6.09.2005

Bogut/Bryant update

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, here's a link to some guy's blog that explains some of the salient details and then some.)

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.

9 Comments:

At 6/09/2005 1:45 PM, Blogger elandfried said...

The weird thing about Bogut is that I haven't read one thing about how he's not worthy of the Number 1 (or 2) pick in any "real" columns (if anyone can point to some, I'd like to read 'em). Yet every NBA fan I talk to knows that he shouldn't go any higher than say the 8th pick cause he's almost hit his ceiling already. And isn't he like 240 pounds? So let me get this straight, he's 7 feet tall, but he's not very athletic, isn't a shot blocker, but also has no bulk to push people around. Sounds perfect!

See, I don't think he even compares to Brad Miller - Miller has always been a tough guy who also possesses what Bogut has, good passing skills and a nice touch. I think Bogut compares better to Vlade Divac. In fact, I'm really hoping he grows a beard, starts chain smoking, and says things like "America - what a country!" That's the only way the Andrew Bogut Era is gonna be evenly remotely successful. Until then, he's Chris Mihm with a better feel for the game. Seriously, it's pure insanity to me that he should even be in the top 5 in this year's draft! Where is the wrath of Chad Ford? Is it because he's officially "foreign"?

 
At 6/09/2005 2:06 PM, Anonymous brickowski said...

bogut just seems way over his head here. i really don't think he understands what he's doing. think about it, in addition to drawing the ire of kobe and american ballers in general, he's also managed to simultaneously attract the scorn of both duncan haters and lovers by praising tim while acting in the most un-duncan-like of ways. how can a guy say he admires duncan's stoic play while talking shit about half the league in the same breath? clueless, aussie.

 
At 6/09/2005 3:24 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

weird, it looks like cnnsi took that column down. at any rate, i can't get the link to work nor can i find the article anywhere. interesting...

 
At 6/09/2005 4:13 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

that paradox only works when you say the right things to the media and then get raw on the court, not vice-versa. and even then it's usually only convincing with guards, whose position kind of requires it.

taking bogut over williams and paul is almost unfathomable to me. williams is a character guy who has superstar written all over him. anyone who thinks his performance in the tournament means he's not ready to start in the league is insane--that was a veteran club clamping down for a title run. i know melo dominated three years ago, but comparing this year's UNC team to Syracuse's that year is absurd; let's face it, when things are on the line, you play your vets who know each other well and have distinct chemsitry they've been working on. as great as williams is/was at unc, that team was about the core and he wasn't part of that. and that core was what was going to win the title, and whose failures/successes were going to dictate the coruse of those importnat games. they were the gameplan.

williams will start be at least as good a rookie as melo was. alex english pt. 2. maybe not.

 
At 6/09/2005 4:56 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i got so carried away there that i forgot to speak on paul. i agree with that guy who sometimes writes on the draft page that getting a PG is the way to get good. esp. in the new nba, a pg is more important than a center. a potentially amazing pg is worth much more to a team, esp. a young, athletic one, than a pretty good seven-footer.

 
At 6/09/2005 5:00 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

gottleib, that's his name.

 
At 6/10/2005 12:16 PM, Blogger El Huracan Andreo said...

As for the poltical aspirations of Shaq, he has already claimed he intends to run for Sheriff of Broward County.

More to follow on that...

 
At 6/11/2005 1:15 PM, Blogger elandfried said...

As an aside, I love that there is an ad on the blog for Free Kobe Bryant Jersey which at first I took to mean "Free Kobe Bryant!" jersey, which is a jersey I'd actually like to have. A free Kobe Bryant jersey on the other hand I could do without...

 
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