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Kobe Bryant Postgame Quotes: On Legacy

NOTE: Click below for the postgame comments from the podium for Kobe Bryant.

Of all the comments Kobe Bryant made before the media after the Lakers became NBA champions for 2009, from his praise of Phil Jackson and his teammates to his plans for the summer, the ones most likely to get the greatest play Monday morning in the media refer to the removal Shaquille O'Neal's 325 (give or... give) pounds from his back.  As of 4:46 am on the east coast, I've already seen them looped at least five or six times. This is how we roll. After all, Kobe's been carrying around the "can't win without Shaq" tag since the duo broke up. 

No more.  It's an end to what Kobe referred to as "Chinese water torture," and none too soon. 


This is one area in which I think Kobe has always been spot on.  He couldn't have won without Shaq, Shaq couldn't have won without him, and neither were winning without the other dudes who filled in the roster.  Yes, Shaq snagged another Larry O without Kobe... but he also had that D-Wade fella running with him.  I'm pretty sure that guy pitched in.  This year, Kobe didn't win alone, but with a very solid supporting cast full of guys who stepped up big in the playoffs.  Why?  Because no superstar wins by himself.  Ever.

Just like coaches who win titles do so with great players.  There's no other way to get it done.

There's meaning to Kobe finally getting a Shaq-free title, but it has nothing to do with any dependence 24 had on him.  Instead, it's clear both Bryant's personality and game allow for him to produce and succeed on both an individual level and within the context of the group (as it's been for a few seasons for those paying attention).  It adds depth to his career, and bumps him that much higher on the scale towards the M.J. gold standard.  The scowls may cut into his likeability factor (at least among media), but clearly don't constitute an obstacle to the NBA's big prize.  It doesn't matter if I, or anyone else, wants to give him a hug or road trip with him to Big Sur.

Bottom line, nobody can argue that a Kobe Bryant-led team can't get a ring.  I don't blame him for being pleased to have settled the question.

On to the transcript.

BK

KOBE BRYANT

Q. As you well know, Phil Jackson now, 10 championships, most in history.  What is it that makes him such a great coach in your opinion?

    KOBE BRYANT:  I think it's his ability to bring people together.  That's the biggest thing that he does so well is he continues to coach the group, continues to coach unity and chemistry and togetherness, and that's the biggest thing, because when you're together, you can with stand adversity.  If you're not, you can easily break apart and become a team of individuals.  That's his biggest characteristic of what he does well.

    Q.  Can you talk about the impact that Pau has had on this team in the 17 months he's been with you guys?
    KOBE BRYANT:  Pau is    I think the thing that helped us get to this level was the improvements that he made defensively.  He did a terrific job defensively for us all year, and particularly in this series.  Offensively his capabilities are limitless.  He's a dominant post up player, extremely versatile, makes great decisions, and obviously when we got him last year, that really took us to that next step.

    Q.  How is this different from your previous three rings?

    KOBE BRYANT:  Well, I just don't have to hear that criticism, that idiotic criticism anymore.  That's the biggest thing.  I don't have to hear that stuff anymore.  For us with the collection of guys that are so young and having gone through what we went through last year and having the goal in mind of trying to get back to this point, and to have the attitude of we're going to become a better defensive team, better rebounding team, and then to actually do it and to see it all happen, it feels like I'm dreaming right now.  I can't believe this moment is here.

    Q.  You hit that three, put you up 83 67, they called time out, you went to the bench and paused.  Was that the moment it hit you it was within your grasp?
    KOBE BRYANT:  Yeah, that was the shot that I was measuring the whole time.  I knew I had to knock it down because they were starting to surge.  I could feel it.  It was a 13 point game and I could feel a surge coming.  That shot, I knew if I was able to knock it down it would deflate them a little bit and buy us another minute, and that's why I did that.

    Q.  What did it feel like when you finally realized the moment was at hand?

    KOBE BRYANT:  It felt like a big old monkey was off my back.  It felt so good to be able to have this moment.  We tried not to envision it too much, you know what I mean, because you just get too excited.  You try not to think about it, just think about playing the game, and for this moment to be here and to reflect back on the season and everything that you've been through, it's top of the list, man.

