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Funny Story

I've never liked Kobe Bryant.  I mean as a person.  When Raja Bell described him as pompous last year (how cool that an NBA player was able to use pompous properly?), I thought that was pretty much spot on.  

I mean, here's a guy who made the All-Star team before he was a starter.  Everything's been so easy for him.  I mean, I don't begrudge him that (OK, maybe a little), but don't act like your life's real tough.  Back when Kobe first entered the league, there was one particular Adidas commercial that put me over the top on him.  I've looked for it on YouTube unsuccessfully.  It was the one where he was reading poetry in an Italian Villa or something, and telling us all about his philosophy of life.

Seriously, what the hell do I care about his philosophy of life?  How am I going to apply anything in Kobe's life to my own existence?  I mean, unless he can explain to me how to be 6'6", the son of an NBA player, and freakishly athletic, how is my life ever going to be in any way like his life?   Your philosophy?  Give me a break, you punk!

After that commercial, whenever anyone would mention him, I would always say 'Kobe's a punk.'  Bear in mind, this is long before he went to Colorado.  I taught my kids to say Kobe's a punk.  When my daughter was in pre-school, there was an uncomfortable moment when little 4-year-old Zoe told her Laker fan teacher 'Kobe's a punk.'  I was so proud.  

About this same time, we were on a long car ride with family.  Zoe was sitting next to her older cousin Jacob, who was probably  13 at the time.  As is the case with most 13 year old boys in Southern California, Jacob thought Kobe was a pretty good player.  OK, Kobe was his hero.  The subject of the Lakers came up, someone mentioned Kobe, and Zoe, as she had been trained, chimed in with 'Kobe's a punk.'  

Jacob didn't like that.  He was a little taken aback.  "Why is he a punk?  Why don't you like Kobe?  What do you mean?"  At this point, little Zoe starts feverishly working on something.  Something invisible.  She works for awhile and then hands her invisible creation to Jacob.  

"Here you go Jacob.  I made this for you.  It's a book.  And on every page, it says 'Kobe's a punk!'"

You can all rest assured, that on every post of, it invisibly says, Kobe's a punk.