By now, Kobe Bryant’s “Shut up, everyone” rant is old news. The Los Angeles Lakers have lost 12 straight games, the offense is dysfunctional and the defense nonexistent. Kelly Dwyer over at Ball Don’t Lie is preaching patience, and it’s an argument that should be listened to. But the split-second reactionary nature of today’s media is old news as well, and most have already pinpointed the palpable irony that no one is actually overeacting, First Take aside.
But Kobe felt the need to say this anyway:
“‘I’ve won so I can (tell people to shut up),’ Bryant said. ‘For Mike it might be a little tough to say that so I’ll say it for him: ‘Everybody shut up. Let us work. At the end of the day, you’ll be happy with the result as you normally are.””
But this defensive backlash from Bryant is ultimately unecessary in today’s media climate – sure, the old media guard continues it’s worry-wart, over-reactionary ways, but the large majority sees through this whirlwind of flying crap as talking point pot-stirring, nothing more than a ploy to fill the giant void that is the 82 games before the NBA playoffs. And that’s what’s so frustrating about this entire issue – we’re having a conversation about a conversation we know we shouldn’t be having.
The worst part is that it’s overshadowing and devaluing real basketball conversation. The Portland Trail Blazers were impressive against the Los Angeles Lakers. Damian Lillard looks like a star in the making as he torched Steve Nash time and time again. Nic Batum isn’t rolling over after wanting to leave Portland and signing a huge extension.
If the Lakers don’t pull it together eventually, that’s a conversation worth having. But the fact that articles like these from Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times even exist, the fact that even one person feels that Mike Brown needs defending, is the issue. Plaschke is reacting to an overwhelming minority with no legs to stand on, but his defense only gives credence to this once non-issue.