    Q.  Dwight is back there pretty disappointed.  What do you think are his chances of getting back here and winning it?  And also, what do you know about how hard that's going to be?
    KOBE BRYANT:  It's tough to get back.  They're going to have a bull's eye on their back, obviously.  This is a good experience for them.  They have a very tough team, extremely well coached, and I have no doubt they'll be contending again.

    Q.  And Dwight specifically, what did you think of how he played?
    KOBE BRYANT:  What did he average, 17 points, 17 rebounds, five blocked shots?  Those are just ridiculous numbers.
    He's just a phenomenal player.

    Q.  One of the things that got said after Shaquille left was that you guys left championships on the table, and I think both of you said that you had regrets about it.  What do you see ahead for this team?
    KOBE BRYANT:  Just vacation (smiling).  Cabo.  Yeah, stuff like that.  When next season comes around, we'll go from there.  We'll be ready to work again, that's for sure.

    Q.  When Phil was in, he said when he came back, he wasn't anticipating winning a championship.  Did he ever say that to you?

    KOBE BRYANT:  No (laughing).  What are you, crazy?
    Phil, he always stays in the moment, so the fact that he does that doesn't surprise me because he only coaches the moment.  Whatever comes out of that comes out of that, but he continued to push us, continued to challenge us, and here we are.

    Q.  The criticism about you having not won a championship without Shaq, did you ever look at it like Magic and Worthy in the '80s, that nobody ever helped those guys, that they played with great talent?  Was that kind of a source of frustration for you?
    KOBE BRYANT:  Yeah, it was just silly.  Every team has a dynamic duo.  I think it's a shame.  But it is what it is.  I wasn't going to try to argue about it.  I mean, that does nothing.  So you just accept the challenge and try to prove them wrong.

    Q.  In the second quarter last year in Boston where no one gets anything going, tonight in the second quarter everyone has it going.  What does it feel like for you out there and you saw that Trevor was hitting his shot tonight and Lamar was getting to the basket?

    KOBE BRYANT:  Actually I've become more aware, conscious of what we're doing defensively at that point, because once we get everything going offensively, you can easily start thinking you can score anytime you want to.  That's something I kept harping on through that stretch is to stay in tune with their runners, stay in tune with their shooters, with their scorers, get back on defense and keep pressuring them defensively.  You start scoring, you think you can score and score and score and score and your defense slips, and this team, they'll bust you if you do that.  I just tried to stay the course with the guys.

    Q.  A couple years ago you weren't satisfied with your help at all.  When did you become convinced that this was a team you could win with?

    KOBE BRYANT:  Got a new point guard, got a new wing, got a Spaniard, and then it was all good.  It was all good.  I had a bunch of Christmas presents that came early.

    Q.  This probably is an unfair question because you're in the moment, because do you think that you're going to walk out of this room or next week or the week after that and see yourself any different, or people see you different?

    KOBE BRYANT:  Well, they won't see us as losers.  LA is brutal, man.  Now when I go to Disney World and Disneyland, I can enjoy the moment.  I don't have to answer questions about what the hell happened to you guys?  You know what I mean?  From that standpoint, the summer is much more enjoyable.

    Q.  Can I ask you for your perspective on Phil?  His first title came against the Lakers 4 1.  His 10th came as part of the Lakers 4 1.  Did you put some dimensional aspects into what this accomplishment means, not only for the team and the organization, but how Phil might be actually thinking?  We were talking about him earlier.  Of course he's not that open with his feelings  

    KOBE BRYANT:  He's very excited about it, absolutely.  Extremely excited about it.  You can tell.  You can see it in his eyes how ecstatic he is.
    It's been a long time since he had a champagne bath, and I knew that, so I made sure he became part of our circle and we got him pretty good.  He took his glasses off, threw his head back and soaked it all in because this is a special time, and for us to be the team that got him that historic 10th championship is special for us.

    Q.  Focus was a word he used to describe you often in these playoffs.  Was there a difference between your focus this year and last year?  And if so, why the difference?

    KOBE BRYANT:  Well, I was just locked in, just completely locked in.  I think it's a matter of understanding the moment.  It's also understanding your team and the lead that they have to follow.  That's what I tried to do.  I was grumpy for a while, and now I'm just ecstatic, like a kid in a candy store.

