Schilling on Kobe: “Pissed off and ranting”

The Red Sox star takes in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and finds himself shocked by Bryant, the officials and all that pounding.

Topics: Basketball, Baseball,

You may have seen Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling courtside during Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night. On his blog, 38 pitches, Schilling shares his observations, which are pretty interesting. He’s an elite athlete — or at least an elite player of a sport — getting a closer-than-usual view of a league he says he doesn’t know much about “beyond some of the star players and the famous teams.”

Schilling, who’s rehabbing a biceps injury, marvels at how physical the game is when seen from close range. “These guys are in close, every play,” he writes. “They are beating the crap out of each other, and the refs see it. That makes me think that the game is called and paced exactly how the refs want it to be.”

That’s a pretty good observation.

His fifth, last and longest note is about Kobe Bryant. He writes that his “ridiculous” seats were practically on the Lakers bench, so he got a much closer view of the visiting team than he got of the Celtics.

“From the first tip until about 4 minutes left in the game I saw and heard this guy bitch at his teammates,” writes Schilling, who again prefaces his remarks by saying he really doesn’t know much about 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 dialog 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 …

“I have no idea how the guys in the NBA play or do things like this, but I thought it was a fascinating bit of insight for me to watch someone in another sport who is in the position of a team leader and how he interacted with his team and teammates. Watching the other 11 guys, every time out it was high fives and ‘Hey nice work, let’s get after it’ or something to that effect. He walked off the floor, obligatory skin contact on the high five, and sat on the bench stone faced or pissed off, the whole game. Just weird to see another sport and how it all works.”

Schilling describes Bryant’s conversations with teammates consisting mostly of Bryant yelling at them: “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.”

Bryant has made a big point in the last year or so about publicly being a good teammate, smiling and slapping hands with his fellow Lakers, calling them over during his MVP ceremony, that sort of thing. It looked from the distance of the TV cameras that he wasn’t in that kind of mood Sunday, but then again the Lakers were having their hats handed to them, so it wasn’t an all-smiles kind of night.

You probably see the real person when things aren’t going so well. But for all that, I don’t think an up-close description of Michael Jordan in his prime would have read all that differently.

Schilling also expressed shock over Kevin Garnett getting a technical foul “because he said the F word, period.” He describes the referee explaining to Garnett’s teammates, “I can’t let him talk to me that way.”

“What?” Schilling writes. “Dude, you’re an NBA official, not the stinking pope. Not one person in the arena paid 1 cent of their ticket to see you; ref the game and shut your pie hole.”

Good advice, one a lot of people seem to think Schilling should take. It’s true he has few unexpressed thoughts, but even in the age of the celebrity blog it’s unusual to get the kind of unvarnished, from-the-hip opinions Schilling provides from a major celebrity. It’s worth a few minutes any time he posts.

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>