You know how everyone talks about things like “karma” in sports and how you should wear the same t-shirt and sit in the same place for each playoff game, or grow a beard until your team loses, or not post on your fantasy basketball blog all playoffs because you don’t want to jinx it, or hook up with a Kardashian if you want to win a championship? Well, it’s all bullshit. Complete crap.
Except when it involves me.
One of my least favorite players is Kobe Bryant, who according to basketball pundits everywhere is not only better than Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, but a similar physicist to Fermi, and en route to the Gulf of Mexico as we speak to single-handedly plug the BP leak with a piece of jewelry he bought for his wife. According to a loud minority, namely myself and Greg Fox, Kobe is a noxious phony who is brilliant at taking awful jump shots and hitting them more often than anyone else. While this looks impressive on the teevee, we are the only two that have figured out that it isn’t really the best way to, you know, help your team win. But this demon continues to cash in his karma points as – wouldn’t you know it? – he keeps winning. He won again this year, defeating my beloved Boston Celtics with a masterful 6-for-24 performance in Game 7 that cements his place at perhaps a table near the front for Derek Fisher Appreciation Night in 2019.
I’m bitter. But back to the karma, and the eventual point of this post: I drafted Kobe in two leagues. In the regular season Damn Lies league, he fell to eighth after Greg passed on him at number 7 for Alexis Ajinca (this was quickly corrected to Amare Stoudemire after Greg admitted he clicked on the first name he saw on his alphabetical list to avoid securing Kobe). Against my better instinct and ability to hold down solid foods, I pulled the trigger and rode Mr. Bryant to a fantasy championship.
But I wasn’t done. I had the brilliant idea to continue the fantasy season into the playoffs, organizing the first annual Experts Fantasy NBA Playoffs League with Greg, Tom and luminaries from throughout the industry. Of course I had the No. 2 pick, and sitting there staring at me, with his chin sticking out and a fake game face on, was none other than Kobe himself. Again I swallowed hard and drafted the scamp, knowing full well that I was secretly hoping to reverse jinx him. Wrong again. I cruised to the championship, partly because I also took Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, but mostly because I am a complete moron for ignoring karma and its cruel tentacles.
Finishing in second place was Greg Fox himself, giving Damn Lies a damn strong and proud showing. We’re sure this had nothing to do with the two of us coming up with the scoring system. Greg enjoyed Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Derek Fisher but needed Dwight Howard to get to the finals to win it all. Tom Lorenzo came in 7th out of 12 teams, not bad considering his top point-getter was Kendrick Perkins and he employed Jermaine O’Neal, who has been out of basketball for four years.
So, to recap: I won TWO fantasy championship this year with Kobe Bryant as my centerpiece player. I also watched in abject horror as the dybbuk’s Lakers knocked off my Celtics in a nerve-wracking seven-game bloodbath that took about 12 years off my life.
Yep, karma’s a cruel, evil bitch. The only way to get over this is to mock draft like it was going out of style this summer. Stay tuned to this blog as we’ll have plenty of off-season content for you to digest, including my upcoming 12-part investigative series, “Things to Do in the Summer While Curled Up in the Fetal Position in Your Basement”.