ROME IS BURNINGThe fact that Kobe Bryant decided to stay with the Lakers is nothing to celebrate. In fact, that announcement still brings to an end one of the worst days in history of franchise. What's great about a guy single handedly destroying a great organization for personal reasons? Bryant isn't about winning. He's about Bryant. He's about being the man. He blew up the best team in the league because he's greedy, arrogant, selfish and just plain ignorant. It would have been a great day if Bryant had rolled up on owner Jerry Buss in the middle of the night, stabbed him in the back and bolted for the Clips. That's a great deal. Careful of what you wish for Kobe, because you just got it.
As for Shaq O'Neal, well, he might be 32, fat, unmotivated and the world's biggest baby, but that doesn't mean the Lakers didn't get raped in that trade with the Miami Heat. Because they did. How do you give up a Hall of Famer and not get a single All-Star in return? How do you do send one of the best big men ever to the Heat and not at least get Dwayne Wade back? This deal is a joke and the only thing worse than Miami jamming up the Lakers as badly as they did, is Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak saying he made the deal not to placate Kobe Bryant but to improve his team. Afterall, if getting rid of one of the best big men ever doesn't improve your team, what will? Hey Mitch, lie to yourself all you want, but stop lying to me. .
Earlier this week, Hall of Famer Mike Dikta was threatening to run for the US Senate from Illinois this November. Lucky for all of us, he dropped out of the race last night. If there was a worse idea, I don't happen to know what it was. Granted, this is coming from a native in the state that made Arnold the Governator. But come on. Senator Ditka?! Instead of a chicken in every pot, would he have promised a bottle of Levitra in every medicine cabinet? What exactly were his qualifications? That he gravy trained Buddy Ryan to a Super Bowl title and then took all the credit himself? Well, unlike the guy he would have replaced, at least he didn't drag his wife to sex clubs and coerce her into hitting it in front of other patrons. Senator Ditka? He would have made Governor Ventura look like Winston Churchill.
NASCAR bad boy Tony Stewart has done it again, this time running Casey Kahne into the wall in route to winning the Tropicana 400. And again, Stewart haters are going crazy demanding his head and a suspension. Kahne's team owner Ray Evernham even said he wanted 10 minutes alone with him so he can administer the beat down that Stewart has coming to him. The question is, what is NASCAR doing to do about the guy? And the answer is, absolutely nothing. He's the best thing their sport has to offer and they know it. We have pit crews brawling with one another during races, guys getting run into walls, owners threatening star drivers and they have Stewart to thank for it. What would they have to market and promote without this nut? Racing? A bunch of guys turning left all day long? Reprimand him? They're probably thanking him as we speak.
Canadian runner Katie Vermuelen is going to appear in next month's issue of Playboy magazine and already has her rationalization locked and loaded. "This thing is done to celebrate women and the women at the Olympics and it's not about boobs or butts." Let me guess, Katie. The pictures are tastefully done, and the only reason you did it was because you were guaranteed complete artistic control. Blah blah, blah. How is laying down for a skin mag a celebration of the Olympics? And why are you celebrating the Olympics if you didn't even qualify for the games? Look, I don't mind you doing it; just don't tell me that it's something that it's not. It's not a celebration of the Olympics; it's a celebration of sex. And you getting paid.
Porn Star Ron Jeremy has what every porn actor craves, mainstream acceptance. He has managed to parlay a career as a dirty porn star into a role in reality TV and a job in the NBA as head coach of the Miami Heat. In fact, the Heat just extended Jeremy's contract and now that his boss Pat Riley has stolen Shaq O'Neal from the Lakers, Jeremy could be looking at a run to the eastern conference finals. What? That's not Ron Jeremy? That's Stan Van Gundy? Whatever. Congratulations, Ron.
As base and crass as it was, reality TV had not yet hit rock bottom. Sure, seeing people eat cow brains just to get on TV, and having 44 little people pull jets, and no talent wannabes compete on American karaoke was every bit as degrading as it was demoralizing, but the genre could still sink lower. And it has. FOX reportedly is going to break out with a show called, "Who's Your Daddy?," where one woman will try to figure out which of 16 contestants is her actual biological father. Perfect. Who are the deadbeats? Steve Garvey? Calvin Murphy? Shawn Kemp? He Hate Me? Willie Anderson? Evander Holyfield? If she's the best softball player on her team, her dad is number 6. If she can put her punches together, Evander is her pops. If she can knock down 90% of her throws, Calvin is the man. If her name is She Hate Me, Rod Smart is the winner. Memo to all talented actors and writers who want to tell stories, create characters and use your gifts. Beat it. Your services are no longer needed. If you want to work in the television industry, start eating some rats.