I am near the top of the list of Kobe haters on the planet earth.
I hate his smug attitude, his ability to back it up, and most of all, his ability to draw what can only be referred to as "Kobe Calls" from refs throughout the league.
In last nights game, Kobe got his shot blocked by Cunningham deep in the paint (see Media Row recap pic) early in the game. The home crowd naturally erupted, loudly resisting the call and the replay on the jumbotron seemed to bear out the fact that the block was all ball. I was among those crowd members vehemently shouting as I watched the replay but then the display changed to a shot of Kobe talking with the ref who had made the call.
Perhaps someone here has a way to replay the game at home and can check my facts on this but, reading Kobe's lips as he spoke to that ref it seems to me that he is relaying to the ref that he made a bad call. His words to the ref seemed to be saying "It *WAS* all ball. All ball."
Kobe then missed the first free throw.
I suddenly found myself in a bit of a quandry because if I indeed read his lips correctly (and I am pretty good at it), I had a moment of respect for Kobe.
I feel so dirty.