Kobe Bryan is the latest of a long line of athletes to turn on the very fans who made him rich, cheered him through rough times and made it easy for him to fall back into graces after cheating on his wife.
Fans of the L.A. Lakers are already up in arms over the team’s dismal 0-2 start this season. Wagging of heads and frustrated growls can be seen and heard all through Staples center. Instead of being the big man and taking the criticism, Bryant unleashed this tirade upon the City of Angels:
“I just.. I don’t understand.. the city here.. for me not trying to bite my tongue and not calling them dumb, which I kinda just did. They’ve seen us win multiple championships here, playing an offense that was tough to learn, that was a sequence of options that weren’t set plays that took five guys being on the same page of working together. They know how that stuff works. For them to be so stupid now. They say, ‘Well, let Steve [Nash] dribble the ball around and create opportunities for everybody. And let Dwight [Howard] post up and let me iso.’ It’s … I don’t want to say idiotic, but it’s close.”
There we go. Fans in Los Angeles are ‘stupid’ and ‘idiotic’ for demanding more from the Great Denver Chairbender and his colleagues. Heaven forbid fans demand excellence and not be jilted for taking times from their day and life to get a quality entertainment service, but to only see half-hearted passes, management that’s still not on the same page as the players and a lippy, fading star who still fails to have half the poise, dignity and grace of Michael Jordan.
And sure, I’m taking the chops with Kobe over his infidelity, but in the grand scheme of sporting it is not his personal life choices or decisions that bothers me. It’s the attitude that fans are suddenly stupid or ‘idiotic’ for demanding better play from a team they love and have held history.
If you go into McDonalds to get a Big Mac and fries, but instead get a half-eaten chicken sandwich with an icy cold center and a side of crisped grease potatoes that are three days old, you may just complain. And to top it off, the Coke is flatter than Olive Oyl chest-tubing in Kansas. Would Ronald McDonald not get a complaint from you?
If you are performing a product and service and it sucks, Kobe, you are going to have people complain. When your fans or customers complain, you rise to the occassion. You don’t call them idiotic.