I hate Kobe Bryant. My favorite NBA teams are 1) the Sixers, and 2) whoever is playing the Lakers. I've never really understood why I hate Kobe Bryant the way I do. After all, I've never met the man. I've never lost money on a game because he won it with a last-second shot. He has never raped any female member of my family (I know, low blow, and uncalled for from a person of relative dignity).
So. Why do I loathe Kobe Bryant?
I'm not blind. I recognize he's a great, great basketball player. He's lethal in the clutch. He's capable of taking over any game at a moment's notice. He's absolutely the kind of player I wish the Sixers had. However:
1) I detest the Lakers in general. They have a sense of entitlement, like they deserve the championship for bothering to put on their uniforms. They have this even when the team isn't very good. Plus, Stern will never allow the Lakers to suck for very long...I am convinced of this. Having the Lakers in the Finals, or at least championship contenders, generates too much money and publicity for the league for Stern not to use all his Evil Emperor powers to push them to the top of the heap. Mostly, I hate this because I'm jealous that the Sixers aren't the favorite children of the Emperor, and are probably regarded in his eyes as food animals for his favorite teams, like Memphis was a few years ago.
2) I particularly detest Kobe Bryant's fans. They go on every single message board, even on non-basketball boards, touting their hero at every opportunity. They are arrogant in the extreme. They having been claiming "better than Jordan" status for Bryant since the early 2000's. There is a difference between "great, great basketball player" and "better than Jordan". But one cannot visit a sports-related message board without hearing endless hymns to His Exalted Mambaness. I lived in Chicago during the Jordan days. It's different. This is probably the primary reason I hate Kobe Bryant...the douchebags who worship him.
3) Adding together 1) plus 2), I can't stand the whole LA Hollywood fan thing in general, like with all the stars coming to the Staples Center for the games. Bleh. I'm probably the biggest star who has showed up to a Sixer game this past year, and the closest I've ever come to show biz was representing an actor in a breach of contract case against his theater company, which I did only because I knew the guy slightly and he asked me to help him out. I like regular-guy fans who show up to games because they like the sport and the team and the other fans, not just to look cool and get some face time on TV when the cameras inevitably go to them. Yeah, I get it, they're famous.
That being said, if suddenly Stefanski announced a trade straight-up with LA where the Lakers take Elton Brand and the Sixers get Kobe Bryant, I would probably be all over his jock in about a second. I'm a hypocrite, and I admit it. It's part of being a sports fan.
I still hope he loses, even though I hate the Celtics too. Douchebag.
Have a pleasant day.