Yes, Kobe’s a superstar and Josh Smith’s … well, Josh Smith, but how would it look for Commissioner Stern to crack down on bad behavior and then let one of the most high profile players in the game get away with it? He couldn’t. Instead Stern gave Kobe a “Go directly to jail” card, “Do not pass go, do not collect $289,943 dollars.” So there’s no reason Kobe should be surprised. The Lakers lost both games while Kobe was suspended. If they had won without him, then he really could have been “very, very surprised.” I certainly would have been. At least the rest of the team got to see what its like to shoot the ball during the 4th quarter (though unfortunately not through the basket). Yes, the dog bit and had to be punished. After the “surprise” wore off, I think Kobe probably got the message. But Kobe got out his message too: maybe some will think twice before pulling that particular dog’s tail.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s a truism that if you keep pulling on a dog’s tail, that dog may eventually turn around and bite you. This should be no surprise. Last week after Mike Miller put a hit on Kobe Bryant that required three stitches to close, Bryant responded by playing Whack-a-Mole on Miller’s throat. He was given a flagrant foul. This should be no surprise. For this the NBA suspended Bryant for two games. Kobe’s reaction: “Very, very surprised.” If so, it’s the biggest surprise since Captain Renault was “shocked” to find gambling going on at Rick’s in Casablanca. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson After the game, Bryant did not help his case by copying the current administration’s foreign policy by saying: “I hit first and ask questions later.” He later added: “That’s just basic NBA basketball.” You could imagine how surprised and pleased the NBA marketing guys were about that. Apparently Bryant hadn’t noticed the NBA has been trying to clean up the game’s image ever since Ron Artest and company decided to go WWE Smackdown in Detroit last year. Tough suspensions were handed out. This season the league introduced a new travel dress code so the players would look more like professional athletes rather than professional thugs. Bryant also apparently didn’t notice the Atlanta Hawk’s Josh Smith was suspended for two games less than a month ago for basically doing the same thing to Raja Bell. That’s called precedent.