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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Maturation of Kobe Bryant

Let me start this post by saying first off, I am a diehard Laker fan. I bleed purple and gold!!! I was very fortunate to live in southern california during the 80's when Showtime ruled!!! 32 is my favorite number for one reason only- MAGIC!!!! Ok, enough of that. On to the point of this post.

I think Kobe can be a metaphor for life for all of us. He has had enormous good fortune. He was drafted by one of the most prestigious franchises in basketball, let alone any sport. He got to play alongside the most dominant player in the game. His own talent level and work ethic have been above average and quickly became superstar level. Personally though was a whole other story. Kobe was very reclusive and standoffish. Many stories have been told by his teammates how they tried to get him to hang out and socialize, whether it be playing cards, going to movies or what have you. Kobe chose to stay in his room and play video games or listen to music. His skill at scoring has always been exceptional, as well as his defense. He was seen as a selfish ballhog though, consumed with proving he was to be on the same par as Michael Jordan, who was scorned as being a selfish gloryhog himself for years until the Bulls broke through and won their first championship.

Shaq and Kobe managed to blend and won 3 championships. Turmoil bubbled beneath the surface. Kobe wanted to be *the man* and did win many games with clutch shots. Shaq however, well what can you say, Shaq is *the man* Kobe displayed his dipspleasure a few times, choosing to not shoot during games to show his teammates how much they needed him. Anyone who saw the NBA Finals in 2004 saw a complete implosion. What was originally seen as a superteam crashed and burned when it counted most. Oh a sad sad time in Lakerland, much like 89 when magic and byron scott were hurt and the hated pistons took the title. Anyhow all of that is well-known but just wanted to lay a backdrop.

Shaq was traded and Kobe was given the team and his shot to prove he could lead them to a title without Shaq. Well, ummmmmmm hmmmmmmm maybe Kobe should have checked his ego and thought about things a lil more. He became arguably the best player in the game, but he failed to elevate his team. He scored like Jordan, but the Lakers lost. He seemed to sulk alot and wondered why the other guys couldn't match him. Well duh, hard to mesh when one guy dominates the ball and pretty much leaves the other standin garound watching.

So, after a wild offseason when it seemed Kobe would be traded and even had a weekly tennis match with the media about what he wanted I could almost hear him singing the Clash *should i stay or should i go* lol He stayed. He has led the team, he has shared the ball. He now has gotten a player who makes a title run a real possibility. He stoof up and said its time now for him to walk his talk. Big change from one who has seemed to be all about I.

Hope the maturation sticks Kobe. All of us have sticking points like this that push us along to become better people. Aside from basketball, hopefullly Kobe has grown as a person and in relationships as well. This laker fan hopes to see him lead us back to another ring. Let it rain purple and gold!!!


At 6:47 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

I hate to say this, but to me the words Kobe Bryant will always remind me of the rape charges that were filed against him. The woman who filed them backed out at the very last moment (during jury selection) because her name had been slung through the mud and her family was put in the spotlight. Its sad. Did he rape her or not? We'll never know. If he weren't a famous basketball star it would not have made headlines and the woman would have had a chance at a fair trial, but he was getting all kinds of sympathy "Boys will boys" or "she asked for it" or "she was a slut so she deserved it". I feel sorry for Kobe's wife, she was a victim of humiliation through it all.

Sorry if I ruined your post about him, but after all I've learned recently I have no sympathy at all for a man who forces himself on a woman or takes advantage of his fame to do whatever the heck he wants and have it brushed away and forgotten.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Robert said...

barbara I didnt think about the full implications of that incident before publishiung this post. i am sorry if it came across as excusing him in anyway i made a bad choice here I think sorry my friend

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Robert, Its ok.

At 5:00 AM, Blogger Gypsy said...

Robert I don't know anything about basketball or Kobe Bryant but from what you wrote I'd have one piece of advice for Mr Bryant. There is no "I" in team.

I enjoyed the read, well done.


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