SI’s Steve Aschburner isn’t even asking the question. He’s coming right out and saying that Kobe is a definitively dirty player.
“I’m coming with the good stuff right up top: Kobe Bryant is a dirty player,” writes Aschburner. “Not definitive enough for you? OK, then let the record show that Kobe Bean Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is the eighth most dirty player in the NBA.”
Aschburner points to a couple of incidents as backing for this claim. (1) The elbow he delivered to Ron Artest. Aschburner says it was to Ron-Ron’s throat. Ron said it hit him in the throat, but the video evidence doesn’t prove where the elbow ultimately landed. (2) The punch he threw at Chris Childs in 2000. (3) The punch he threw at Reggie Miller in 2002. (4) An elbow he delivered to the throat of Mike Miller in 2005, which earned him a two-game suspension. (5) “Flailing his shooting arm” into the face of Manu Ginobili, and then doing the same to Marko Jaric, meriting a one-game suspension for each incident during the ’06-07 season. (6) A flagrant 1 that he earned for elbowing Kyle Korver in the jaw in March ’07.
That’s a more substantial resume than many NBA players. But is it enough to determine Kobe’s status as a dirty player?