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I've been defending Kobe Bryant for a while, but his comments on Karl Malone on XTRA were ridiculous. So what if Karl Malone hasn't practiced all season? He's Karl Malone. Hall-of-Famers--espcially ones who have sacrificed so much for the organization--get a free pass. Kobe should know that. Then again, T.J. Simers has an excellent point in today's LA Times. Karl Malone's refusal to now play for the Lakers is almost childish. It was Shaq who demanded a trade when Kobe was a free agent. It was Phil Jackson who priced himself out of the market. And it's Karl Malone who is whining to the bank over comments made on the freakin' Loose Cannons. Who takes that show seriously?

Overall this is all rather silly. Malone is 41, desperately wants a title, and it's not like he would have won a ring with the Lakers this year. Now he has his petty little excuse to move on to San Antonio, and let Tim Duncan win one for him. He didn't even need to talk to Kobe personally about what was said to rush to that decision.