hate dislike Kobe Bryant (and the Lakers).
As a preacher, you gotta kind of watch certain words you use. Hate is one of those words. So I’ll just say I dislike here:
I personally believe that Kobe Bryant is a great basketball player. Let me just get that out there (as I gag and throw up a little bit in my mouth). However, I think he’s a cheap “knock off”. Fellas, I think your ladies can help you out with this one. They can spot knock off purses from a mile away. Kobe Bryant is a knock-off Michael Jordan. From the tongue wag to the turnaround, he has managed to mirror Jordan’s game in an eerie, serial killer kind of way. You don’t believe me, check this out. I like that title: The Assassination of Michael Jordan by the Coward Kobe Bryant. Don’t get me wrong, Jordan is on my “list” too. I don’t like him either. Never have, never will. I understand taking a few elements from another player’s game, but goodness. This guy gets a kick out of being called “the next Michael Jordan.” As much as I don’t like Jordan, there will NEVER be a next Michael Jordan.
4. The Proverbial “I” in Team
You know what I get tired of. I get tired of these commentators talking about how Kobe likes to get his teammates involved early, because he can get his at any time. While this may be true, I have seen the freaked out, “I need to take over this game” Kobe Bryant (see the NBA Finals last year). Nobody was exempt from his selfish rants. Just ask Sasha Vujacic. Poor little guy was treated like a child in Boston last year. Not sure why people continue to try to convince me that he is a team player. He wasn’t that way when he played with Shaq and he isn’t that way now. Speaking of Shaq….
3. The Big Cactus
Kobe can probably have about seven rings right now. He (i.e. his huge ego) forced Jerry Buss to run Shaq out of town. The result-no more championships, while Shaq was in Miami winning a title with D. Wade. Let me make this clear. Andrew Bynum is not the answer. He and Pau Gasol combined are no match for Shaq in his prime. I was sorely afraid of that Lakers team. They put it on my Spurs in the Western Conference Semis (although we did get them one year). This team is good, but not Shaq-Kobe good. The way Shaq was treated by the Lakers was dead wrong.
Kobe Bryant is just not a good person. I hear you, I hear you. You don’t have to be a good person to be a great basketball player. I have a tendency to like or dislike a player based on his/her overall demeanor. Something bothers me about his body language. It comes off as narcissistic, selfish, and arrogant. Maybe this is why I’m a Tim Duncan fan. Sure he’s one of the most “boring” players in the game. In fact, many people know little to nothing about his personal life (like the fact that he’s married). No camera cuts to his wife sitting in the stands. No meeting the wife and kids in the tunnel, with the ABC camera crew in tow to redeem his image. Tim Duncan is just a consummate ball player. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Kobe seems to have reconciled with his wife and is a family man, but something about the whole thing seems a bit dramatized. Please don’t understand this as me being judgmental. I’m just being real. For me, he’s not a good guy. There is one thing sealed this point for me and it’s found in my #1 reason I dislike Kobe (and the Lakers)
1. HEY YOU GUYS!!!!!!
This one sealed for me. So DJ Mbenga is one of the few guys on the Lakers I actually like. In Kobe’s mind, he’s the butt of a very rude joke. Can you believe that? Did he just call Mbenga a Goonie? Stories abound (many of which I have gotten firsthand from a friend who is in the league) about Kobe as a teammate. I’ve had Lakers fans argue this point with me for hours, but I just don’t think he’s a good teammate. It’s sad too. I like four players on the Lakers. Ariza is a great player. Fisher is just an all around good guy. Pau is underrated and one of the best PF’s in the game (he was doing the same thing Memphis, it’s just that nobody noticed). Mbenga is a workhorse who knows his role. So why do I dislike the Lakers? Kobe Bryant. I guess it’s a guilt by association thing with me. The face of the franchise has defaced the franchise for me. This is why I cheer for any team that plays for the Lakers. Be it the Bobcats, Clippers, or Jazz, I watch in hopes that Kobe is humbled and realizes that basketball is about more than one player.
Call me a hater. I just call myself a basketball fan who loves the game too much to let one ego ruin it for me. So enjoy the Playoffs Lakers fans. I look forward to the many texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages I’ll get as the Lakers cruise through the first couple of rounds in the playoffs. But, there is no way they win a championship this year (or any year) unless Kobe stops thinking about Kobe and starts thinking about team. Bring back the young kid with the fro who was just happy to be playing in the league. At least that Kobe was one that I could stomach.
A Spurs Fan Who Understands that Teams Win Championships (read: 2003, 2005, 2007)