    Q.  I know you danced around the Shaq question.  There have been teams in history that break up, Martin and Lewis broke up.  They wondered could each of them succeed on their own, and they did.  Could you focus on the fact that this was a great duo, it did break up, now you've succeeded on your own.  Not to knock Shaquille, but what does it mean to do it without him and do it on your own with your teammates?
    KOBE BRYANT:  From the standpoint of responding to the challenge, from people saying I couldn't do it without him, that feels good, because you prove people wrong.  So from that standpoint it feels extremely good to do that.
    On another note, I think people can look at the special teams that we had together.  We're great as individuals, but then you look at these two teams    it's probably the first dynamic duo that had two alpha males on one team.  We managed to make it work for three championships.  For me it's about the years that we had but also enjoying the ones to come.

    Q.  Did it bother you year after year, the cliché, can he win it without Shaquille?
    KOBE BRYANT:  It was annoying.  It was like Chinese water torture, just keep dropping a drop of water on your temple.  It was just annoying.  I would cringe every time.  I was just like, it's a challenge I'm just going to have to accept because there's no way I'm going to argue it.  You can say it until you're blue in the face and rationalize it until you're blue in the face, but it's not going anywhere until you do something about it.  I think we as a team answered the call because they understood the challenge that I had, and we all embraced it.

 
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"Jerry Buss made the right choice. Call him a ballhog. Call him selfish and arrogant. Call him whatever you want. But Jerry Buss bet the whole Laker house on Kobe. And he delivered...LONG BEFORE THIS! The 81 point game. The MVP. The leadership. The passion. The determination. Ignoring surgery on his fingers to keep fighting and keep pushing."

I'm pretty sure I've always said that Buss & Co. made the right choice picking Kobe over Shaq.

My gripe with Kobe, less all of the non-sense, was how immature he was and lack of "leadership" he displayed from 2004 through 2007. Kobe has matured over the years and lead a Laker team to a championship playing "the right way" (ie, team basketball).

Kobe has done right by LA in my book.

I still take offense to those Shaq-haters, but this is the time to celebrate the Laker championship.

'nuff said, Hulk Smash!!

Grrr!

AMEN!!!!
RIGHT ON CHAPLAIN RIGHT ON!!

Excellent roll call as always Mamba24. I'm going to miss you all summer. Posted by: EastCoastJessie | June 15, 2009 at 11:26 AM
Thanks EastCoast You have a good summer too & take care of yourself Princess.
Larry(Mamba24)

Edwin Gueco,

I agree, this blog is like a family. I always mention to my husband you, Faith, Jon K, Mamba24, East Coast Jessie and all the regulars to him and how insightful are your comments. This blog has been my source of Lakers news and info. My husband encouraged me to post comments so that I can be in some way be a part of this family. He is also a Laker fan but not really a Kobe diehard.

Re: Bill Russell, I was thinking about the same thing as you. Kobe does recornized "unspoken words". I am so happy and my friends back home are asking for Lakers shirts and Kobe jerseys.

I am now officially a Laker Blog addict.

D@mn this victory is bitter sweet. It's like an ending & a beginning all at the same time. Now I hope this Title will be enough to keep you up till November. I enjoyed the
ride with each and every one of you. Have a happy summer & do a good deed for someone. Tell the one's you Love you love them - I LOVE YOU FAITH, I LOVE YOU EAST COAST JESSIE. And walk tall and proud because you are a member of one of the greatest Nations on earth. The Laker Nation.
Larry(Mamba24)

I am now officially a Laker Blog addict. Posted by: Jeanette | June 15, 2009 at 11:42 AM

That's the best kind of Addict to be Jeanette. have a good summer my sister.
Larry(Mamba24)

mamba and all
Hap-hap-happy championship it's been a long time a coming now and for five more in a row.
Props Too:
Kobe; Trev; Lamar; Bynum; Pau-Pau; Fish; Jordie;Luke; Sasha; Shanon; Powell; Dietre; Sun; Morrison. and PJ and all the coaches.
You got to Love these guys

KL,

Welcome back to the fold. As I told Mike T, you're a better man
than LeBron for manning up. And I think you'd now agree that
pretty much EVERY free agent wants to play with Kobe.

(well... maybe not LeBron. He'd hate having to be Robin for
a couple of years until Kobe retired and he could be Batman :-)

Mamba24 - OUT freaking STANDING!!!!!

