I dont think it was because of that. I just think that kobe is just trying to establish himself for not taking any sheet. Let's face it, you know he doesn't want any part of Artest. I've noticed many times over the years that kobe is a master at getting in those cheap little shots, especially at playoff time. He's not the kind of player, or maybe he's too smart and sneaky to ever do anything blatant. But he does have aknack for occasionally smacking someone when they least expect it.
I don't think he should've got suspended for that either. That's the thing with him, he seems to know just where that line is and never crosses it. One of the reasons I don't like the guy....I have more respect for Fisher for just outright laying someone out than for throwing sneaky elbows under the boards.
kobe is not dumb, he's too arrogant and self-centered to be dumb, long and short of it is he's trying to get in Artest's head or bait him into doing something stupid.