Basketball is at its best when there is tension between star players.
That’s why it’s so sad to see the route Kobe Bryant has taken in his old age. Bryant was once the lord of basketball beefs, highlighted by his never-ending feud with Shaquille O’Neal.
But this month, we’ve seen Kobe and the superstars around him go terribly soft. Bryant began his month of holiday cheer by going out to breakfast in Boston with Rajon Rondo. That’s right, a Celtic and a Laker sharing croissants DURING an NBA season and PRIOR to an actually meeting on the court.
Sunday night, matters became worse – so long as you like your hoop sprinkled with a little hatred. Kobe surpassed Michael Jordan for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. It’s a great accomplishment for Bryant, who has spent his entire career mimicking Jordan – right down to the fist-pumps and facial expressions. But the out-pouring of congratulatory tweets and in-person celebrations that followed were sickening for old school sports minds.
LeBron James, who should have spent the past decade passive-aggressively hinting at the fact that Kobe is the Kourtney to his Kim, chose to not only congratulate Kobe on passing Jordan but also decided to call him by his adorable nickname/middle name.
“Congrats Bean!” @kobebryant #ThirdAllTime #LivingLegend,” LeBron tweeted.
And while Minnesota should hate the Lakers franchise for moving to Los Angeles way back in 1960, the way the Timberwolves and their fans showered Bryant with love Sunday night was a bit much. When’s the last time a game was suspended for several minutes after a visiting player reached an individual milestone that placed him not No. 1, but THIRD all-time?
As if that wasn’t enough, after the game the Lakers threw Kobe a party on the team plane – complete with soda, pizza, party horns, Chex mix, cake and Fla-Vor-Ice.
The Brooklyn Nets will hold a tribute for superfan Jeffrey “Gamblero” Vanchiro at Tuesday’s game against the Heat at Barclays Center, according to ESPN. Vanchiro passed away Sunday after jumping from the window of his father’s home Saturday night. A video of Vanchiro being escorted out of Madison Square Garden during a Dec. 2 Nets-Knicks game went viral after Vanchiro reportedly took off his prosthetic leg in protest of being asked to leave. MSG security even accused Vanchiro of hitting another fan with the leg, though that claim has since been disputed.