By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I am a hater.
I am cheering for the Los Angeles Lakers to make an impossible run to the NBA Finals. Not because I’m a Lakers fan, I’m not. Because I’m a hater.
I am a full-fledged, card carrying member of the Kobe Bryant Hater Club.
And the Lakers making a run to the Finals without Bryant would serve to secretly infuriate Kobe, and in return bring me joy. I would use it as fuel to argue that he’s overrated and doesn’t make his teammates better. I would enjoy watching Lakers fans squirm as they would have to both enjoy the run, but reevaluate what they think of Bryant in the context of the best players in league history.
I would watch him tweet how excited he is but know deep down it was driving him crazy. I would watch him cheer on Dwight Howard but have rage hidden behind his smiling eyes.
As a Sixers fan, I don’t have much to cheer for during the playoffs, so I need something. I’d like to see Andre Iguodala and the Nuggets succeed both because I enjoy watching him and them play, and because of some perverse desire to make the Bynum trade feel even worse.
I can’t stand Kobe Bryant.
I don’t know the real reason behind my dislike for Bryant. It’s not his attempt to disassociate himself with Philadelphia, I can’t even pretend to care about that.
I just can’t stand him. It’s just one of those things.
It’s terrible, I know. Here I am kicking him when he’s down. The poor guy tore his Achilles and may never be the same player. I didn’t enjoy his injury as I don’t wish pain or injury upon anyone. But I don’t mind wishing for the Lakers to win to make something other than his recovery the top story.
He’s selfish and he’s fake and he’s overrated. He’s won five championships, but he wasn’t even the best player on his own team for three of them. He shoots too much and doesn’t make his teammates better.
No number of rings will make him better than Lebron James, now or ever.
I can’t stand his Jordan-ripoff fist pumps or tight-lipped intense face.
I can’t stand his fans. Oh man, I can’t stand his fans.
We’ve all got those guys we just can’t stand. If Paul Pierce mattered more I’d write one of these about him. I’m not proud of how I feel, but I’m aware of it.
I hope this doesn’t make me a bad person. I hope coming clean and being honest brings me some inner peace. I hope Kobe Bryant doesn’t read this and take it personally. I hope my mom isn’t disappointed in me.
Most of all, I hope the Lakers go on a run. Because I’m a hater.