Saturday , Oct , 11 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

5th Edition – 10/13/03

One of my favorite movies of all time is Back To The Future. The entire trilogy had such a lasting effect on me. I’ve seen those films on countless occasions yet every time I catch it on cable–it’s like the first time all over again. The adventures of Marty McFly and the Doc just never get old.

The very notion of going back in time to correct events for the benefit of the future is priceless. I mean who wouldn’t want to have a time machine at their disposal? Every last person on this planet has made an error that has led to catastrophic results. Of course the definition of catastrophic is relative, but you get my drift.

5th Edition - 10/13/03

Heaven knows I wish I could go back in time and fix a few things, but as people we don’t have that luxury. So in the end we have to suck it up and deal with whatever obstacle we’re faced with head on and live with it. Like Jay-Z said, “…Gotta learn to live with regrets.” But man… As an unabashed Lakers fan–I’d like to take a quick spin in the DeLorean on Kobe Bryant’s behalf because he just knocked the space-time continuum off course.

Who said it doesn’t rain in Southern California? Well it does and it did the week of Friday, July 18, 2003. That day will forever live in infamy for Lakers fans all over the world. When the Eagle, Colorado District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said that he was charging Kobe Bryant with sexual assault, my heart skipped a beat.

Prior to the announcement, from the moment I woke up that morning I was antsy and restless. So much was hanging in the balance and the decision of the D.A. was going to affect the lives of many people. Suffice it to say that the alleged victim, her family, Kobe and his family were going through an ordeal I couldn’t possibly fathom. But I’m speaking from the perspective of a diehard fan, and I’m telling you it shook me.

Now with the NBA regular season less than 2 1/2 weeks away and the process of the judicial system currently taking place, the surrealistic feel of this entire ordeal has vanished. This thing is very real. Some may question why I would react so personally since this experience has no ACTUAL bearing on my existence, but I’m a Lakers fan and a Laker is involved, so from a sports perspective (as warped as this may be)–it’s very personal.

So the question remains…

Could Kobe actually have committed rape? The alleged victim’s account of the encounter has been made public in court, and Kobe stoutly denied the allegations in an emotional press conference shortly after he was charged with the crime. Rape?! If he did (shudder the thought) and I sincerely hope he didn’t, then he deserves whatever punishment he gets. However if he’s innocent of these charges then by the grace of the good Lord he’ll be exonerated. Still, the thing that baffles so many of us is… Why? Why would he put himself in a position that could result in so much anguish?

Kobe Bryant is considered by many to be the best all around basketball player in the world. He has fame, fortune, success, a wife and an infant daughter. Why would he risk a lifetime of achievement for a few minutes of pleasure? Of course, he had no idea all of THIS would happen. But being a celebrity of his stature, one would assume he’d take better precautions. And up until now he had done an admirable job of avoiding the pitfalls that have plagued so many celebrities.

He is idolized and revered by people all over the world because of his spectacular athletic abilities and his classy demeanor. But now everything has changed. Kobe got caught with BOTH hands in the cookie jar and now he’s at risk of losing everything he worked so hard to accomplish. It’s absolutely depressing. I feel like knocking him upside his head and saying “Hello? McFly!!” And this was going to be his year too! He recently signed a huge endorsement deal with Nike and you know they have an incredible marketing campaign set up.

Currently he’s a member of the new and improved purple and gold wrecking machine. The Lakers acquisitions of future hall of famers Gary Payton and Karl Malone for a combined price of less than $10 million this season is nothing short of a coup d’etat. Along with the return of a rejuvenated Shaquille O’Neal–the mission to recapture the glory the Lakers so humbly lost looks EXTREMELY possible. And not to mention, following this upcoming season Kobe’s going to be an unrestricted free agent and a member of the US Olympic basketball team. Instead, all of that is anticlimactic; everything must take a backseat as he is engulfed in the fight of his life.

It’s a sad period in Lakerland; a summer of improvement has been grossly overshadowed by controversy. From a basketball standpoint, things went so well this off-season, but life happens and sometimes the results aren’t pleasant. So now we collectively hold our breaths and wait for the results of what is shaping up to be the trial of the decade. No doubt contrasting stories will emerge from this incident and as the first part of last week’s preliminary hearing indicated–it won’t be pretty. Both parties will be scrutinized and embarrassed while trying to prove their respective cases to be valid. It’s all a shame. In the end someone’s life will effectively be ruined due to one night of indiscretion. You can bet Doug Christie and his wife don’t have to worry about this happening to them! Maybe I should rethink my views on THAT arrangement, but I’ll worry about that later. Anyway–we’ll see–but in the mean time…

Does anyone know how to make a flux capacitor?