Kobe Bryant: Singled out by David Stern and the NBA

I’ve been borderline livid for the last few days.  I’m not sure I’ve ever felt this passionate about a professional sports fine or suspension.  The fact that Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA because a TNT camera caught him visually, not audibly, insult a referee by using a commonly said gay slur is ludicrous.  I’m going to spell it out for emphasis…ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS!

The reason I’m upset isn’t that I think Kobe should be allowed to say anything on an NBA sideline.  I’m upset because I have heard, not just lip-read, dozens of obscenities exclaimed throughout this season of NBA basketball and can’t remember a single other fine for such an offense.

For instance, in the Clippers-Grizzlies regular season finale, Clippers forward Craig Smith was ejected after picking up two straight technical fouls.  The camera was focused on him as he was storming off the court and you could read not one, but two F-Bombs leave his lips.  Pretty sure he wasn’t fined a dime.

Why?  Because he’s Craig Smith and nobody cares.

Other things I’ve heard said this season on TV have been the N-word, GD-it, MF, SOB along with hundreds of the aforementioned F-word.  You can only bleep out so much on live television.

My second beef with this fine is the fact that you couldn’t HEAR him say it.  The camera was just focused on him and those adept at lip reading could make out him forming the word.  Come on!  Let’s focus cameras on Kevin Garnett, J.R. Smith and Nate Robinson during Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs and see if any of them have any money in their bank accounts by Round 2.  I guess speech certainly isn’t “free” in the NBA.  Odd though, that certain words cost more.

Cursing is not only a part of the NBA but a part of American culture, like it ...

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