TORONTO — Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri is a big fan of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Fortunately for Kadri, he had one of his best games of the season with Bryant in the house to see it.
With the Lakers in town to face the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, Kadri had a goal and a highlight-reel assist as well as a couple of big hits to help the Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 at Air Canada Centre on Saturday. His assist on Cody Franson’s first period goal was something straight out of the “Black Mamba’s” bag of tricks.
After the game, Kadri was asked about what it was like playing in front of Bryant, and he couldn’t help but gush.
“He’s one of my favorites, but I didn’t realize he was there till probably the end of the first period,” Kadri said. “I don’t know, maybe I can meet him somehow. But I’m happy he came to watch some hockey.”
Meanwhile, Kobe was busy winding up on the Jumbotron and posing with Leafs CEO Tim Leiweke.
Leafs players couldn’t help themselves in trying to get Kobe’s attention via Twitter.
If Kadri is going to play like that when Kobe is in the building, maybe the Leafs can splurge and get him season tickets whenever he decides to hang it up.
If there was one obvious talking point going into the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series, it’s that both sides legitimately don’t like each other. Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference isn’t the type of person to keep his thoughts to himself, so maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that Ference gave Montreal fans the finger after scoring a second period goal in tonight’s Game 4 win.
Ference could face a fine for as much as $2,500 for flipping the bird, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. (This video might be NSFW as it contains an obscene gesture, so be warned, but if you want to see it click here.)
There are a few other moments that come to mind when discussing this situation. The most recent example comes in the NBA, when Kobe Bryant received a massive $100K fine for a homophobic comment made toward a ref. The first NHL example that comes to mind is James Wisniewski’s two-game suspension for a gesture made toward Sean Avery.
Ference’s outburst isn’t as serious as those two offenses, in my opinion, but the league would be wise to discipline him in some way. We’ll let you know what ends up happening.
Ever since Larry Bird and Michael Jordan competed over which superstar player would receive a McDonald’s meal that – let’s face it, at that point would have been ice cold – different sports marketers keep putting their own spin on the “athlete doing unthinkable things” gimmick.
(Who can forget that doctored video of Kobe Bryant jumping over an Ashton Martin car?)
Well, Reebok is throwing their name in that advertising hat with a series of advertisements featuring Sidney Crosby and their new sticks. We already showed you the first spot, which features Crosby’s slap shots “moving” a net and then firing a shot against the glass that must have frightened the camera man (or something).
Even if it’s free advertising and what not, we figure that the spots are entertaining enough to post. Here is the second in that series, which features Crosby aiming a shot at one puck and then powering down a bunch of them after that. This one seems more “realistic” but we’ll leave it to you all to debate the video’s validity in the comments.