Speaking of the vastly over-rated, Mr. Bryant. SI.com's Steve Aschburner wrote this great column a few weeks back proving Kobe is one of the dirtiest players in the game.
Repeat offenses make this easy, too. And let's be clear, Bryant is a
serial transgressor. He has been accused constantly of little nasties
in his physical contact with opponents, as payback or otherwise. He has
been caught on video numerous times and even held accountable by the
league on more than a few occasions:
– Bryant got suspended for two games in March 2002 after throwing a punch at Indiana's Reggie Miller at the end of a Lakers-Pacers game.
– In December 2005, an elbow to Memphis swingman Mike Miller's throat cost Bryant another two games to league sanction.
Within the first six weeks of the 2006-07 season, Bryant was suspended
twice (one game each) for flailing his shooting arm into the faces of
San Antonio's Manu Ginobili and Minnesota's Marko Jaric.
Despite his protests to the contrary, the NBA sheriffs saw no natural
follow-through in that move, which looked like a more aggressive
version of a jump shooter creating contact with his body. Bryant's
maneuver seemed designed to punish rather than manufacture free throws.
That last stretch, capped in March 2007 when Bryant was assessed a flagrant 1 foul for elbowing Philadelphia's Kyle Korver in the jaw, led to the greatest confluence of "Is Kobe dirty?" debates in his career. Lakers coach Phil Jackson
accused the NBA of conducting a "vendetta" and a "witch hunt" against
his scoring star, and Bryant reacted angrily to the conjecture. "It's
insulting," he told reporters then. "I don't need to be a dirty player.
That's just ridiculous. I'm not a dirty player — never have been,
never will be."
He's got an on-court rap sheet worse than Ron Artest. Fortunately, he has the media sucking his…toes.
Going back to our beloved Celtics, WEEI.com's Jess Camerato has an interesting by-the-numbers look back on the 2008-09 season. Here's a sample:
72: Three-point attempts by Rajon Rondo
It was no secret that opponents were leaving Rajon Rondo open early in
his career, so he developed a jumper and gained confidence from behind
the arc. Rondo attempted 72 treys compared to 39 last season.