Thursday, April 10, 2008

Long Lost Brothers

The subtext that lurks beneath this video is wide and varied. Obviously it invokes the Lakers of 5 years ago but the language of the commercial brings Kobe's unfinished business to the forefront.

Kobe: No current NBA player's game invokes Jordan as much as Kobe's does. The fadeaway, the focus, the cold-bloodedness. Kobe's collision with the triangle offense seems to suggest that it was meant to be this way. He is also sophisticated and cosmopolitan. I wonder how many American polyglots there are in the NBA. I used to despise Kobe. He was a crucial part of a squad that routinely showed my Spurs the door come playoff time. But I've grown to like him. I like how cerebral he is. How calculated. It may seem organic, but that is a facade. He may be spontaneous, but everything he does is so clean. It lets you know that he knew what he was gonna do the whole time.

Shaq: I have always had animosity toward Shaq. Despite how charming his quotability may be (he may be second only to Darryl Dawkins for most quotable NBA player ever), I find him arrogant and indignant. I find it no surprise that he has spent the last decade on the three NBA teams I dislike the most (Lakers, Heat, Suns). But also despite his comedic inclinations, few in the NBA have more gravitas. I relished watching him in Miami these last two years. Injured, indifferent. The Golden Age of the Big Aristotle seemed to have passed the NBA by, and I was more than fine with that. But now that he is in the desert, it's easy to see why I find him so threatening. I laughed at the Marion/Shaq trade. Like many I thought the Suns sold their soul. And they may have. But he may end up being the Trojan horse of the Western conference. While we all look the other way it may be in his shadow that the Suns become the sacker of cities.

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