I've enjoyed reading Bethlehem Shoals from time to time because I admire his writing ability and style. But there's always been something that bugged me and I couldn't put a finger on it. Now I know. From his article in Deadspin on KG and Kobe:
It doesn't help that I hate the city of Boston, the Irish, kelly-green, Tommy Heinsohn, and most every Celtic ever (no, Len Bias doesn't count as one).
Of course now I'll never be able to read his stuff without looking for his bias. And the rest of his article doesn't help much either. Free Darko has always been existential reading, but this one would make Nietzsche's jaw drop. To wit:
Now, Garnett's just a fiery veteran on a very good team. I no longer feel like he's got the power to make the world end, or at least lives each second like the end is near. He's been normalized, and frankly, that's not the stuff myths are made of. He's gone from a regional god, the identity of a franchise whose very font seemed ripped from their star's consciousness, to a professional athlete capable of moving on.
He goes on to laud Kobe for being the one that stayed with his team.
Garnett got there by giving up his revolutionary stripes, while Kobe got over being a "student of the game" and ended up joining the fun house.
I'm sorry, but that's just hilarious.
First of all, Garnett never demanded a trade and remained painfully loyal to the Timberwolves, to the detriment of his career. He did it the right way. It was the team that chose to move on when they were too pathetic to put a team around him.
Contrast that with the very public whining and flip flopping display that Kobe put on this offseason, throwing his young center under the bus in the process. Which can't come as any real surprise after he pushed Shaq out the door in LA (and don't bother trying to sell me on the idea that it wasn't his fault - if he got along with Shaq, there's no way that team gets broken up).
Clearly the only thing that has changed about KG is that he's winning a lot of games so he's a lot happier. And just as clearly the only thing that's changed about Kobe is that he's got a better teammate (but still not as good as the one he originally had). We'll see just how long it takes for him to turn on Pau if things don't go exactly the way Kobe wants.
(Note: I just found an article on Boston Sportz coming to the same conclusions. Somehow I missed all this yesterday.)