by basically lying cause if you haven't noticed. HE'S STILL A LAKER! Such a loser.