February 10, 2002

In tonight's NBA all star game: Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and took the MVP honors. The win was bittersweet as fans booed and showed their disapproval to the Philadelphia native. I suppose that the philly fans would rather have seen Kobe play for the 76ers. But that's not his fault, during the 1996 NBA draft the 76ers had first pick and they chose Allen Iverson instead. Guard Allen Iverson on the other hand, also a good player, Philadelphia’s favorite son and winner of the 2001 NBA all star MVP was held down to only 5 points in his own building tonight. So what's with the booing? the rumour is that Philly sports fans have a reputation that precedes them

posted by RGarraud to basketball at 09:14 PM - 14 comments

Why do they boo? They're jerks. They boo every opponent in every sport there. They even booed Michael Irvin when he suffered a serious neck injury in a 1999 Cowboys-Eagles game, "a reaction from fans that was boorish even by Philadelphia standards." And they didn't boo Iverson because it's the All Star Game, which is just showboating.

posted by kirkaracha at 09:33 PM on February 10, 2002

I went down to the Blazers / Sixers game last Jan. 10, back when the Blazers were still 1st in the West. The Blazers jumped out to an early lead, and although the Blazers won by 20+, if the fans had shown a little heart instead of sitting on their hands all night the Sixers could have gotten back into it. I won't ever respect them again!

posted by djacobs at 10:44 PM on February 10, 2002

I never considered myself an NBA fan in the least, but caught most of this game for some reason. It must've been the dishwater running that drowned out the sound of the booing fans because I never heard 'em. Jim Gray was in Kobe's face afterwards asking about how he felt about them booing him, not like you couldn't tell from the look on his face alone... but all in all, what a shitty show of sportsmanship by the fans. That aint passion for the game nor is it a way to show support for the home team -- that's just bad mojo in my book.

posted by evixir at 01:22 AM on February 11, 2002

The booing was awful. Every time Bryant touched the ball the fans started up with it, and when making his award speech over the even louder booing, he actually looked a little hurt. I guess they're mad they don't have a basketball team.

posted by swift at 01:55 AM on February 11, 2002

They even booed Michael Irvin when he suffered a serious neck injury... Philly fans actually cheered Irvin's injury, but I know what you meant. Jim Gray was in Kobe's face afterwards... I can't stand Jim Gray. When I heard Kobe's award speech, it was as if Jim Gray had brainwashed him ("Fans were booing... fans were booing...") so that he felt the need to mention the booing more than once. I'm sure he was a little hurt, too, but he probably had not given it as much thought until after Mr. Gray's leading questions.

posted by thatweirdguy2 at 07:39 AM on February 11, 2002

Oooh, reading about a story that manages to combine Jim Gray and Philly fans into one mountain of evil is tough to stomach on a Monday morning. I'm consoled by the fact that we know Jim Gray will end up in the pits of hell (is their a more hated reporter in sports?) and by the fact Philly fans get what they deserve... Please correct me if I am wrong on this, but I believe of all the markets that have a team in each of the four major sports (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA), none has gone as long as Philadelphia without winning a championship. Their current streak of futility is nearing twenty years as the last time they had something to celerate was the '83 NBA Championship.

posted by 86 at 08:11 AM on February 11, 2002

Sports fans should be glad that Jim Gray doesn't toss creampuff questions at athletes. We already have enough sycophants as it is in the media, considering the number of former athletes who would never criticize anybody. How Gray continues to be the subject of scorn, while fans look the other way when the evidence of Rose's betting on baseball comes up, boggles my mind. Even though I'm ready to see him in the Hall. The reception Kobe Bryant got in Philly was news before the game, during the game, and Bryant continued to talk about it afterward. How can Gray be blamed for asking him the obvious question?

posted by rcade at 08:31 AM on February 11, 2002

rcade, Gray's just a needler. He asks deliberately awkward questions and detracts from the sporting event at hand. As far as the Philly fans go, you could indeed tell that Bryant was very hurt by the reaction. I always wonder about how it must feel for these guys, like when Bonds gets booed at every baseball game. What can you think as a player but "Screw you. I'm one of the best in the world. Do I have to be your best friend too?"

posted by kafkaesque at 10:34 AM on February 11, 2002

Kafka, I'm with you 100% on Gray. Other reporters who interview players before, during or after a game manage to do so with class even if they avoid the "hard hitting" attitude. They ask similar questions, but they do so tactfully and they give up when given a "no comment" or something similar. Gray always picks at wounds and in the process he gets no additional answers or info. Have you ever heard an interviewee cave or tell all to Jim Gray? Has he ever produced a scoop or a big story not revolving around himself? His strategy is to produce uncomfortable situations, but it pays no dividends and frankly, makes me feel pity for the person being interviewed. Jim Gray is worthless and annoying.

posted by 86 at 10:59 AM on February 11, 2002

I love Gray's style since he goes in and asks these awful questions (Pete Rose) and has this deadpan, no-charisma delivery that makes you think that someone is just feeding questions into his earpiece. It's like a contest between the producers to see who can get Jim to say the most of the wall crap.

posted by jonah at 01:19 PM on February 11, 2002

I'll take an uncomfortable Jim Gray moment over a "Gee golly Michael you were awesome" moment from Ahmad Rashad any day.

posted by owillis at 01:30 PM on February 11, 2002

I agree, owillis, and it's hard for me to say that, since Ahmad Rashad was one of the star receivers in my Electric Football set as a kid. Dan Patrick weighs in on Philly's reception for Kobe today, with more evidence of how good the guy has been to the town that hates him. (In Philly's defense, if he had beaten my favorite team in the NBA finals, I would boo him even if he came to town to announce he had cured cancer.)

posted by rcade at 04:55 PM on February 11, 2002

Philly fans have no class booing one of their own during, of all places, an exhibition game where their boy schooled the rest of the damn league. They didn't deserve to watch Barkley, Schmidt, or AI. I hope their actions damn them to losing out on any other All-Star type events where sportsmanship and celebration of athleticism is supposed to be the most important thing. I hope they get six more years of winter.

posted by cubfan at 06:17 PM on February 11, 2002

Maybe the booing has something to do with his saying the Lakers were "coming to Philly to cut their hearts out" during the Finals last year. The mayor of Philadelphia called Kobe to say sorry anyway. And they even booed Santa once.

posted by kirkaracha at 10:51 PM on February 11, 2002

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