Kobe, do us and you a favor.

Posted June 09, 2013


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Poor mistreated “Kobe Bryant” Leave a reply

Finals matchup not great for Kobe


Kobe Bryant will have to watch either Tim Duncan or LeBron James win another title.

Bill Reiter

The biggest loser of the 2013 NBA Finals won’t be LeBron James and the Miami Heat or Tim Duncan and his San Antonio Spurs. It’ll be Kobe Bryant.

Even if the Heat fail to win this series, LeBron has emerged as the player his talent always foreshadowed. And his team will have just competed in its third Finals in three years. He has a ring already, and he’s almost certain to get more as the years unfold. The Spurs, too, could lose and still have a handful of championships and one of the great dynasties we’ve ever seen.

But Kobe? It’s all bad news for the image-conscious and legacy-minded star. You don’t become Kobe Bryant — the five rings, the 30,000-and-counting career points, the quickly approaching designation as the guy who will miss more shots than any player in NBA history — without obsession. An obsessive need to win the game, an obsessive need to win the series, an obsessive need to win the season, even an obsessive need to win history.

That idea — the Legacy Principle — had helped push Kobe to greatness, even if he likes to pretend that’s not his focus. It is. It has been. It should be. Greats chase history as much as or more than they chase their present-day peers. But in this series, as he watches from home and diligently claims he wants free agent Dwight Howard to return to the Lakers next season, he must know that a win by either the Spurs or the Heat comes at his expense.

If LeBron wins, he’ll have two rings by age 28 and be on his way to having a real chance to match Kobe’s five. Either way, the greatest-of-all-time talk for LeBron will start to become as inevitable as that conversation including a certain former Chicago Bull but, without a doubt, not a certain current Laker.

Bird, Jordan and Magic are among our top 10 players in NBA history.

And if the Spurs win, everything we think we know about the Lakers will need to be reevaluated. The strength of their dynasty since Kobe joined the team (it would be second to the Spurs), how we view coach Gregg Popovich relative to Phil Jackson (my colleague Jen Floyd Engel would argue Pop gets the nod), perhaps even Kobe’s all-time ranking versus Duncan’s.

Since Kobe entered the league, the Lakers have won five NBA titles and eight division titles. They’ve been in The Finals seven times. They are perceived as the NBA’s most-recent gold standard.

But the Spurs, if they beat the Heat, will have five titles as well — and a much more consistent record of excellence. They’ve won more than 70 percent of their games in that span and have never finished a season with a winning percentage below 61 percent. The Lakers have won 65 percent of their games over that span, but a three-year drought between Shaq’s departure (partly Kobe’s fault) and Pau Gasol’s arrival — to say nothing of this year’s hot mess — would separate the two franchises.

Championships are how we measure the best. But consistency, as the cliché goes, is true excellence. The Spurs under Duncan would have both; the Lakers, under Kobe, just one.

Has the pro athletes for gotton to be roll models any more????
I recall a time when kids looked up to athletes because of the way they showed sportsmanship and  not this… me ..myself  and  I ,attitude .
could we hear an AWWW>>>>> for poor mistreated and owner wanna be for the lakers???
No more enjoying your career as an athlete, Nope, its all about crying for MORE!
Mr. Bryant is showing me, an over paid cry baby …..
Forgetting the up and coming kids , huh?
Unless I’M in real need of a new pair of glasses from rainbow optics?
What do we see before a minor or major league game?
Kids waiting with a ball , cap, program and why are they there, for a players autograph.
I think far to many over paid ego maniacs are in this business for one thing?
To get an ego fed, constantly forgetting us poor suckered fans who pay big bucks to watch them..’
now did I say every athlete is this way? NO.
If Mr. big shot FYI Kobe Bryant cant stand it??
Retire, why put your family through this? and you!
And I keep thinking??
Isn’t it just a GAME!!!!!
ok we can argue till the end of times on how its more than game.
No frankly its a job for most when you get into the big leagues, from coaches to players, and as I see it , like a job when you clock in, to lunch time to the end of the day….
See people don’t want to hear that…
Thank God some kids keep learning about sportsmanship and the SPORTS and FUN aspect….oops I just used a 3 letter word called FUN?
Fun in sports?
how could we?
yeppers from kids sports to church leagues….are you kidding me , unless your kicking the holy jummpin down Martha out of them????
And when I was introduced to church leagues, wasn’t it for fun? and fellowship, not now.
Boy has times changed
For the worse …in my view..
and then we wonder why sports has become the way it is today…and I mean from college to the pros all about business, the hell with sportsmanship and signing a kids autograph???
nope not now!
all about
MYSELF and lest we forget….I!!!!

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