Kobe Bryant will now deprive the entire world of the best part of current Lakers games: his tweets.
The Black Mamba's posts to Twitter were noticed by just about everyone remotely interested in the NBA playoffs this weekend. They even managed to catch the attention of coach Mike D'Antoni.
Bryant's tweets from his bed were somehow becoming a distraction, so he is going quiet.
Kobe Bryant @kobebryant
I see my tweeting during the game is being talked about as much as the game itself. Not my intention , just bored as I guess #notagain2013-4-21 23:18:30
Kobe Bryant @kobebryant
To tweet or not to tweet.. I CHOOSE not 2. Focus should be on the team not my insight. @georgelopez voice "Can't DO nothin!" #vinospeare2013-4-22 19:07:05
As was reported by the Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke, Bryant was quite the Chatty Cathy on Twitter during the Lakers' eventual loss to the Spurs on Sunday. Coach Vino became Fan Vino, a transition that had fans laughing and one particular coach rolling his eyes (via Plaschke):
It was cool. It was insightful. It was a bold new testament to social media's ability to connect the commoner with royalty.
If you believe Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's rolled eyes afterward, it was also annoying.
“It's great to have that commentary,” said D'Antoni bitingly.
He added, “He's a fan right now, he's a fan, you guys put a little more importance on that kind of fan. He gets excited, he wants to be part of it, I don't blame him, it's good.”
D'Antoni may not enjoy the tweets, but I join the multitude of observers who do, because while the Lakers season comes to an assumed end shortly, we might as well have as much Mamba as we can get.
Bryant, of course, heard D'Antoni's little jab about being a "fan" and replied in kind.
Perhaps there is some credence to this distraction talk.
Still, Bryant's tweets were by far the most interesting aspect of a season gone awry.
The Lakers, a team that was supposed to waltz to the NBA Finals at the beginning of the season, are now counting on Steve Blake to put up non-Steve-Blake-like numbers and Pau Gasol to do his best impression of Magic Johnson for the rest of the postseason.
As you can see, none of that is a perfect recipe for success, so time is limited on this iteration of the Purple and Gold.
With the end of L.A.'s tumultuous season approaching, I say give us more Bryant.
Hit me up on Twitter for more NBA shenanigans.