Please confirm you WILL be blogging here come the new season - RIGHT??? RIGHT?????

And BTW - I'm on the Simers is an Idiot (or whatever it's called) bandwagon. The Times needs to fire his ass - what a moron. What a fool. What a hater. What a loser. I could go on but you get my drift.

utzworld - thank you and amen brother. What a wonderful way to wrap this season up - in a great big bow! LOL!

To EVERYONE who has enjoyed the ups and downs of this season with me - I LOVE YOU. I THANK YOU. I'LL SEE YOU ON HERE OVER THE SUMMER AND INTO NEXT SEASON WHERE WE GET TO DO THIS AGAIN!!!!!! Because you KNOW we will be doing this again. Let the haters and trolls beware - the 4th Dynasty has been born and is moving inexoribly towards a BACK TO BACK!!!

GO LAKERS!! WE GOT THIS AGAIN!!!!!!!!

"Every time Phil got a Championship he got two more in a row! So tell me guys what do you think!? Should we wait for the next two in a row!"

WOW, actually now than you mention it Phil has THREE consecutive THREE-PEATS.

Given Kobe's age, that seems like a pretty good estimation. No reason to break that streak now, except after the next THREE-PEAT, Phil retires to keep the symmetrical 3-3 Chicago 3-3 LA thing going, and we go on the "KOBE has never won a championship without Phil and FISH Journey". Sign me up.

THE SECOND LAKER THREE-PEAT IS HERE! WATCH OUT LEBRON, DWIGHT, CP3, DERON, CARMELO, you're going to have to wait a while!!!

LAKER BLOG, THIS PARTY'S JUST GETTING STARTED. WERE GOING TO THE PARADE!

Mamba24 Put me on the fire TJ bandwagon

Why? Both Jerry Buss and Coach K believe in Kobe.

In the last 4 years more than a billion have been spent in new construction around Staples, creating a new city and tons of jobs. The cornerstone was JBs trust in Kobe.

Our USA team had one cornerstone, Kobe. Coach K said so the day he took the Redeem Team job.

TJ Simmers should be ashamed. Betraying our City's Championship and our Olympics Gold.

Baywood

OH NOT AGAIN pHIL HAS 3, 3 PEATS SO FAR AND IF
THIS LEADS TO A THREEPEAT IT WILL BE (4) THERE'S THAT NUMBER AGAIN!!
*
FIRE TJ SIMERS – BANDWAGON
*
(01) RICK FRIEDMAN – OWNER –
(02) TSPHERE – DRIVER - The only person in the background I wouldn't let of the hook is TJ Simers, whose provocation and sardonic but misplaced sense of superiority has no place on the same pages as the blog. The guy is downright ridiculous in ways that even KL coundn't achieve. This quote in today's article is particular pernicious:
(03) PIG – RIDING SHOTGUN - Next time you see him in the hall at the Times offices, do all of us Lakers fans a favor and punch him in the face. Please.
(04) JON K – RABBLE ROUSER - Actually I'd hope we can start a "Fire T.J. Simers" Bandwagon and that AK & BK can personally deliver it to the L.A. TImes management.. T.J. Simers is not a true journalist. He's a narcissistic troll. .J. Simers is mentally ill, but he is a highly functioning mentally ill patient
(05) EDWIN GUECO – COUNSELOR - The LAT sportswriter, T. J. Simers is now using the hate mails as an asset to his article. It is becoming part of his identity in capitalizing negativity as an attraction to his column the "Darth Vader Syndrome."
(06) LAKER TOM – CONCILIATOR - Why read Simers or his ilk when we have you and AK and all of the LA Times Lakers bloggers to say it better with insights that the ESPN-owned sound-bite headline-driven copycat national sports reporters and journalists (yourselves excepted) would never have come up with.
(07) MAMBA24 – COPY BOY – TJ Simmers is a fool, buffoon and a disgrace to the writing profession.
(08) LONGTIMELAKERLOVER - Yeah, TJ has no respect for himself, which is why he feels ok about writing like he does. He's a sad, pathetic, bitter writer.
(09) USAPA - just read TJ Simer's "IIdolatry of Lakers is ludicrous" and as if it wasn't obvious before, it is very obvious now. TJ Simers isn't about reporting sports. TJ Simers is about TJ Simers.
(10) TULLY MOXNESS - Well, so much for my Lakers buzz...TJ Simers puts it all into perspective for me
(11) VINCE MEGHROUNI - Anybody read Simers' article? Is that guy a self-important phony blowhard, or what?
(12) JMAN449 - Maybe Simers has made a very important statement regarding the culture of celebrity and the American "Win at all costs" ethic. Then again, maybe he is just a pompous, self-absorbed jackass like 99% of the Times readers have thought for years. Yeah, probably that. Choke on it Simers!
(13) MASE - He has a schtick (sp?) and as long as he gets people to read his stuff, he'll be kept on. But if he is truly ignored, that's the only way to get him off the radar and move far far away.
(14) VMAN - You're right about TJ. When he shouts fire in the theatre he gets a reaction he undoubtedly wouldn't on an op ed page. Gotta be attractive to the TImes, stuck trying to manage a dying business model.
(15) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - The Times needs to fire his azz - what a moron. What a fool. What a hater. What a loser. I could go on but you get my drift.

