So I recently read a recent post at Ed the Sports Fan called “Kobe Doin Work.” In this post a guest blogger shows how Kobe is hungry for this current title and how Kobe has been “Doin Work” his whole career to be as successful as he is. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a Lakers fan and I am not a Kobe fan either…I’ve even tried to prove & if I ever get time will re-try to prove that he is not as great of a player that people say (I know I know…its crazy I feel like a JFK or 911 conspiracy theorist or something when I share this opinion with people). Anyway, I am going to put my un-rational personal feelings aside and try to analyze the pattern that is discussed in the Ed the Sports Fan post and share “When By Any Means Necessary Goes Wrong.”
Based on pure work ethic even a non-Kobe fan like myself can admire when a person works hard and achieves greatness but the biggest question I had when I read the post is if you hurt, dismiss, or discredit most of the people around you to achieve greatness have you really achieved anything? I get that in the pursuit of your dreams there are some that you may need to “check” as they are truly hindering you getting your dream especially when this occurs through ill measures. However, I feel that Kobe has done this on such a level that its like his achievements are tainted. And this is why at the end of the day it is hard for me to state or stomach that he is one of the greatest players of late 90s/early 00s NBA history.
For example, The Rev states:
In 2001, already one title under his belt playing along Shaq, he found himself matched up against his home team. Kobe grew up in the Philadelphia area. His father played for the Sixers. Now it was time for the city’s favorite son to do his city proud, talk about how honored he was to be back home on the game’s grandest stage, discuss his love for Philadelphia while doing all in his power to be gracious to his home town while acknowledging that he was out to beat the Sixers anyway. Instead, the first words out of Kobe’s mouth when asked about returning home for the Finals, he very coldly, very flatly said nothing other than he wanted to rip the city’s heart out.
I completely understand the need to focus and go for the win but dismissing the town that helped form if not set the foundation for you as a player (you lived there, your father developed as a player there which I’m sure he took some of that knowledge and placed it in you…) and you can’t even take a moment to say for example: I’m a Laker now and I have to focus on bringing the title home for my team but this [Philly] is where a lot of the seeds of who I am as a player were planted so thank you Philly but Go Lakers! In the words of Ed Lover, “C’mon Son!”
Moving to 2002 and the Western Conference Finals game 6 when Kobe elbowed Michael Bibby in a “drive” to the basket (watch the video of the moment here & here) to try and win the game. It is hard to be rational here because unfortunately the NBA didn’t institute instant replay for playoffs until this season and all we rationally know is that NBA refs did not call this game fairly (go here for review) but I think this is an example of Kobe doing what it takes by any means necessary to be great even if its risking a technical foul or worse the injury of one of your co-workers. Accidents do happen in sports but usually players do what they can to avoid causing serious harm to other players even when the goal is to tackle them.
When I think about Kobe and some of the actions he has taken in his career I just think about how much have you really gained in this process if you have harmed others in the process (thought to be fair Kobe isn’t the first or the last player to do so). Sure Kobe has money, fame, a few sports records and even his wife (thanks to 7 or 8 carats??) but what happens when that all goes away? Endorsements shift, Lebron or some other young buck will break your records and people leave. Was being a cold-blooded killer as the The Rev states Kobe is in the post that inspired this post the way to go? I would be really interested in getting into Kobe’s head to see if he feels any remorse for the people he has stepped on and over to be so “great.”
Were your efforts really worth it Kobe? So is Kobe an example of when by any means necessary goes wrong…what do you think? Though as I close I think, maybe I should have written the post on how do we get sports back to being about sports and not profit & fame because as I close I see more and more that Kobe could be as much of a victim as victimizer along with most of pro-sports players…but I’ll save that for another day.