I have a beef with Kobe. Let me make it known. He is a great player, an uncanny starter. He is not a closer… he is an Executioner. I seriously think for the last 7 minutes of any game that is tight or his team is up by less than 10, he should put on a black mask and carry an axe. He is simply going to cut your head off and kill you in the late stages of a game. There are a million times in my lifetime that I have watched him play and say to myself; “That is a perfect shot, with hands face” or “He got to the basket the only way a human could while getting the best look possible at the basket”. He is, when it comes to technical execution of basketball skills, without an equal. Wade, he is an athletic freak with a decent jump shot who takes advantage of the refs. LeBron is a god amongst men physically, but he relies heavily, as he should, on being able to barrel to the basket and making defenders decide if they want to get called on for a foul or embarrassed.
With all that said, I hate him. I listed the reasons why while watching this video on ESPN. I hate his condescending tones. I hate his “I am trying to give a perfect answer” answers. I hate his contrived shit talking. I hate the way he doesn’t acknowledge that he was lucky enough to play with one of the 5 best centers of all time. I hate that he hates to admit that he is fortunate to play for one of the 2 best basketball coaches of all time. I HATE THAT HE WILL NOT STAND UP AND SAY I WANT TO BE THE BEST BASKETBALL PLAYER WHO HAS EVER PLAYED. I hate how he doesn’t think he has had any rivals in the NBA. I hate that of all the things I hate when it comes to 24, they are all somewhat personal.
- I hate you, but you are clearly the best.
I have argued with friends that LeBron is the better player, argued til I was blue in the face. I have argued that Kobe will never win one without Shaq. None of that matters. If he doesn’t win another MVP/championship, Kobe will be one of the best in a way Jordan never could.
Jordan was the ultimate competitor and basketball wunderkind. His work ethic was legendary. He was also a loner. Everyone around him was there because they were appeasing Jordan. To win games, to play poker, to hang out. Kobe, on the other hand, from numerous accounts, took the time this summer to push the upcoming (probably current) stars of the NBA to train and work hard to become greater. Carmelo, LeBron and Wade all had magical seasons this year. And a key ingredient to that was “well Kobe works this hard to be that good… I have to put in at least that much time”. Those guys would not have responded like that if they had thought they themselves had surpassed him as basketball players. The effect that is going to have on the next generation of stars will be priceless.When Kobe retires, these guys will be about 30 years ol and in their primes, peak of primes, or just coming down. There will be at least 4 combined championships between the 3 previously mentioned 3 and Chris Paul. They will speak of Kobe not as a god, like guys did of Jordan (a couple times), but more of a godfather figure, an inspiration. Can’t argue with that for best basketball player alive.
Fuck it…. I still hate Kobe.