I can't wait for grumpy old men 3 starring TJ simers!

Thanks JustAnotherMambaFan. I'm rejuvenated now. I'll be around all summer, fall, winter spring till the next title if you know what I mean. have a good summer
Larry(Mamba24)

unbelievable Im still in awe.....have been so busy havent had time to post on here.....im on the fire TJ bandwagon hes a flipping idiot.

When is the last time an NBA player was caught with performance enhancing drugs? Seems to happen all the time in baseball and football - but basketball is somehow immune?

Kobe coming back from the dead to win the MVP is eerily similar to Floyd Landis coming back from the dead to win the Tour de France. Though Kobe "outworks everyone else," so did Manny and Roger Clements.

Mamba24,

Have a nice summer too. I can't wait for the next season. This championship is too special. I hardly got a sleep las night because I am here in the east coast but when I woke up this morning I felt good. There's no more sadness in Laker land, no more tears in defeats but tears of joy. Seeing Kobe hoist the championship and Finals MVP trophies, PRICELESS!

I am happy also for Lamar, I always like him. I always admire people who rise above adversities. Show a lot about their resiliency and character.

ANIMO Lakers!

Last time I looked, neither Manny nor Clemens were on any recent Olympic or World teams. To participate as a Team USA member, an athlete must subject themselves to extensive drug testing.

And.... winning an MVP at 29, and a finals MVP at 30 somehow is the same as Barry Bonds slugging 74 homers when he's nearly 40 years old (and his career numbers shoot up like crazy)?

Well, with that sort of logic, it's quite clear why you're a TROLL... a troll that also posts under several handles. What a sore loser you must be.

Utzworld, where will the blog be without your religious fervor, Thank you. I just believe that without your intercessions, Lakers would still be playing for Game 6 and possibly 7.

Wow NBA fan, just wow?

Anything to try and discredit this absolutely fabulous victory huh? Misery may love company but the Laker nation will let you sit in that dark little corner alone.

We won!

MVP! MVP! MVP!

Now Kobe did it without Shaq for the first time.The next question will be ,Can he do it for a second time and for a third time with out Shaq ?

Mamba24,

Outstanding, brother.

utzworld,

Amen.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

beautiful, mamba, beautiful. i'll even forgive you for not including me because i just crack up every time i see my name on the roll call next to korey, never and troy.

utz- not bad. i have very little use for religion, but your prayer of thanks was very humble and appropriate. props- now where are those eulogies?

