Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Was Scoop Jackson the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz?

Here is Scoop Jackson’s latest offering for Per usual, it is rambling, contradictory, and poorly written. This episode has Scoop Jackson asking at what point Kobe Bryant lost his mind thus enabling him to score bushels of points. If you can determine the theme you are smarter than me. Here are some snippets:

Or was it before that? The game before that Dallas game. The game that he said made him sick. The one the Lakers lost. When they scored only 74 points against Houston on Dec. 18. Kobe was scoring 31.3 points per game, trailing Iverson, who was averaging 33.4 at the time, and there was little discussion of a scoring race.
There is always little discussion of a scoring race. Never in 20+ years as an NBA fan has a scoring race captured my imagination or excitement. Nor do I recall anyone hyping up a close scoring race. Has Kevin Harlan ever screamed, “If Jordan is held scoreless in his last three games, Dominique Wilkins can win the scoring race with three 50 point games.” Maybe the problem is both Kobe and Scoop seem to think a scoring title is more important than an NBA title.

Maybe that's when that something else entered his body. Taking it over. Linda Blairing it.
Now Scoop is inventing verbs. Here’s one: Scoop Jacksoning it. It is synonymous with holding your breath, writing as much nonsense as possible with zero proof, fact or intelligence, then exhale, hit spell checker and turn in copy to your editor.

Was it after he sprained his wrist in the game against LeBron in the first quarter, then made himself hit the final eight points to win the game?
Inside Kobe’s head: All right mister Bryant, we are NOT going home until you make these last eight points. Do you understand me!

To pinpoint the time is essential to understanding why Kobe Bryant is doing what he is doing. In order to get a grasp, to get some type of comprehension of what is really going on, we need to know when -- when! -- did Kobe get so heated at the world that he decided to take his frustrations out on the game of basketball? Because until we get to that point, we may not appreciate exactly what it is he's really doing. Until we discover that day, none of us are going to truly understand what this vengeance of his is all about.
This is Scoop’s whole point. Why is it essential? Because it helps us better understand Kobe’s psyche? Nearly all of the stories about Bryant’s 81 points are of amazement and tribute. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points and I have no idea about his motives. It is still impressive. This argument is stupid. It’s like asking at what point did Tom Hanks start acting well? Was it before Bosom Buddies or after Philadelphia?

Even in the arrogance of a 9-for-33 night in San Antonio on Nov. 29, when Bryant belligerently said his "missed shots provided shot opportunities for his teammates off the offensive boards," you could sense in Bernie Mac-ology that "something different was goings on."
I think what Scoop means is even when Kobe was being selfish and not scoring, he could still play better. As for the Bernie Mac-ology, I’m clueless. Is this supposed to get his point across more clearly? Nice quote from Kobe too.

For better or worse, richer or broke, wins or losses, it made you want to pay attention to what may happen next in the book of Kobe. And this is what Jerry Buss had in mind when he made the decision to keep No. 8. It wasn't about winning games or getting another ring or embarrassing Shaq or Phil. From a business standpoint, all Buss wanted to do was make the Lakers relevant, make us want to pay attention to everything that happened inside the Staples Center, make us never want to miss a game.
Absolutely false! That is giving Jerry Buss way too much credit. When the Lakers were three-peating, the Staples Center was full and the Lakers were the NBA’s main event. Now the Lakers have Kobe and eleven also-rans. This is not a foolproof plan for success, in the NBA or business. And once again, Scoop Jackson can apparently look deep inside another man’s brain and interpret his thoughts. Inside Jerry Buss’ brain:” I could make a run at a fourth title, but rings be damned I’d rather watch Kobe as a solo act.” Sadly this may be true.

Scoop then babbles for over nine paragraphs (it’s hard to qualify Scoop’s paragraphs when he writes a sentence, hits return and says the same thing again) on how Kobe wants the world to hate him. I fully expected Scoop to next proclaim his steadfast love for Bryant despite all the haters. In all the meandering blather, Scoop’s point, the crux of his argument, is that he thinks Kobe is mad and his punishment on all of humanity is to average 45 points per game in January.

Trust me, Kobe doesn't see the Mavs, the Kings or the Raptors when he's out there anymore. He sees that black cloud that's on "Lost." He sees the F.A.M.E. tattoo on Iverson's back that stands for "F--- All My Enemies." He sees the anti-Kobe. That's why he's doing things no one has ever seen before.
Prefacing something with “Trust Me”, typically means you can verify this. Yet there are zero quotes from Kobe in the article or even anything alluding to a specific statement from Bryant. Scoop has obviously researched Allen Iverson’s back tattoo, highly irrelevant to this story. And who is Scoop referring to when he says "He sees the Anti-Kobe"? Iverson, Kobe, Pau Gasol, Dominic Monaghan?

Now the call to action….

So what are you going to do now?
Are you going to miss another Lakers game this season? Is "k-o-b-e b-r-y-a-n-t" going to be highlighted on your TiVo menu listing?
No. What he did was historic and that’s great. But single-game records are such a fluke. The chance that Kobe will go 9-33 seems greater than getting 81 again. And 9-33 is dreadful to watch.

Over the last 10 games he's averaged 45.5. For the season, he's at 35.9. As ri-dope-ulous as that is, it's still less than the 37.1 Jordan averaged in 1987.
But even in that season, was Jordan this spectacular? Did Jordan have us on flat-screen lockdown like this? Rearranging our schedules, canceling vacations, thanking a higher power than David Stern that we don't have to chose between Kobe and the Super Bowl this year. Knowing that on any given February he may make history … again.
Microsoft Word does not recognize ri-dope-ulous and neither do I. I didn’t see Jordan play everyday, but in 1987 Jordan was 23 and at the height of his athletic ability, leading me to believe he was pretty unbelievable to watch. It was the year he won the slam dunk contest with the free-throw line dunk. An argument about who is more spectacular is a bit pointless and inconclusive. Keep in mind Jordan also averaged 37 points over a whole season; Kobe has been ri-dope-ulous, spazztacular and pimpcredible for one month.

If Scoop is trying to convince us that Kobe is a great player, who is he arguing with? It’s hard to take anymore so I will leave you with Google’s quote of the day:

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.- Bertrand Russell