Phil XI: You said Kobe would call guys out if he needed to. I agree. But that doesn't mean he wants the whole world to know about it.
What I said awhile ago in this thread was that Dwight has his own guys in the media who will tell "Dwight's side" of the story. Where do you think the "Kobe echoed what Shaq said about Dwight, that Dwight was soft" came from? You think that came from Kobe's side? Take a guess who was probably leaking that info.
Now, why would that info get leaked? To make Kobe Bryant look bad
. As in, "damn, Kobe throwing another center under the bus, like maybe he did with Shaq and Bynum?"
It is said that politics is war by other means. So is the media. You bring your "media helpers" army, and I'll bring mine. That's what looks to be going on here.
So, story gets out and then it's time for damage control on all sides. "hey, here's a funny picture on Twitter. I guess everything was a-ok all the time! Nothing to see here." This is what is known as propaganda.
I would bet my entire bank account that there is a lot, lot more going on here than meets the eye.
Back to Kobe calling guys out to get the results he wants. I agree with you on this, and here is how things shook out. The apparent timeline of events:
1. Dwight Howard goes 1-7 FG and scores 7 points with 14 boards against the 76ers in an embarrassing home loss by LAL
2. Kobe supposedly calls Dwight "soft" right after the Philly game, and a near-fight supposedly breaks out between the two guys.
3. Dwight goes for 21/15 against the Clippers, although the Lakers lose
4. Dwight goes for 14/26 against the Denver Nuggets. Ties a career high for rebounds. Still, LAL loses
5. After the Nuggets game, Kobe tells a reporter that he's ok with the locker room seeming to be getting a bit "chippier" lately.
6. Story comes out about supposed fight after the Philly game.
Ok, so let's break this down.
* Kobe was probably pissed off that the Lakers lost to Philly, at home, and broke their streak of 6 wins in 7 games
* Kobe thinks, perhaps, "how do I prod Dwight to produce more?" Possible answer: Call him soft and bring up Shaq, a subject and person Dwight can't stand
* Dwight starts putting up numbers like the old Dwight
* Kobe tells a reporter something like "yeah, I think guys are finally starting to feel desperate."
In other words: Kobe's possible ploy worked
. He achieved what he wanted, just as you said is his usual method. He wants to achieve certain results, so he figures out how to do that. That's what looks like happened here.
Now, why would the info on the supposed fight come out later, with what seems to be a pro-Dwight spin on it?
1. New York writer wants to cause LAL friction so maybe Dwight gets dealt to the Nets
2. Dwight may have realized he might have gotten played by Kobe and could have been looking for some payback, media style
That is how these things go. I've followed Kobe his entire career, I've worked in the media, have studied the media and have seen exactly this kind of thing happen with other athletes/situations and in other areas of life, in terms of news coverage. Leak here, leak there. Media Helper covers things up here, Media Helper helps leak things there. That's how all of this tends to work.
Now, just in case you think this is all just conspiratorial gobbledygook on my part, let's hear from someone who knows Kobe Bryant very well, and who use to be his chief Media Helper #1:http://bit.ly/REkZ9v
Kobe also made a point of guarding Westbrook during practices and pumping him up, the theory being that he wanted to incite Russ to bump heads with KD over who the team's best player is. (If you think that's too conspiratorial to be real, you don't know Kobe.)
This is who Kobe is. He KNOWS how to play people. He's very Machiavellian, very shrewd. He understands how to use the media to turn things into his favor.
Big furor because supposed fight almost took place? Hey, here's a Twitter picture and it's all good.
Image damaged in the past? Hey, here's Kobe going to greet his wife and daughters in the tunnel at halftime and after the game. Cameras just happen to be rolling then.
Kobe is VERY good at this stuff, which is why guys that don't like him end up often looking bad, and he ends up often looking good. It's an art, this stuff. Kobe understands it well.
BUT...Dwight isn't bad at this stuff, either. He's not as good as Kobe is, and he has no kind of leverage with LA fans like Kobe does, but he's going to take his shots at Kobe. It's been happening, and it will probably continue to happen if and when this season continues to deteriorate as now seems to be likely.
Sometimes, things are just what they seem. Nothing else going on.
But when something looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Or, as Apathy said earlier, where there is smoke, there is almost certainly fire.