Fair enough. We all witnessed T-Mac gliding in uncontested for the deciding layup in the Lakers 76-74 loss to the Rockets in December. Without a true Big Man presence, Laker opponents are running the Harlem Globetrotters layup line out there. They ought to crank Sweet Georgia Brown over the PA and be done with it. But all those who believe Kobe’s “protecting the paint” rationale raise your hand. Yeah, me neither. Retaliation for the gash on his melon, courtesy of the same Mike Miller that Kobe jacked? Commenting on Shaq’s suspension after the Bulls mini-brawl, Kobe was quoted as saying, “There’s only so much a person can take as far as physical abuse! Sometimes you have to do what you have to do’. So who’s got Kobe’s back? The `Old Days’ had Enforcers, guys like Moses Malone, Calvin Murphy, and Kevin McHale. Mess with their teammates and you’d pay with pain. Maurice Lucas may have been a vegetarian, but low bridge Bone Spur Bill Walton and he’d eat you alive. Or better yet, take it out on their Star. Hit Walt Frazier and Phil Jackson, yes the Zen Master himself, would reduce your guy to a smear on the hardwood. In Geo-politics, we call this “Mutually Assured Destruction”.In sports, it’s “Competitive Balance”. But as with all things for the Lakers, if something needs doing, only Kobe steps up. So call it whatever you want. Nice guys finish last. Only the strong survive. Homie don’t play that. I prefer, Kobe goes Old School. Deal with that, Mr. Blackwell.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s outrageous! It’s egregious! It’s outragegregious! Kobe Bryant! Two games! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Whatever! Shaq received a one game suspension for using profanity in a televised post-game interview, and three games for throwing a wild haymaker at former Bull Brad Miller, so Kobe’s two-gamer for a forearm shiver slots in nicely on the Draconian punishment scale of the image conscience NBA. Hey, in a League where you can be fined for wearing white after Labor Day, Kobe’s just lucky his punishment wasn’t determined by Richard Blackwell. But a much bigger issue is afoot. Namely, what’s up with Kobe? “Any player that was going to come down the lane at that point in time, I was going to let them know that he can’t just walk through there,” Kobe reportedly said after the game. “Somebody comes down the lane, you’ve got to hit him”.