10.19.2007

Kobe Bryant locker-gate 2007

It’s great to write for an independent blog, where we’re afforded perspective and the ability to watch stories happen and only dig into the ones that are actual news. Case in point: Kobe locker-gate 2007. Over the past several days, just about every sports writer spent a considerable amount of their professional time reporting on and writing about the sometimes inconsequential trials and tribulations of Kobe Bryant.

Did he clean out or clean up his locker? Did Mark Cuban stop dancing for a minute and call Mitch Kup-cake with a legitimate trade offer for Kobe's services? Are Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss conspiring to drive a wedge between Jerry Buss and Bryant? Are any of the current Chicago Bulls’ players house-shopping in the So-cal area? The questions, over the past week, ranged in degree from mildly ridiculous to utterly inane.

We can’t fault the sports writers, of course. This is the nature of the overly sensational media, as it is today. Can’t you just envision a conversation like the following?
Editor at a daily newspaper: Did you hear Kobe cleaned out his locker and is sitting out of practices? He could be traded any minute and we’re not writing about this?

Sports writer at a daily newspaper: We’re not because it’s about as newsworthy as my dog switching to a new brand of pet food. Kobe cleaned up his locker, and a lot of veterans don’t practice in the pre-season. You want me to write a story every time a player removes his dirty shorts from the team’s locker room?

Editor: Kobe said that any trades are up to the front-office. Why is he being aloof? Is there some hidden meaning behind all this? What do we pay you for? Our readers want answers, now! Seriously, you don’t need to do much, just write the words Kobe, Phil, Buss and Lakers and connect them together with whatever other random words…and watch the readers roll in.

Sports writer: Are you serious? Ok, whatever. I’ll make some calls. Can’t believe I actually put up with this nonsense, it’s driving me…

Editor: Did you say something?

Sports writer: No, nothing.
And so it goes, in a pre-season that hasn’t produced a whole lot of significant news, the need to fill column space drives editors to demand and writers to write the most inconsequential stories, like those seen and read during Kobe locker-gate 2007. How about getting back to the issue of the basketball at hand?

In case you didn't know, the Lakers played in an exhibition game last night against the very young Seattle Sonics. Kobe scored 20 points in 18 minutes and looked fine, though naturally a bit distracted. Andrew Bynum, who has been rock-solid this preseason, scored 19 points and pulled down 10 boards, showing off his soft hands around the basket. Bynum’s back-to-the-basket game still needs a ton of work, but at least he seems to be more confident. Jordan Farmar also looked good, but, given his size, his place is best as a sparkplug off the bench. Speaking of sparkplugs, Ronnie Turiaf needs to hit the boards, or he won’t hang on to the starting power forward gig for too much longer. And, the Lakers defense still doesn't look too good, which could render any offensive improvement moot anyway.

Wow, we’re actually talking basketball. What a novel concept!

1 comment:

Juste said...

all of these Kobe stories are a joke. I'm betting KB doesn't get traded anytime soon.