Craig Hodges: Lakers Kiss Kobe’s Ass

Great, candid interview from ESPN with the immortal Craig Hodges: “Leaning back in a recliner as he watches the game on a wall-mounted television — a nice TV, but not obscenely large or anything — with his 24-year-old son, Jamaal, and 26-year-old nephew, Mike Riggins, the honesty spouts from Hodges’ lips with the same purity as his picture-perfect jump shot as he answers my questions and offers his observations during the game. He’s agreed to have me over to watch the game with him so that I can see what he sees. ‘No,’ Hodges says flatly when I ask him at one point in the first half if any players on the team stand up to Kobe Bryant and critique him if he does something detrimental to the team. On this occasion it was Bryant not sprinting back on defense after turning the ball over with a bad pass. ‘Not one. They all kiss his a–.’ I follow up by asking whether anybody on the Bulls teams that he won rings with in 1991 and 1992 ever called out Michael Jordan, a similar ball-dominant, once-in-a-generation talent with just as domineering a personality as Bryant. Hodges looked at me straight in the eye, slowly raised his hand like he had the correct answer at school and broke into a wide smile.”