Carol Slezak has apparently been hanging around the Sun-Times building for too long.
Slezak, as you may remember, berated Bears draft pick Greg Olsen for his “raunchy rap lyrics” as part of the legendary Miami rap group “7th Floor Crew” during his freshman year of college. She made such a fuss that her column received prime placement – the cover photo and first page of the news section – as the more prominent piece in a Slezak-Mariotti double team on the Bears rookie.
Here’s what she had to say:
“After listening to all 8 minutes and 56 seconds of this unbelievably disgusting rap, I was shaking in anger and shock. How is it possible for these young men to have such little respect—or is it hatred?—for women? If Don Imus got fired for the comments he made about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, these guys deserve jail time by comparison.”
Funny she mentions respect for women and jail time, because guess who Slezak is clamoring for the Bulls to pick up? Kobe Bryant!
So for those of you keeping score at home, recording an ill-conceived rap song as an 18-year-old? Not okay. But a grown, married man who (allegedly) raped a young woman in a Colorado hotel room? Make him the face of the franchise.
Let’s just say I’m skeptical about Kobe’s innocence in the incident, given his deep pockets, the terrible handling of the case by the Eagle, Colorado DA and judge, and the hefty (rumored to be $6-$7 million dollars) settlement Kobe’s legal team immediately granted the victim once she realized her lawyer was butchering the case and filed a civil suit.
And at best, if he’s actually innocent, Kobe is a guy who cheated on his wife, lied about it to police before eventually admitting it and bought her a diamond the size of a golf ball to make everything cool again.
Now I know if you try to fill a professional franchise with choirboys, you’re not likely to win many games. Michael Jordan just paid a hefty price for his longstanding infidelities, although he never faced any accusations anywhere near the gravity of what Kobe allegedly did.
I just find it interesting that Slezak can muster up so much anger over Greg Olsen’s comparatively tame indiscretions and almost completely dismiss Kobe’s, only mentioning once that he was “disturbingly” accused of criminal assault and noting that he has stayed out of trouble since then.
So had Greg Olsen, and that didn’t stop her from tearing into him. But really, bravo Kobe, it’s tough to make it more than a few years without being accused of rape.
Such remarkable inconsistency in logic has become a hallmark in Sun-Times columnists. I’m not saying everything has to line up perfectly all the time, but shouldn’t there be some kind of consistency in your world view, especially when you’ve been such a champion for proper treatment of women like Slezak?
I’d be remiss in writing about this topic if I didn’t weigh in on the other question at hand, should the Bulls go after Kobe or not?
Slezak is right about one thing: Kobe is the best perimeter player in the league. Pairing him with Kirk Hinrich would give the Bulls the best backcourt in the NBA, hands down.
But there is also the question of what they would have left around them.
Rumor has is that the Lakers want Ben Wallace, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and the #9 pick, leaving the Bulls with Tyrus Thomas as their most experienced forward under contract. If that’s the actual price tag, forget about it because there is no way Paxson will pay it.
But even if they could get Kobe for something more reasonable, would you want him? My brother and I had a discussion about this over the weekend. He’s firmly in the “Kobe or bust” camp, although even he wouldn’t take the trade listed above.
Even if the Lakers somehow feel like their hand is forced and sell him at a discount (which I don’t see happening), I’m not sure I want the guy on my team.
Talent (and rape charges) aside, Kobe is petulant, self-centered, quick to blame everyone but himself and unable to make average teammates great and terrible players into solid role players. Basically, he is the anti-Jordan.
Even is might mean a trip to the NBA finals, where the Kobe-led Bulls would be slaughtered by whoever came out of the West, I personally just don’t want to have to root for Kobe. I already fly off the handle whenever anyone dares compare him to Jordan. If Kobe set up shop in the United Center, we’d be hearing the comparisons every five minutes.
I know the purpose of sports is winning, but I don’t want the Bulls to win like that. Fortunately, despite his child-like, wishy-washy trade “demands”, I don’t see Kobe going anywhere except the mediocre LA team he built for himself.
What a perfect fit.