Kobe Bryant was a special talent, a killer on the Lakers. But he just wasn’t Michael Jordan. And now he’s being written off. Let’s talk about the truth about Kobe Bryant. #NBA #Kobe Instagram- @MJ2K_ALLDAY
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Kobe Bryant is simultaneously one of the most underrated and overrated players in NBA history. The community likes to compare current day players to players of the past and players like Kobe to diminish what he has done. Others just believe stereotypes and what Kobe actually was is lost whether it was actually averaging over 5 assists after his rookie season or a bad NBA finals performance in 04. Media shapes a lot of what the common person would know and Kobe’s relationship with the media has always been polarizing so let’s start at the beginning.
Kobe Bryant came straight out of high school and caught the eye of Jerry West. On a stacked Lakers roster with the likes of Eddie Jones, Derek Fisher, Byron Scott, and oh yeah Shaq. Kobe was regarded as a project and showed glimpses of potential. By his second season, he was already being compared to Jordan, a comparison that would come to bit Kobe Bryant in the butt when it comes to legacy. As Kobe got more playing time, he excelled, slowly becoming a 3 time NBA champion, a regular on the All-defensive first team, and then having his own team. As Kobe’s teams started to lose, the Kobe doubters crept out, criticizing Kobe for his selfish play. I mean COME ON. He had Kwame Brown. Kwame Brown was the third highest paid player on that team. Kwame Brown. Those doubts had started to come since the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA finals to the Pistons. Then when he won his championships, the media looked at it as if it was his teammates that had stepped up, which is partly true. And in his 17th season when Kobe played 78 games averaging 27.2 points per game and 6 assists per game, no one brought up the longevity of Kobe. Towards the end of the season, Kobe would tear his achilles tendon and just never be the same. He would end his career at 5 rings, 1 short of Jordan and Kobe had never caught Jordan. Instead he had been dubbed a Jordan copy, that he came as close to Jordan as anyone else has, but was a lesser version, that he won. And so Kobe was relegated as an amazing NBA player, an NBA champion that didn’t become the GOAT and so was pushed back and as the age of analytics started to boom, more and more Kobe got called overrated.
Kobe characteristics were his apparent inefficient shot chucking, but a tough shot maker, not passing, being super clutch, a horrible teammate, and being a Jordan copy. That’s what the media wants you to think about Kobe, but that’s not what he was.
Now about that whole horrible teammate thing. I’ve addressed Kobe actually being a good teammate in an entire video so that’s more in-depth. The media likes to focus on Kobe being a so-called ball hog which can be considered valid at some points in his career and so they dismiss Kobe possibly being a good teammate. I mean, think about it. The feud with Shaq also makes it seem as if Kobe is one selfish motherf***er. But that’s far from the truth. Kobe was a great leader. He tried to get the most out of his teammates like when he would give Sasha Vujacic a hard time in practice only so that Sasha could toughen or how he would inspire people like Ron Artest to work out harder. Caron Butler straight up said Kobe’s the best teammate he’s had and Caron Butler has been on many teams with many teammates. Truth is, if you worked hard and showed effort, Kobe tried to help you play better basketball. If you didn’t really show that commitment and dedication like Smush Parker, then Kobe wouldn’t two damns about ya. If we take a look at the role players that Kobe had in his last two championships, almost all those players played at or better than expected like Derek Fisher, LaMar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Sasha. But people instead focus on how much of an asshole Kobe is. Kobe focused on basketball his whole life so there was nothing more to his relationship with his teammates than basketball. And that’s what had certain players in awe. It definitely was not for everyone, but it did get the most out of players.
So I think that covers the misconceptions about Kobe. There are so many players that the media messes up and with more and more people just looking at the stats and what these media outlets say, what the player was just gets convoluted. Kobe is my favorite player but that doesn’t mean he was perfect. I just think that he gets misrepresented, it’s Kobe the Black Mamba, but what do you think? Where’s Kobe on your all-time list? Who should I do next in this series?
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