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Bryant gets out the vote

May 10, 2008

I congratulate Kobe on winning the MVP, and I apologize to him for all the critical letters I've sent to Sports Viewpoint.

But since he has taken credit for motivating Andrew Bynum and teammates by last summer's criticism, shouldn't I take credit for stimulating Kobe to become a better team player? Gee, I wonder why he didn't mention me in his acceptance speech?

Richard Raffalow

Valley Glen

MVP consideration should have gone to Pau Gasol, not Kobe. Kobe is a great player, but he has only been able to make these Lakers no better than a one round-and-out playoff team. If a player joins a seventh-seeded team and helps carry them to the top spot, it seems like a no-brainer.

Dan Vandermeulen

Torrance

Kobe won his first much-overdue MVP award, but he still received 10 third-place and two fourth-place votes. I take it these 12 sportswriters and broadcasters work for such media organizations like the Neptune Gazette or the Rho Oph nebula television network in the farthest corner of the galaxy.

Mark J. Featherstone

Windsor Hills

I guess I should not be surprised that Kobe receives a lifetime achievement award from the basketball writers. This reminds me of when John Wayne got an Oscar for "True Grit."

David Hatcher

Glendale

On a day when Kobe wins the MVP, Bill Plaschke again writes a piece that purports to celebrate his greatness on the court while disparaging Kobe's personality.

I am not a Kobe apologist. He is not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination. However, Plaschke writes about Kobe:

"The self-centered nature that makes him so aloof from his teammates and the community is the same self-centered nature that allows him to unflinchingly carry all of them in crunch time."

How can Plaschke insinuate that Kobe does not get along with his teammates when he was at the news conference and personally observed Kobe's teammates' enthusiastic support of their leader? The Lakers, as a team and organization, and Kobe have made peace with one another, and have moved on. Plaschke has not.

It appears that Plaschke has lost all journalistic objectivity when it comes to Kobe Bryant and I would hope that the editors at the Los Angeles Times can keep Plaschke from further undeservedly attacking Kobe's reputation.

Daniel Grunberg

North Hollywood

What? Bill Dwyre [May 9] loves irony? Or he can't see that the fella that looks like him is actually a reflection?

Does his "we" mean the people of the City of Angels, or does it properly include only the folks that write about sports? No, of course, Wilt never got the coverage that Kobe gets. Magic got more than Wilt, but not as much as Kobe. Do we detect a pattern emerging here?

Simply put, folks want to be entertained more than they want to be informed and The Times has abandoned information for the returns of entertainment. Compare the number of Calendar and Sports, automotive, cooking and other frivolous section pages with the number of news section pages and tell me if you can conclude otherwise. Bill tells us we have a hero, we applaud. The Evil Page Two reports that we applaud and we applaud.

Yes, we really are as gullible as you suspect.

George Benson

Los Angeles

What a contrast between recent articles on Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant. The humble, classy Fisher going through a hellish ordeal with his little girl, and the hurtful boos from some clueless Jazz fans. This is a man bereft of an ego.

On the same front page is the announcement that Kobe will win the MVP award. Kobe says, "We talked about how winning this MVP is extremely special because I'm doing good. I'm making my teammates better, putting them in a position to win."

Sure, he could have said that his teammates are the best he's played with in years, that he has terrific shooters who bail him out when he gets on those six-for-24 ball-hogging jags.

But then again, that wouldn't be the self-loving star we've all come to know and love. In any case, congrats Kobe, and Derek . . . we're with you, buddy.

Gregg Freeman

Thousand Oaks

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