FIRE TJ SIMERS – BANDWAGON
*
(01) RICK FRIEDMAN – OWNER –
(02) TSPHERE – DRIVER - The only person in the background I wouldn't let of the hook is TJ Simers, whose provocation and sardonic but misplaced sense of superiority has no place on the same pages as the blog. The guy is downright ridiculous in ways that even KL coundn't achieve. This quote in today's article is particular pernicious:
(03) PIG – RIDING SHOTGUN - Next time you see him in the hall at the Times offices, do all of us Lakers fans a favor and punch him in the face. Please.
(04) JON K – RABBLE ROUSER - Actually I'd hope we can start a "Fire T.J. Simers" Bandwagon and that AK & BK can personally deliver it to the L.A. TImes management.. T.J. Simers is not a true journalist. He's a narcissistic troll. .J. Simers is mentally ill, but he is a highly functioning mentally ill patient
(05) EDWIN GUECO – COUNSELOR - The LAT sportswriter, T. J. Simers is now using the hate mails as an asset to his article. It is becoming part of his identity in capitalizing negativity as an attraction to his column the "Darth Vader Syndrome."
(06) LAKER TOM – CONCILIATOR - Why read Simers or his ilk when we have you and AK and all of the LA Times Lakers bloggers to say it better with insights that the ESPN-owned sound-bite headline-driven copycat national sports reporters and journalists (yourselves excepted) would never have come up with.
(07) MAMBA24 – COPY BOY – TJ Simmers is a fool, buffoon and a disgrace to the writing profession.


Posted by: mamba24 | June 15, 2009 at 10:34 AM

========
Put me on the bandwagon.

Times won't Fire TJ so we should each throw in a dime and buy him out so he can go write about a team he likes in a city he likes (hopefully far far away).

To replace him we hire Mamba24 and in the contract on each article he wrtes he has to throw in a bandwagon or roll call.

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Mamba24.... That was so goooood... However long that was...

Oh my.. just noticed it... how we have grown these 3 years...
it used to be just about 20 in that roll call.. and now it is so long i can't hardly finish reading to the last entry...

La lakers!!!

TOP OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

best ever
1. Bill Russell
2. Oscar Robertson
3. Jerry West
4. Wilt Chamberlain
5. Bob Cousy
6. John Havlicek
7. Michael Jordan
8. Larry Bird
9. Walt Frazier
10. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
11. Julius Erving
12. Tim Duncan

Questions,...
Comments???

I thought not

Okay, this is my second post out from my lurker's comfort zone and probably after this one I will never find the bravery to ever dare to write again (I don't feel savy enough for writing in this awesome blog), but it's like 48 hours I keep twisting these ideas about Kobe in my head I have to fix them in stone, and let the emotional flaw going.
I just hope I will be able to express the thoughts in a correct language (in Italian it would be just much easier...).
Listening and watching Kobe after our so well deserved and fought for victory has been a complete joy for me.
I love this man since he first appeared in my own radar.
I loved him cos he speaks my Country language perfectly and has named his lovely daughters with Italians names; I love him cos he's named after a town of my second favourite country in the world (Japan) and I love him cos he feels like he belongs to the team of the town of Angels, like he belongs to the Lakers as Lakers belong to him.
Then, of course, I love him because for me he has always being the greatest since MJ.
His Airness surely has always being more constant.
Sure.
But I love Kobe more, cos his more difficult struggles for being the best , compared to Jordan's ones have made his journey so much more inspirational for me.
Kobe has the skills NOBODY has ever had in that combination and that amount ever before.
But he has never had the height, nor the dominant physique others greatest of all times could vant.
Did this stop him?
No way.
Nature unkindness just pushed him to overcome the gap with heart, force, fierceness, stubborness, dedication, value, brain... everything of important for defining not merely a sportman, but a human being worthy of.
This is why I adore Kobe.
He has something burning inside him that everyone can catch from his way to be while he plays. While he practices. While he talks, moves, addresses, orders and asks teammates. AND (most importantly) himself.
Many says he's arrogant.
I think he' selfaware.
It takes dignity, maturity, selfconsciousness and also humility to always start again from a supposed privileged point and start working to always get better and better and better cos you know you can again top yourself and show everybody else you're not satisfied yet, you still be hungry, so they will be pushed to do the same to, in a fruitful chain reaction. Not because you're arrogant. But because you're a talented human being with a gift and you know you gotta make something with it.
An arrogant person wouldn't be harsher to himself than to anybody else around. An arrogant person would always put the blame on others, and keep a safe space for himself.
Not Kobe.
Kobe suffers when things not go the way he knows they had to cos he feels he's the one to be blamed for the failure more.
Like Spiderman would says: great powers=great responsibilities.
That is so true in Kobe's life.
He had to face the worst s**t ever in his path: that could have destroyed everyone's life. He just took that task in the most noble and painful way: like a chance to step up and get even better, with clear eyes, clearer mind and heart, and prove to all the world to witness not even the world crumbling on him could have stopped his legend.
And it didn't.
Now this is someone to take as inspiration.
Never give up. Never feel that you can't get better. Never stop trying, never stop working for reachin what you want to, no matter the shadows around you.
Then... the Kobe that I love also well reckons he needs others around.
People never get this in all its evidence.
He has learnt to balance his own self with the team. And man... it has not to be an easy task!
In Italy we have what you call "soccer". The greatest players of all times have always been said to "win the game alone". But that was never said by them. This is always said by journalists. The super players always know in a team sport, it's the team that wins, with different grades of merit in it, but always it's about being a team and let the leader have a team to lead, and let the team reckon which one their leader is.
It's not about selfcalling titles. It's about the factor that proves itself.
Lakers have always knew whom their leader was.
It has ALWAYS been Kobe.
I think Kobe has realized what to do with his immense, unparalleled potential only after the disgrace that shot at his life. Only after then he had to deeply question all about himself, the way others had always, and saw the things he had to do better, and more.
This is a man of depth, force and pride.
This is a player like very few have been comparable with so far, and very few will be comparable with later on.
I will always worship this man cos his footsteps are so inspirational to me.
It's like a building journey to greatness, and I can't see anything arrogant about him.
Contrariwise.
And if you ask the guys in his lockeroom, or even his adversaries who have come to get to know him for real, I am sure they will confirm you this better than anyone else.
PJ wouldn't have returned with him if Kobe wouldn't be the worthiest HUMAN material. I am not speaking about his sporty talent: to not catch that is simply a sign of blindness or stupidity. I mean... he's clearly a wonderful, surely difficult and complex but WONDERFUL himan being.
And I am happy cos I know he's really happy now.
But ready again to sign a new traced line for targeting it, cos this is what we call evolutionary path, and a great human being want to always evolute himself.
You're the one and only MVP forever, Black Mamba.
King of the Basket.
King of Lakers.
King for me.
Thank you, for gifting me with magic and miracles and thank you for being EXACTLY who you are.
Zaira.

