- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 25, 2006

So much for the X-rated goings-on with the shaky woman from Colorado, chasing Shaquille O’Neal to Miami, accusing Karl Malone of trying to hit on his wife and leading the Lakers to an awe-inspiring record of 34-48 last season.

Kobe Bryant scores 81 points in a game, and it is all good.

No, it is better than all good. It is nirvana. It also is surreal, whatever the definition of surreal is.

You are obligated to employ the s-word at a time like this, just as you were obligated to employ it as O.J. Simpson led police on a low-speed freeway chase in pursuit of the Colombian cartel.

Although O.J. was unable to nab the “real killers” on the Los Angeles freeway, we have pretty much lived in a surreal state since then, judging from the obtuse commentary of the talking heads, not counting Chris Matthews, who has the best cheeks in the business.

Eighty-one points. Wow. Gosh.

So many male schoolgirls in plaid skirts and bobby socks have been giggling, squealing and batting their eyelashes since Bryant dropped 81 on the Raptors.

Where is Kwame Brown complaining about his lack of touches when you need him?

Come on, Kwame, you loser, show some backbone. Don’t you want to slap Bryant?

With the outcome decided, the game turned into a cross between an AAU exercise and an asphalt-playground engagement, which is to say its farcical aspect was compelling.

Bryant’s teammates would not have shot the ball if the Raptors had escorted them to the rim with a smile. So there was Bryant going one-against-five, as only he would have it.

Bryant never tires of shooting the ball, whether he is making a reasonable percentage of his shots or not. It only becomes convenient to criticize Lamar Odom if Bryant goes 12-for-35 shooting and the Lakers lose.

Bryant said he never dreamed of scoring 81 points in a game. Huh? He orchestrated the occasion. This is his dream team — teammates who defer to his every whim or he will have a diva-like fit and smash the nearest television monitor.

His principal instruction to his teammates is: “Throw me the ball.”

This kind of attitude is considered contemptible, except, it seems, if you score 81 points in a game.

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