June 11, 2008
Curt Schilling is gutless.
He sits courtside in Boston for Game 2, eavesdropping on the Lakers' bench – and how would he like someone listening to what they have to say in the Red Sox dugout, and then makes it appear on his blog, "38 Pitches," that Kobe Bryant is some kind of jerk who berates his teammates.
First of all, like that's news. If given the chance, wouldn't you scream and call Vladimir Radmanovic nasty names?
But whatever, there's no bigger sissy than a hit-and-run blogger.
If Schilling has got something to write, let's see him come to Los Angeles, stand outside the Lakers' locker room and get cussed out by Vanessa Bryant like every other blogger. Talk about bloody socks.
He writes nice things about Kevin Garnett, which makes you wonder who gave him the courtside tickets, and also writes that he "saw a seven-footer (Pau Gasol) who grabbed like four rebounds and spent the entire game whining about getting fouled."
OK, so everything he wrote wasn't off base.
But then he goes after our very own consummate team player, the Beloved One, writing that he really doesn't know much about Bryant, but "what I do know is what I got to see up close and hear. (It) was unexpected."
Come on, if the Celtics are going to let an over-the-hill pitcher/blogger sit close to the Lakers' bench, the Lakers should put Jason Schmidt adjacent to Boston's bench.
"From the first tip until about four minutes left in the game I saw and heard this guy bitch at his teammates," Schilling wrote of Bryant. "Every TO he came to the bench pissed, and a few of them he went to other guys and yelled about something they weren't doing, or something they did wrong. No dialogue about 'hey let's go, let's get after it' or whatever.
"He spent the better part of 3.5 quarters pissed off and ranting at the non-execution or lack of, of his team … as a fan I was watching the whole thing, Kobe, his teammates and then the after-effects of conversations. He'd yell at someone, make a point, or send a message, turn and walk away, and more than once the person on the other end would roll eyes or give a 'whatever dude' look."
Had Schilling written that Lamar Odom and Luke Walton were rolling their eyes, at least that would have been something positive, the two guys doing something while they were in Boston.
Instead, he seemed to go out of his way to irritate Bryant, and I can't imagine anyone doing that.
So maybe he'll come out aggressively and really show them, Schilling inspiring Bryant, and I wonder how that plays in Boston, Schilling doing more for the Lakers than the Red Sox or Celtics.
Hard to believe the Lakers could lose under these circumstances, Bryant motivated and the referees taking care of the Lakers at home as everyone expected.
I still wasn't convinced, though, so I thought it was time to also get something out of Phil Jackson, who is supposed to be the best ever at this time of the season.
"I believe you're getting paid $10 million for moments like this," I said at his pre-game news conference.
"How would you even know that stuff?" he replied. "You're not the IRS."
"Is it more than that?"
"Do I ask information about you?" Jackson said.
"I don't make $10 million, but should."
"Should not," Jackson countered, and I know he's a friend of Sam Zell, the Times' new owner, so that's not what I wanted to hear.
"Let's not get in an argument," I said. "Isn't this supposed to be your time to make adjustments and show us some magic?"
"You're right," Jackson said.
"Does it start tonight? And if it doesn't, can we come after you?"
"You can ask for a rebate," Jackson said, which tells me there's every chance in the world the way the NBA is going these days he had already gotten the memo indicating who was going to win Game 3.
No way any coach offers a rebate otherwise.
NBA COMMISSIONER David Stern's response to allegations that previous NBA games have been fixed was misleading – as one might expect from a league lacking credibility.
Stern dismissed the allegations because they had previously been made to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney, which might be true, but they had not surfaced publicly before Tuesday.
He also said the charges had been deemed baseless, and all we have to do is take his word for it.
THE LAKERS are undefeated in Staples Center during the playoffs, but this building is nowhere near as loud or overwhelming as what the Lakers faced in Boston.
One of our bosses made the point the games in Boston start at 9 – giving the fans hours and hours to drink, while the fans in L.A. are going straight from work to the arena.
I asked our boss if allowances could be made to start drinking earlier in the day at work, figuring the bosses already have that rule in place given some of the decisions they make, but I guess he's not as big a Lakers fan as I am.
TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Ken McDaniel:
"You are going to eat your words before this series is over. Radmanovic is going to prove he has value to the Lakers. You're a hater."
Jackson played him three minutes in the second half; what does that make him?
T.J. Simers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.
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