Pop Quiz

1. Before playing at the Pepsi Center on January 8 -- his first game in Denver since he was charged with sexual assault last summer in Eagle County -- Kobe Bryant said:

A. "I can't comment, but if I could, I'd ask fans to forgive me."

B. "My expectations are always the same: Just expect the worst."

C. "God bless America, land of the free."

D. "I'm focused on what I'm paid to do: play basketball, not play the fool."

2. When the Nuggets played the Lakers in L.A. on December 19, Bryant:

A. Was sidelined, nursing a bruised ego.

B. Spent all day at an Eagle County hearing, jetting to L.A. in time to help sink the Nugs with a bucket at the buzzer.

C. Refused to talk to the media, his father or a priest.

D. Was surrounded by eight armed guards known as Kobe's Krew.

3. Among the signs hoisted by hostile fans -- and confiscated by security personnel -- at the Pepsi Center last week was this:

A. "Work on your free throws in prison."

B. "Number 8 -- stay out of our state."

C. "Kobe: Keep Ironside courtside. You'll need him."

D. "Wrong Court, Kobe -- Eagle County, 175 Miles West."

4. Media attorneys have asked that Bryant's next scheduled hearing, on January 23, remain open to the public because:

A. It's a good idea.

B. The other side wants it closed.

C. The victim's medical history has already been discussed on the Internet and in other reports.

D. Several highly paid TV commentators have booked rooms in Vail, and it would be inconvenient if they couldn't watch.

5. Cultural bonus: Even those chanting "Guilty!" in the Pepsi Center crowd were:

A. More to be pitied than criticized, according to one Nugget.

B. Part of a franchise-record assemblage of 19,739 attendees -- or roughly what the Nugs drew all last season.

C. Eligible for free Quiznos subs, since the Nuggets scored more than 110 points.

D. Acknowledged by Byrant, who smiled and waved as he left the court.


1. B. Expecting the worst, Kobe was not disappointed: He stewed, the crowd booed, and the Lakers got tattooed.

2. B. Bryant managed to arrive mid-game, in time to abuse the Nuggets.

3. D. "Wrong Court." And how: The Lakers lost 113-91.

4. C. The lawyers argued that much of the medical history has already seeped out.

5. B. Even the hotheads were counted in the team's single-game record.


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