Why Does Everyone Hate on Kobe?


Jun 18, 2009

Seeing Kobe Bryant claim another NBA title was a bittersweet moment for many fans.

See, people have conflicting viewpoints on the guy who’s quite
possibly the most exciting player in the game today. When you ask the
average fan of the NBA how they feel about Kobe they usually have one
of two answers: It’s either “I hate that guy!” or ”Wow, is Kobe
good!” And I can most definitely see where both sides of the argument
are coming from.

For the fans of the four-time NBA champion, there is an undoubted
argument that he is the best player in the game. After winning a trio
of rings with Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe and the Lakers
are going to remember this latest championship. Bryant led the way for
the purple and gold, earning his first Finals MVP award, which is just
another stop on the path toward leaving a lasting legacy in this
league. He made the players around him better, he (at times) showed
unselfish play, and he was ultimately rewarded for his willingness to
become the “ultimate team leader.”

However, on the other side of the coin, for the Kobe “haters” out
there, I can also see why the 2008 NBA MVP is so easy to
despise. There’s his desire to be the best, a trait that can be found
in just about any elite athlete wanting to succeed. But in Kobe’s
situation, that desire to be the best reeks of him just trying to
pattern his game after Michael Jordan.

“What’s wrong with that?” you ask. 

Well, nothing, if he only wanted to play at the same level as MJ, but it goes deeper than that.

To the untrained eye, Bryant walks like Jordan, he chews his gum
like Jordan, and he’s developed a fadeaway jumper like Jordan. And this
season in the Finals, Kobe even developed a patented game face, just
like — that’s right — Mike!

Throughout his time in the league, comparisons have been made
between the two players. And Kobe continues to shun the similarities,
which is very commendable. But watching Bryant, it’s undeniable: He
wants to be as good as Mike.

Then there’s the whole Colorado incident. And that got me to
thinking: Do basketball fans really dislike Kobe because of his
reported infidelities toward his spouse, or do they have a deep-seated
dislike for No. 24 because of what supposedly happened in that Eagle,
Colo., hotel room? Nevertheless, the past is in the past, and he was
never found guilty of anything except being a bad husband.

When it all boils down, Mr. Kobe Bryant is as good as it gets. It’s unfair to compare him to the likes of Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson
or any of the other greats because he will never be that kind of
ambassador for the Association. But there shouldn’t be any doubt that
when the new list of the 50 league greats is released, Bryant will be
somewhere near the top!

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