Jerry Buss made the right choice. Call him a ballhog. Call him selfish and arrogant. Call him whatever you want. But Jerry Buss bet the whole Laker house on Kobe. And he delivered...LONG BEFORE THIS! The 81 point game. The MVP. The leadership. The passion. The determination. Ignoring surgery on his fingers to keep fighting and keep pushing."

I'm pretty sure I've always said that Buss & Co. made the right choice picking Kobe over Shaq.

My gripe with Kobe, less all of the non-sense, was how immature he was and lack of "leadership" he displayed from 2004 through 2007. Kobe has matured over the years and lead a Laker team to a championship playing "the right way" (ie, team basketball).

Kobe has done right by LA in my book.

I still take offense to those Shaq-haters, but this is the time to celebrate the Laker championship.

'nuff said, Hulk Smash!!

Grrr!


Posted by: KL (fka KL_Beast) | June 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM

KL,
I got to give it to yo man. It takes a man to take his blindfold off and recognize the truth, I can appreciate that and respect you for that you are also as important as any "Jo" on this blog. I know you've risen my blood pressure at time but again it takes a man to post what you posted. I'm looking forward to disagree with you more in the years to come, and brother you've earn my respect.

BTW Mamba please put me on the TJ simmers bandwagon. I miss you guys!

Zaira thank you so much for your post. Everything I love about Kobe you perfectly expressed it. I'm so proud of this guy and everything he has accomplished. His set of skills are among the best ever in Basket.

I was so overcome with joy when I saw him leaping across the court and hug his teammates. There will always be haters, but there is nothing they can do right now to hurt me, get that Bill Simmons?

I'm also proud of the rest of the team, Pau, Derek, Lamar, Trevor and all the other guys. the maturity that was missing last year and for a long stretch during the regular season was constantly present during the Denver series and beyond. I'm so happy!!! I hope we can somehow keep Lamar and Trevor and continue this amazing run.

I discovered this blog very recently and I want to thank the Kamenetzsky brothers for a true wonderful job. And also the awesome lakers fans who have kept the faith even at 2:00 before the end of the game with the Lakers down. Our dedication and passion have been rewarded. Congratulations to the Magic, they've endeared themselves to me by beating Cleveland and thus sparing me of that kobe -lebron showdown pfft!

 
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