Did you ever watch Office Space? You know how in the beginning of the movie, the main character's job sucks so much because he's constantly worried about his job, and he's constantly sucking up to his boss in some futile effort to avoid being dumped on the street? But then, when he learns to stop caring, he suddenly starts impressing people with his attitude.
Yeah. Mike Brown, um, we have sort of a problem here. Hmmm. Yeah, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday so you can watch Office Space. MMKAY? Because this kind of ridiculous sucking up, which is presumably just some futile effort to keep your job, is really pointless:
He definitely should be involved in the MVP talks," Brown said. "I think it's hilarious that he's not. You talk about everything new in a shortened season and everybody saying he's 85 years old or whatever they're saying and he's leading the league in scoring.
"He's efficient with it. He has this team sitting in a pretty good position. And I truly believe this team, with a guy like that, can be very dangerous come playoff time. There's no doubt in my mind that Kobe Bryant should be mentioned in the MVP talk."
"My TV was on ESPN as I was heading out [to the Lakers game against the Pistons Tuesday] and I heard, and I don't know who said it, but I heard [MVP talk about] Kevin Love because he has the team at .500," Brown said. "Now Kevin Love is a very good basketball player and he's putting up extraordinary numbers, but if you're going to say Kevin Love is fourth or fifth, then Kobe Bryant needs to be in the top two."
Kobe for MVP? Don't make me laugh. The only reason Brown could possibly be saying crap like this is because he feels the need to suck up to Bryant in order to keep Bryant "on board", because if Bryant ever falls out with the coach, I'll give you three guesses whose side Lakers' management will side with. The irony is, however, that if he just stopped caring and said whatever the hell he wants (like, "Hey, I guess Kobe could, you know, try to get Bynum the ball more when he's shooting 66%, but ya know, Kobe's gonna Kobe.") then he'd probably get more respect. Phil Jackson embarrassed his players publicly all the time (and this was true before his first championship ring as a coach) because, for the most part, he didn't really care about his job security.
Since we're using movie anologies, let me use another one. Remember the scene from "When Harry met Sally", in which they talk about high-maintenance chicks and low-maintanence chicks? Sally wants to know which kind she is, and Harry says, "You're the worst kind. You're high maintenance but you think you're low-maintenance." In the question of whether Kobe is a superstar or overrated, my answer is always: He's the worst kind. He's overrated but he thinks he's a superstar. So not only is he not that good, he makes your team worse because he's trying so damn hard to be the MVP.
Ok, one more more movie anology. I'm on a roll here, you can't stop me. Remember that basketball sports movie you saw that one time? Remember, the one with the underachieving team and the plucky coach who's coming in and changing everything. Remember that movie? Remember how the team sucked but there was that one guy who clearly was super talented, and the new coach knows he could get this team to win if only he could just get that super talented guy to grow the hell up and play team ball, instead of just always looking out for himself. Well, Kobe Bryant is that guy. He's the selfish jerk jacking up shots because all he's thinking about is getting his. I mean, he's only got so much time to catch Kareem for the scoring record, and since he can't shoot anywhere near as efficiently as Kareem, he's gonna have to jack up a LOT of shots to get there. And the plan doesn't have any room for sitting out games with injuries, either.
Now it's important to understand that I am not saying that Kobe is lazy or that he doesn't defend or rebound or do lots other things really well, because he absolutely does. He's a great rebounder and a good defender (but he isn't the 2008 version of himself, either). But...come on, this guy is putting on a clinic on selfishness. 30 field goal attempts per 48. THIRTY. The next closest are Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook with 25.8, and everyone is on their asses all the time for shooting too much, even though Westbrook is actually shooting more efficiently than Kobe!
Speaking of efficient, I've got to quote just one more movie to mister Brown. Because when he says Kobe is "efficient with it," I cannot help responding, "You keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means."
I mean...he's not ineffecient, but we all know that's not what Brown meant. Brown wasn't trying to say that Kobe's, you know, average, at putting the ball in the hoop. Of course, he's super efficient in the lane, but he counteracts that well by jacking up a lot of bad threes and long twos. My understanding of effiency is not jacking up 26 shots on a night when Andrew Bynum is on fire (and barely hitting any of them). And then following it up with a 9-for-thirty-freaking-one performance where he couldn't use any of that attention the defense gives him to set up Bynum for more than 8 (8!!!) shots and Pau for more than 11 looks. Seriously, there is just no excuse for this kind of chucking. Don't give me any crap about shot creation, either, the Lakers were not going to commit 13 shot-clock violations if he only put up 15 shots like most shooting guards. And please don't try to make me believe many of those shots were shots he had to take because that's all the defense gave him. He's Kobe Bryant. Most defenses are trying pretty damn hard to make him shoot tough shots by running help defenders at him, not by smothering the other 4 players and daring him to shoot.
Write this down, because this is one of the only things I think Bill Simmons was ever right about: You don't want to be coaching Kobe when Kobe stops being Kobe.