On Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Hurting Elbows

My editor, the dreaded gerakis100, wanted to write this post. He knows much more about faking injuries and people playing through pain than I do. Since getting to know him, I’ve gotten a little into Soccer and Rugby as well, which brings me to my point about the NBA. I don’t believe when players act injured anymore.

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Flopping has always been around. Maybe it’s more prominent now with more TV cameras, Internet and stuff blowing up and exposing everything caught on camera with the real juicy stuff going viral. Faking injuries? It’s relatively new. For me it started in the 2006 Finals, with Wade doing his limping thing after some collision or “hit” and being perfectly fine seconds later. The most embarassing moment was Pierce screaming and carried off only to return in the 2008 Finals, in the SAME GAME, to conquer the Lakers.

Last night I watched the Knicks lose their first game with Carmelo Anthony. Anthony (27), Amare Stoudemire (31) and Chauncey Billups (26) combined for 84 points. You can’t ask your big 3 for alot more. These are those nights when you’d wish the depth was there, but the Knicks traded it for Carmelo and Billups. I like the move – getting a superstar and a guy like Billups for borderline starters, no matter how many, is always good. But you need depth to win a title. I’m swaying off the point.

The game turned around (in a bad way) for the Knicks when Carmelo bumped his elbow after a shot on the back of one of the Cavaliers players. Jalen Rose later said it was “shooters elbow” or “tennis elbow”, whatever that is. I just saw Anthony bump his elbow. They said he ‘tweaked’ it. WTF?! Did he really need to leave the game for that? For bumping an elbow? I know teams are much more aware of players’ health and minor injuries, but come on, that was nothing. He left the game, grabbed it a bit, made some painful faces and came back. The Knicks lost, and I do think more Carmelo minutes would’ve been enough for a win against the Cavs.

Off to the West coast, where the Lakers needed one dominant quarter, led by 18 Kobe Bryant points in the third, to beat Blake Griffin and the Clippers (108-95). Kobe Bryant was guarding Randy Foye who went up for the three. While elevating, the ball scraped Kobe’s elbow. Again, he ‘tweaked’ it and got plenty of bench time. WTF?! Bryant stormed in the third scoring 18 out of his 24 points and giving the Lakers their third win since the All-Star break. Good times. I don’t believe Bryant was injured for a second. Maybe he was angry about the bogus foul call on that same play. Maybe he was just being a little bitch, making something out of nothing.

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I don’t believe he or ‘Melo were injured for a second.I don’t get these guys sometimes. Sure, you gotta be careful with multi-million dollar assets like these guys but both these “injuries” got a lot of talk and words written about them (including me) during and after the games, for two players who just didn’t feel like dealing with a bit of pain while playing.

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On nights like these, I understand why People love rugby. I’ll be watching England France today. Hope you will too.