Well, it's over. Lakers win #15, Phil wins #10, and Kobe Wins #4. Can't say I am surprised, the Lakers had the better team and Orlando was a team living and dying by the jumper in their first finals since Shaq was relevant in Orlando. As I watched the celebrations, I couldn't help thinking that Kobe Bryant finally got the monkey off his back of winning without Shaq. What's left for a Kobe hater to talk about? (Except his Jordan-like mannerisms, arrogance, fakeness.) I stopped long ago trying to criticize him for his game, because dude can flat out play basketball. Others kept criticizing him about making teammates better, etc. Well, what now? What are we going to pick on now? I honestly think the Lakers are going to repeat next year, and may very well, barring injury and losses to free agency, win again after that. What happens if/when Kobe gets to 6? Will we have to put him next to, or above Jordan. Is he now getting to the point of taking the crown of the best player in NBA history. These are the thoughts I mulled during the commercial break after the final buzzer. Perplexed, I turned to Twitter (@slaihingpg3blog) and posted the following question:
Quick question, help me out. Im doing a final blog wrap up, does this ring make u view Kobe or his career any differently? hurry and answer!
till a snitch, an adulterer, and a terrible rapper in my eyes.
BlackMambaSwag@slaihingPG3BLOG yea, a lil bit, just for the haters though, he just as good a player either way.
It would seem now, that Kobe is not only fighting the slightly uphill battle to get to Jordan numbers of rings, but also has the task of getting the respect he deserves from the basketball viewing public. People have long memories, and during this series it didn't take much Laker's success for the Colorado jokes and rape comments to come out. For whatever reason, people choose to hate on Kobe Bryant. It's something enjoyable, something that makes the world seem right. I doubt there is anything Kobe Bryant could ever do now to receive the love that Michael Jordan received (still receives!). And I think that's ok. Because as my co-blogger said, part of Jordan's greatness was seeing the struggle, the uphill fight to get to the top. Losing against the Pistons and Celtics all those years. Kobe Bryant came in as an undeveloped rookie and within 3 years was winning Championships (Thanks Shaq!). Where was his struggle early in his career? A p
layoff game against Utah with 3 airballs? Please. I mean real struggle. Getting swept year in and year out and taunted struggle. Michael Jordan's personal story and journey he took to get there could never be replicated by anyone, including Italian-speaking-son-of -an- NBA- player Kobe. And that's why most Jordan fans scoff at the notion that Kobe is better. Because we saw Jordan fight and claw his way, and know that Kobe hasn't seen that type of adversity. While his off court escapade in Colorado was a big deal, it was all over and settled within a year. We knew that in a fantasy matchup, the personal stores and motivation Jordan would call upon against anyone who ever lived would not be matched by any opponent. He simply worked harder.The past 7 seasons post Shaq has been the first time we have seen Kobe struggle since he got into the league, and it has been refreshing. Watching him walk away under a sea of green confetti last year and seeing him have to deal with questioning afterward is one of the highlights of any Kobe Bryant hater's memory (sidenote: Lebron, you can't run from the press after a loss. They will find you). However, after seeing the events of these finals (lower rated then last year) any true basketball fan/Kobe/Lakers Hater must ask themselves three questions: 1) Did Kobe really learn anything and buy into the team concept? 2) Will the Lakers be able to keep it together through a big free agent offseason to repeat? and 3) Now that this is over, when is the Mixtape Tour
starting? (Answer: They are having one, just not under the same name!)
Have a good summer NBA fans, and try to find something to fill your time until the preseason in October.