As we’re playing LA teams three times in the next ten days, it seems fitting to ask – which individual opponent do you love to hate? Come meet our contenders, and consider some pros and cons of hating on them (and a whole mess of supporting hyperlinks - click as you see fit!)
What’s not to like? - Let’s see…messiah complex, acute egomania, historic inefficiency (something his ‘fans’ don’t get), while publicly humiliating his teammates and GM in practice…and that’s just this year….how long has this guy been a professional and ‘team leader’?
Ebenezer Scrooge says: "Kobe was visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past recently, and after seeing his team play well while he sat, has completely turned his game around, and is suddenly an efficient facilitator in fewer minutes. Perhaps he’s turned a corner in his career and will stop treating everyone like Bob Cratchit. Plus, is hating Kobe even relevant anymore? Isn’t it kind of like hating dinosaurs?"
Nick Young / Swaggy P
What’s not to like: Kobe’s heir apparent to the Unofficial Lakers’ Inefficiency Krowne (U.N.L.I.K.E, for short); self-appointed nickname; premature celebrations; lots of PDA and TMI involving Australian Hip-Hop mannequin girlfriend.
Your braugh from Cali says: "Dude, Swaggy’s totally all about fun! He has no filter, in a refreshing and endearing kind of way! You hear the way he put Kobe in his place after P hit a swaggilicious game winner on the Spurs? Schway!"
What’s not to like? - May end up being the most unwatchable scoring champion ever. And you just get the sense that he’s gaming everyone and everything.
B.A. Barracus says: "When his arms aren’t flailing like a stuntman being thrown by yours truly, he deserves to be in prime time. And I pity the fool who doesn’t enjoy his media personality. Or grooming. And as member tp90 has pointed out before, he’s clutch. (In the regular season anyways…)"
What’s not to like? - The other half of the ‘Free Throw Friends’ (Splash Brothers, Rain Bros, Free Throw Friends?), his whole deal is as tiresome as Shaq’s was…in Kazaam. And D-12 doesn’t quite have the Big Aristotle’s clownish touch or winning ways.
Your mom says: "He’s a nice boy – there’s not a mean bone in his body. As Kobe said during their ‘tussle’ earlier this year – he’s a #@%&ing teddy bear."
What’s not to like? - Boy, we could have half the Rockets roster here. But Grantland didn’t have to publish an article devoted to how annoying he is in order for me to know that he’s who I’m voting for in this poll. Just watch this guy operate for a few minutes – you would think he was a guy’s personal tailor, with all the tugs and pokes (he leads the league in T/P per minute). Or know that he called Damian Lillard ‘a whiner’.
Underdog says: Guy came from a hardscrabble background, has played in Arkansas, Croatia, Greece, and Russia on his way up to an NBA starting gig. And all those tugs and pokes…done like a 10-year vet, away from the ref’s eyes. Respect the hustle. (…nah, there’s no excuse to act like he does.)
Kendrick Perkins / Steven Adams
What’s not to like? – Stand out as offensive (not the basketball kind) among WWE bad guys. Umm, what’s TO like, if you’re an opposing fan? Two sides of the same coin – if that coin was a constant threat to inadvertently injure your favorite player.
Jerry McGuire says: "They are like yin and yang, ebony and ivory, they…COMPLETE…each other."
What’s not to like? Claims to have started the whole ‘fake glasses’ trend’. If he claims to have started the ankle-bearing pre-game slacks trend, Dwayne Wade’s stylist will come at him hard. Russ maybe fusses too much over his print-laden finery instead of end-of-game detail, and perhaps hasn’t noticed that ‘hero ball’ is out this season.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde says: "You don’t want to meet me in a dark alley in a playoff series. Don’t make me remove my Coco Chanel eyewear."
What’s not to like? Endlessly politicks the refs, and sort of looks like an irksome middle school class presidential hopeful while doing so.
Cliff Paul says: "Between whistles, when the game is actually being played, he is one of the more remarkable floor generals in the history of our family. Our third brother is an orchestra conductor. Always tossing up alley-oops to the bassoon player."
What’s not to like? Always seems to be sticking his finger in someone else’s face. I wonder where that would get him in the NBA of 25 years ago. Now it gets him a lot of screen time and millions of dollars for 8.8 points per game. For that kind of scratch you’d think he could get his tats from somewhere other than D Block at San Quentin.
Hulk Hogan says: "I got to look out for my reality show brother, BROTHER! If only you knew he was one of the brightest stars in the ‘Tough Guy’ classes we took together. What you gonna do, when Hulk and Matty Mayhem tag team on you, brother?!"
What’s not to like? Media overexposure; often takes exception to being fouled; actively prevents Jack McBrayer from spreading his wings.
Jimmy Fallon says: "The Blake Show is a great watch; he’s a good interview, and a pretty funny dude. Plus he does actually get routinely hammered on fouls like an SNL castmember on the nearest intoxicating substance."
What’s not to like? C’mon! For old time’s sake? He definitely hasn’t gotten any more likeable as his skill sets (apart from dirty tricks) are in full retreat.
Genghis Khan says: "This guy would have been my right hand man. That is, the guy who removes enemies’ right hands for me. Plus he could teach you all sorts of obscene phrases that would make you shudder, partially because you don’t fully know what they mean".
What’s not to like? His carryings-on when he wore our laundry. And his subsequent success after leaving his dirty laundry here.
That guy who takes rec league way too seriously says: "You HAVE to respect a guy with that much game when you know that half the people in any arena can jump higher than him".
What’s not to like? Seems intent on using his physical gifts for evil instead of getting the job done. Maybe there’s a future in synchronized swimming for him, as evidenced by the league’s first ever triple flop.
His Man-Braid stylist says: "The product that keeps his mane shiny and free of split ends precludes him from playing in the fourth quarter, so take that into account. Brian Shaw does."
What’s not to like? Both Stewie and Brian on the Family Guy outpace him in maturity. His ‘world is against me’ complex is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
His therapist says: "Eye sink DeMarcus waz responding so well to zee treatment, but then the illness, I mean the one afflicting zee ownership, what with the firing and the zany schemes…I don’t know, keep paying me and we will check back next year?"
What's not to like? Long bemoaned for the ‘European’ flopping which he has arguably helped popularize – something so irritating that it scrambles people’s geographic sense, as he is actually from South America.
An Argentine businessman says: "If basketball hopes to contend with futbol as a world sport, the players must increase their devotion to the dramatic arts. It is already there as far as corruption and buffoonish refereeing, so I tip my cap to you there."
What’s not to like? Part player and part business, he actively encourages the overcommercialization of every aspect of his existence, which frankly comes across as pretty bland. Hasn’t shown up in Portland the last couple years despite creating exorbitant ticket prices.
His Agent / Sportscenter / The industrial media complex says: "You have to respect him as the best all-around talent and most viable commercial entity in the league. Join us. (Chants) One of us…one of us…"
Ok, folks, no shortage of choices here…so it’s time for another Rip City Referendum!