Lakers Hide From Kobe After Game 5 Exit
OKLAHOMA CITY (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) – When it was over, there wasn’t a Laker to be found…anywhere. Only fifteen seconds after the game ended, the locker room was mysteriously empty and if not for the solitary figure of Kobe Bryant calling out his “punkass” team mates and heaving every object not nailed down (including a Japanese reporter), eerily quiet.
“I hate you! I hate you!” fumed Bryant. “I hate you, hate you, hate you!”
Onlookers unfamiliar with Kobe’s juvenile tantrums were as stunned as Chesapeake Energy Arena fans who had just witnessed the Lakers get blown out in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
“This is the side no one sees, he’s a spoiled child,” said Vic Anderson of the LA Times. “The guys lay low until it blows over. You just hope it blows over before Vanessa (Kobe’s wife) gets involved. She’s gotten three players traded, an assistant coach reassigned and nine cheerleaders fired.”
Bryant frantically searched for his missing team mates, barking threats and ultimatums, demanding they “show their faces or else!” Realizing he was getting nowhere, Bryant changed course and tried cajoling.
“Pau! Andews! Come out, come out wherever you are…I’m not going to hurt you. I promise. Hey, look, candy! Uhmmmm.”
Unable to resist, Pau Gasol sheepishly edged out of an equipment closet. A seething Bryant watched in slack-jawed disbelief as Gasol was followed by an equally tentative Andrew Bynum, Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill, who tumbled out one after the other.
“Sorry Kobe, that really sucked, we let you down, we all feel like shit,” said Bynum, staring at his feet as his nervous team mates emitted low, moaning sounds of agreement. “Is there anything we can do? Anything?”
Sessions and Hill, meanwhile, worked up the courage to thank Bryant for letting them out of the closet, as Sessions is an asthmatic and Hill is claustrophobic.
By this time, the remaining Lakers had returned from their hiding places. An ashen Sessions, Gasol and Bynum stood off to a corner, and along with their team mates dutifully absorbed the brunt of Kobe’s tirade.
Why do these guys take it, asked a Brazilian TV reporter, shocked to see an established player like Gasol submitting to Kobe’s high-handed histrionics.
“You don’t understand,” explained an unnamed player on injured reserve. “Kobe owns this team and this town — meaning LA. Piss him off and suddenly you find your cable has been turned off, you can’t get hot water, no one will take your dinner reservation, you can’t even get a babysitter….hell, you can’t even score a dime bag of weed.”
As the locker room emptied, Bryant’s teammates exchanged smiles and discreet fist bumps, knowing full well Bryant would be spending the next several days in agitated isolation, drop-kicking his vast collection of MJ memorabilia, immersed in a self-loathing funk.