Not really an update, since it involves me remembering something that happened several weeks before Bogut's assertive remarks on Kobe et al. But am I the only one who saw the news item about how someone (couldn't be the league. was it Bogut's people?) had scheduled a meeting between Kobe and Bogut, I guess so the college player of the year could talk to one of the Association's brightest stars about how hectic shit is in the pros. Bryant left Bogut waiting in a hotel lobby for a while, then had someone call to say he couldn't make it. All very mysterious, and a tad bit rude. Yet not quite twisted enough to be pure, intentional Kobe.
(Really, who could have possibly set this up? Kobe is the most high-profile black sheep since [insert Black Sheep pun here] and, whether you're talking good or bad, has by no means had a representative experience on or off the court. It seems odd that he would have volunteered to talk to Bogut out of the goodness of his convoluted heart, and it probably would look bad from a PR perspective if Bogut expressed too much of an interest in meeting Kobe.)
(This is why I should probably have links in situations like this, but it was buried somewhere in InsideHoops)
(Okay, buckling to self-imposed pressure,
Far from being a crusader for goodness, Bogut might just be a little kid who got his feelings hurt. Fronting like he's a premature statesman setting the tone for a new era
(memo to Bogut: it's been fifty plus years since a white center played any role in setting the tone for league. Walton's the exception that proves the rule--he's without a doubt one of the more perplexingly singular figures in the history of the game. And was more of a cultural phenomenon seeping into basketball than the game and its culture defining themselves.)
Maybe Shaq, who could actually be more of a political opportunist than his good guy image will let us believe, reached out to him after the Kobe incident. And that's why we see Bogut so willing to call out Kobe in print--with Shaq in his corner and a far more appropriate sense of how he fits into the Assocation, suddenly Kobe looks like an easy target.
But if that guy with the blog I linked to is right, and Kobe had a very good reason to miss the meeting that he opted not to make public at the time, it's not just a matter of Bogut finding a more appropriate role model and taking up his new mentor's on and off court cause. Rather, it's the kind of petty shit that Scoop tenatively called out Shaq for doing throughout his career, stuff that might well end up undermining the Big One's legacy (or at least draining it of some of its effervescent, intangible-based glory).
Another memo to Bogut: Shaq gets away with it because, as a player and a personality, he's Shaq. You're never going to be him, so it might be time to start rethinking your approach to year one before you make an ass of yourself. If whoever drafts you is lucky, you're the next Brad Miller. Brad Miller's image took a hit when he provoked Shaq into throwing THE MIGHTIEST WINDMILL IN THE HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, ergo, you'll be working with about that same level of shaky, if not invisible, public feeling. Accept it and act accordingly. You may have good hair, but no seven footer has ever been a model.
Still, it's probably too late to avoid an early season game of Kobe just destroying you for a full 48. Shit should go on PPV.