Kobe Bryant sure is smarter now than he was at the beginning of his career when he destroyed all the good he had done for the Los Angeles Lakers by running off one of the greatest centers of our time. That action showed his arrogance, his lack of leadership, and his immaturity. Phil Jackson even called Bryant a narcissist in a Sports Illustrated article.
I loved it when the heavily favored Lakers succumbed to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. What happened after that?
Shaquille O’Neal left. Phil left and called Kobe uncoachable. I’m pretty sure this is when the Lakers became “Kobe’s” team. Nice move, Kobe.
2005 — Lakers 34-48 no playoffs – tremendous.
2006 — Lakers made playoffs as 7 seed. Became only the 7th team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 playoff series lead. (Killer instinct?) Oh, and some people allege that the leader quit on the team in the deciding (blowout) game 7
2007 — Lose again the the Suns, and Kobe cries that he wants out of LA… purportedly.
2008 — The Lakers acquire the Spainiard (Pau Gasol), go to the NBA Finals heavily favored by all the pundits, choke and lose to the Celtics. They blow a 25 point lead in game 5 and lose by 39 in the closer. (Killer instinct?) KB goes 40% from the floor 32% from 3… very nice!
Since then, he has done well. But please, people — don’t compare Kobe to Michael Jordan. Wennington, Cartwright, Horace Grant are not the equivalent to the Spainiard, Kardashian and Bynum. Kobe has more to work with than MJ ever had. Once MJ got on the Finals, he put a dagger in your face. Kobe had flashes of greatness, but not to the level of MJ. Besides, I don’t think MJ ever had a 6-24 FG in a closeout game. Ha.