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On Kobe Bryant: Love him or hate him ... or maybe just love him

September 6, 2008 | 12:15 pm

Recently, BK and I did a video clip about the glowing coverage of Kobe Bryant's Olympics and how the notion that Kobe still stirs mostly negative feelings, whether from non-Lakers fans or the media, is something of an outdated concept.  As BK put it, "perception not quite catching up to reality."  Yes, detractors remain (as is the case for all athletes), but on the obvious whole, Kobe's image and coverage over the last few years (and particularly in 2008) has grown predominantly positive. Well, AOL Sports recently put up a poll asking people to crown a winner among "The 50 Most Hated Sports Figures," a list ranging from athletes to coaches to Chris Berman. Guess who didn't make the cut.

That's right: Dwayne Mitchell. 

Or Kobe, for that matter. Which kind of emphasizes what we were saying. Nobody claims that literally no reporter or fan harbors a dislike for Kobe or sees him entirely as the early decade "version" (or "perception," depending on your take).  But the tide is undoubtedly turning, which is a good thing. 

For those who didn't see the video, we posted it again below the jump. Also, as an FYI, it's being widely reported that Kobe will announce his pinkie surgery date on his website ( this Monday. 

Oh, and if I voted from their choices, I'm taking Bill Belichick.  Can't stand that dude.