Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  45 responses

Kobe Bryant’s Celtics Spy

I suppose we shouldn’t be too shocked to discover that Kobe had a mole of sorts — a man who used to be within the Celtics’ organization — working to give him specialized info on their defense during the NBA Finals. The NY Times reports: “Mike Procopio grew up near the old Boston Garden, close enough to view the iconic building from his living-room window along the city’s West End. With basketball in his heart, but not in his genes, he lived the dream of many Boston children by working his way up to become part of the Celtics eight years ago. Procopio, who joined the Celtics as a scout, still ingests more Celtics basketball than nearly anyone, although his loyalty can be debated. He spent the postseason watching, editing and analyzing game footage with Kobe Bryant. Throughout the postseason and particularly in the finals, Procopio delivered Bryant scouting reports through meetings, late-night e-mail messages and phone calls. ‘I sort of felt like Matt Damon in ‘The Departed’ a little bit,’ Procopio said, referring to Martin Scorsese’s film of undercover agents and informants that was set in Boston. ‘I don’t think half my family is talking to me at this point of time.’ Bryant compared Procopio to the fictional special agent of ’24.’ ‘He’s my Jack Bauer,’ he said after clinching his fifth title in the Lakers’ Game 7 victory over Boston. ‘He gave me all the edits and scouting reports and wrote defensive rotations of the Celtics. He was my eyes and ears, so when I played the game, I’d use all the scouting reports and all the information, and it was huge for me.’ Their relationship is an N.B.A. version of the odd couple. Bryant, one of the league’s premier players, has a select inner circle. Procopio, who is shorter than some of the ball boys and never played more than a few minutes in high school, is in the middle of it.”

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  • $tev3

    this makes me sick

  • kh

    whatever it takes to win! People are going to love this petro to douse their flames of hate! I can appreciate a student of the game staying up late to learn the intricacies of the Celtics D. I love that the best player on the planet is putting in so much work.

  • Mcfly

    Ahaha black Jesus strikes again. It makes people sick cuz it worked.

  • The Philosopher

    If Kobe didn’t go to those lengths for the advantage, would he have shot 0-29 instead of 5-24?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    If he’s from the West End, he knows about betrayal (if you know Boston history). Come on, man…stop snitchin.

  • The Philosopher

    Shout out @young Moose.

  • http://albayanos.com LeoneL

    Co-sign Moose.

  • http://air-tsinelas.blosgpot.com Roy

    @ Moose: Co-sign on the one. :D

  • http://air-tsinelas.blosgpot.com Roy

    @ Moose: Co-sign on that one. :D

  • http://air-tsinelas.blogspot.com Roy

    Sorry for the double post btw…

  • http://air-tsinelas.blogspot.com Roy

    I agree with Moose. (I hope this one gets posted instead).

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Moose is on point.

  • chris6

    so ron-ron thanked his psychiatrist and kobe his snitch..showtime!!

  • slamfan4life

    how is this guy not gonna get introuble for this?

  • lupe

    Boston fans should be upset with Paul Pierce for not doing the same thing…

  • smooth operator

    I do not like kobe bryant at all, but thats true what ever it takes to win

  • ab_40

    wait is this guy still being paid by the celtics organisation? this is not clear to me. of so isn’t it cheating? ah who cares kobe will never be the true face of the nba he just can’t

  • unrel

    guys.. he’s not snitching.. he doesn’t work for the celtics.. he USED to.. this is the same guy that made videos for kobe last year.. ABC/ESPN ran a special on it.. he’s just a guy that was hired by an NBA player… and @philosopher.. he wasn’t hired for one game.. he’s been with kobe for awhile now.. so he didn’t help kobe shoot poorly in gamy 7.. he helped kobe kill the celtics from game 1-6.. maybe your king should study the game more, himself.. instead of reading up on his “how to earn street cred” manual..

  • The Philosopher

    @unrel: Understood. Just saying some things in jest. Now, LeBron doesn’t have to study ANYTHING. HE IS… THE KING. The game is studying HIM.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    LMAO @The Philosopher…btw did you check out the Drake I pointed out, man? Also, as for current hip hop…J. Cole, anyone?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    Wouldn’t you think that he has played against them enough to have their defensive schemes and rotations figured out anyway?

  • The Philosopher

    Moose: I clicked on your screen name. You doin’ your thing, man.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    You like bachi? Thanks!

  • kwame

    how come no1 was complaining when the rockets and Battie hired mathematicians to make spreadsheets of kobe’s tendencies…why wasn’t that cheating…o wait…because kobe did it, it has to be wrong…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    How is this news so readily available? Wouldn’t that dude get fired?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Oh wait. He doesn’t work for them anymore?

  • http://kb24.com DreXnaW21

    Wait so Kobe cheated?? i don’t get any of this :(

  • All Day

    This is a non-story. Each team has a ton of game-tape on each opponent. Any information that Procopio provided to KB, I’m sure KB was already aware of from studying tape. I guess this is just one more story to add to the LA-Boston rivaly’s legacy.

  • All Day

    Procopio’s information wasn’t the reason why LA won. LA won because KG, Sheed, Pierce, and Shuttlesworth ran out of gas down the stretch. LA had more gas left in the tank than Boston.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    It’s not like another Boston area sports team hasnt benifited from moles. Leave it alone and go eat clam chowder.

  • call me li

    haha, kobe with that winning mentality. @Moose J. Cole is that dude…slamonline turned me onto him back right after he dropped the come up. Who Dat?!

  • Jay Cutler

    Kobe cheated in Colorado so why should we expect any different here? *yawn*

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    I thought the Celtics were supposed to win the Finals.

  • Robb

    So scouting is cheating? Everybody cheats then, I mean, scouting in sports is nothing new. What a stupid article

  • logues

    how is this legal?

  • Exiled Zebra

    So, a person who worked fora team for many years can leave the job, then freely give out insider information on the teams strategies to opponents? Scouting is one thing, this seems like something else. Havent heard of this before.

  • heh8meN1

    Everybody pays “tribute” to The Dons of LA.


  • Cam Jones

    All these extra steps to be overprepared if Kobe Bryant wasn’t in the NBA he would be either a serial killer or Batman lol

  • http://4Aitkenroad,Hamilton,ScotlandML37YA Hambone

    aint the lakers coaches supposed to be doin this guys job?

  • Exiled Zebra


  • ClydeSays

    Meh. So even if this is true, C’s still took the Lakers to 7 games and within a few points of winning/losing? And it’s not like Kobe was able to drop 35ppg with this info… Seems kinda like bs.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    i love that Kobe’s a basketball nerd

  • ron

    so now the lakers didn’t really win the champ? mvp award should be given to Procopio instead?
    if discussion with a scout can make u a champ, teams should hire at least 29 scouts from the rest of the league.

  • unrel

    @exiled zebra… to answer your question… yes.. it’s not like the stock market.. you don’t think players that get traded don’t do the same thing?..

  • Will Lee

    kobe is my homie