Six Ways to Spot a Closet Kobe Bryant Lover

RM Herold@@BR_RollinFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2011

Six Ways to Spot a Closet Kobe Bryant Lover

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    Kobe Bean Bryant...where to begin... 

    Well, I remember reading a piece a few weeks ago that got me to thinking about Mr. Bean, which is something I try never to do.

    You see, I loathe Kobe Bryant. On the court. I don't know him off the court, but he seems like a decent guy. Loves his kids and family.  Only arrested once, (what? too soon?). So I don't hate the guy as a human being.

    But on the court...ugh. I hate his beady little eyes when he squints right before blowing by his defender. I hate the way he juts out his jaw when the game is on the line.

    And that thing he does when my team is up one and he hits that shot with no time left? Yeah, not one of my favorite things.

    So I scoffed when I started reading Mr. Jones' piece. But then it occurred to me as I flipped through the pages...

    Am I? Could I? There is no way that a born and bred Bostonian could actually be a...I can't even say it.

    But there are ways to figure out if you are a CKL.

    So in honor of KBB potentially getting his sixth ring, let us examine this potential phenomenon.

6. Does the Future Not Look so Bright?

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    Does your team depend on Duke Players who weren't even that good at Duke when you think about it?

    Do you long for the days when Jalen Rose and Reggie Miller led you all the way to the Champ—well, almost led you there.

    Is your team's fate in the hands of this guy?

    Well, yeah, you might be a Closet Kobe Lover. After all, slide him in where Paul George now plays and you are probably not an eight seed. Or a seven or a six, or a five.

    Or a get the picture.

5. Do You Miss Your Past Superstars?

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Remember AI? No, the other one.

    The one in his prime that could carry your team. Remember that Elton Brand signing? How it was going to put your team over the top?

    How bad did it get for your team? Well, your coach is getting serious COY vote consideration for getting you to 41-41.

    As Charles Barkley would say, "Doctor J is rolling in his grave right now."

    Psst, isn't Kobe from Philly?


4. Do You Miss the Glory Years?

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Do You miss John Starks?

    Do you find yourself sitting around talking about that time Starks dunked on MJ? And how you would've popped Scottie Pippen in the eye if he did to you what he did to Patrick Ewing that time.

    Remember how great those teams were? How tough? Yeah, they didn't win any titles.

    And let's be honest, if Kobe was around then, they still wouldn't have won any.

    But you've got 'Melo and STAT now. But not much else.

    Would you trade one of those two for Mr. Bean right now? Even at his ripe old age?

    Even if you had to throw in one of your kids? (The little one who knows all the Lil Wayne lyrics and you know isn't going to college.)

    Would you hesitate?

    Nope, CKL...

3. Is Your Team Described as "Scrappy"?

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    Did you leave a game this season and say, "Gosh darn it, those guys can pass. And they play defense as a team, and they really seem to like each other. You know what? I don't believe I'm actually saying this, but they might actually be better without _______ (Insert franchise superstar who was just traded here)."

    When your season ends, will you look in the mirror and say, "Damn it, my team didn't win the whole thing without a superstar, but hell, they sure didn't win it with him either?"

    What rhymes with E-A-Hell?

    (Side note: nothing rhymes with CKL.)

2. Does Your Superstar Not Act Like a Superstar When You Need Him?

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Do yourself a favor, one day when going through old Youtube videos, look up Mike Tyson fights, not ones near the end of his career when he was better at soundbites and, well, ear bites. No, go to early Iron Mike when he would enter the ring with a towel cut just enough to fit his head through.

    Then watch the face of the guy who was coming into the ring to fight him. Check this guy's face out.

    I'm thinking if I were ever to watch an adult film and recognize the young lady in the scene to be my daughter...that's the same look I would have on my face. Somewhere between a seizure and a I can't believe it smile.

    (Side note: I neither have a daughter, nor do I watch adult films...nope...)

    And this is the look the owner of your team has on his face when Kobe is going to face off against your so-called superstar. In the playoffs. Again.

    Hey you, get out of that closet...

    We're here for you.

1. Does It Hurt When Your Team Wakes Up in the Morning

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    Do you look at our team and notice crows feet near their eyes. And you know for a fact it wasn't there the night before?

    Is one of your younger players a defensive, irreplaceable stud playing for another team?

    Does it bother you that the team hasn't been the same since that trade?

    Would it take a minor (39-year-old) miracle for your team to be able to even compete for the championship?

    Remember back in 1996 when your team picked Antoine (shimmy 'til I'm broke) Walker?

    What if your team shocked the world that day and took a high-schooler instead?