Volume 94, Issue 65

Thursday, January 18, 2001


Ain't easy being a Lakehead

Rookie swimmer makes waves for UWO

Two self-centered stars - Kobe and Shaq are shameful

Two self-centered stars - Kobe and Shaq are shameful

By Ryan Dixon
Sports Editor

I didn't watch Batman a lot when I was a kid, but from what I can recall, not once did Robin turn to the 'caped crusader' and say "back off bats, you're stealing the show."

Maybe that is because the show was on during the 1960s at a time when people, more specifically athletes, seemed to care about whether their teammates were pulling their weight as opposed to now, when they worry about teammates stealing an endorsement.

How else do you account for the dynamic Los Angeles duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal both demanding trades? Money, victories, a national audience – Los Angeles offers all of this in abundance, yet both men want out, or at least the other guy out. Why you ask? Because they both feel an intense desire to be 'the man'.

Give me a break.

Having an ego is an important part of being a successful athlete, no superstar exists without one. However, no one individual has ever single-handedly won a championship in any sport. If you want to be a winner you have to be a team player. It may be a cliché, but it is true.

No person could be in a better position to explain the concept of team harmony than Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. All Jackson would have to do is give O'Neal and Bryant the phone number of an old player of his, and tell them to ask him if he regrets playing in the shadow of another star. You probably remember him, his name is Scottie Pippen.

Of course if either man were to give Pippen a call, Scottie may have a problem getting the phone to his ear, six championship rings can really weigh your hand down. Do you think Pippen gives a second thought to playing second fiddle to Michael Jordan as he reflects back on his glory days with the Bulls? Not likely friends.

Tim Duncan had a chance to bolt from David Robinson and the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent, but decided he liked the champagne soaked taste of winning, better than a soft drink endorsement in a losing environment. Maybe if our old friend Tracy McGrady took a cue from Duncan, he and cousin Vince would be leading the so-so Raptors to the promise land. What happens when Grant Hill comes back to the Magic – time for T-Mac to move on?

In time any great player will be recognized for their achievements. Hall of Fame committees are more likely to look at championship numbers than points per game. True respect only comes after the cheers have stopped.

Winning one championship in sport is rare enough, the opportunity to be part of a dynasty like the one unfolding in L.A. is something special. I hope both of these big babies get their wish; I'd love to see O'Neal as a Clipper and Bryant as a Wizard. They don't deserve to be winners.

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