Friday, May 23, 2008

The Evolution of Kobe Bryant

I have always been a Kobe Bryant hater. I think of him as a cocky, ball-hogging, backstabbing adulterer, a symbol of everything that's wrong with the NBA. During the offseason, it seemed as if I couldn't hate him more. He threw his teammates under the bus, demanded a trade, and pretty much threw a tantrum like a five year old kid. Like a good parent, the Lakers didn't bow down, let Kobe cry it out, and reminded him of who paid the rent (or multi-million dollar paycheck). Knowing how little time they had until little Kobe would act out, the Lakers went and got Kobe a little brother (Pau Gasol). The Lakers went on to the #1 seed in the West, Kobe got his MVP, and it's been good times ever since.

Comparing Bryant to a snotty brat might seem like I'm bashing him, but I've actually enjoyed this evolution. He was spoiled with Shaq, Phil and three rings at a very young age. It was no where but downhill for him, and we unfortunately had to bare witness to the attention-grabbing antics Kobe displayed since then. Shaq can't complain - he came out of the whole thing as the nice guy and ended up getting another ring anyways. Speaking in terms of only basketball, everyone was the better for it. Especially the world's best player.

In about half a season, Kobe has learned to be a leader and a team player. The league was buzzing with talk about the Celtics, Chris Paul and LeBron, while Bryant and the Lakers took a backseat. And this was fine by Bryant. He seemed to understand how lucky he was with the Gasol signing, and that he can't win a title by himself; something only a young player on top of the world would think anyways. He's been at the bottom, hated and accused of rape. He now realizes how hard it is to have a championship team, and how limited the time of a professional athlete is. After all, the #1 seed in the East is comprised of past their prime All-Stars desperately trying to do what he has already done three times.

I think it's safe to say that Kobe gets it now. With the kind of spotlight that shines on the stars of today, you can't really blame him for his antics. It's really telling to watch who was once the most arrogant player in the game be humbled in a matter of months. Now we can go back to watching the guy we thought he was - the one who scores 25 points in the second half against the defending champs. AKA, the best player in the league.


stefan said...

Hey man. I wanted to say that I really like you blog, with the insightful analysis of current sports issues. I have to say that Kobe is my favorite player to watch because of the way he can generate points from nothing.

Your blog is quite similar to mine. Id appreciate it if you checked mine out at

Thanks, and keep up the great writing.

Dr.3 said...

Yeah, sounds good. Do you have a banner that you want me to add or do you want me to simply add your name or the name of one of your blogs?

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