Kobe Bryant: The Last of a Dying Breed

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“All of these rappers today are too friendly with each other. Their like the new basketball players. Lets keep it competitive ”

Styles P

It seems that the art of competition is slowly becoming a lost cause within music, the entertainment world, and the sporting world of today. Gone are the days where individuals were drawing their swords for possible duels or willing to back up their statements of being the best at their craft. Today’s world of competitors seem to be more friendlier and within the sporting world its starting to become more of a disturbing trend.

Athletes are now more sharing tweets with one another, hanging out with each other, taking twit pics and being buddy buddy with each other nowadays. I’m not an advocate for haterism but it seems that the competition factor among today’s world among sports is becoming extinct

The NBA is the obvious victim to this as over the years we’ve seen alot of these young players act more like BFF’s instead of competitors. Most of the NBA players today are more concerned with getting a fat contract, millions in the bank, cars in the garage and tricking on some of the most gorgeous women. The athletes of today don’t showcase that serious hunger that the guys whom debuted in the league in the 70s, 80s and mid 90s once did. The league is becoming more of a social network gathering and less about hard-nosed competition of who’s the best ball player and whose the best team. Whatever you love him or hate him, You can’t deny the fact that Kobe Bryant is one of the last competitors whom is left in todays NBA. Personal feelings about his character aside, Kobe Bryant is a draw and one of the reasons why NBA is hanging on to his competitive edge.

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What people have to realize is that Kobe came into the league in during a era where it was at it most toughest. The rivalries between The Bulls/Knicks Spurs/Rockets, Heat/Knicks, Bulls/Pacers and so on were at their most intense and all of the teams were playing flat-out raw bad ass basketball. Trash talking was a heavy part of the game, Foul calls were scarce in between and it was basically a league full of sharks. For Kobe, A kid coming directly from high school into that type of atmosphere knew that he had to showcase alot of mental and physical toughness. He came into the league with the right teachers and team, Phil Jackson also took the time to really teach Kobe how to tailor his game into different levels. He was a good basketball player. But with Jackson’s tutoring, He became a much better greater player over the years.

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The Shaq Kobe Era

Never to focus on the glam-our life of the NBA like many rookies, Kobe was a different prospect. He wanted to be the best even if it meant roughing feathers but he knew that he had to let his ego take a backseat and play Robin while Shaq played Batman. The two didn’t really like each other either. Shaq was more of the fun, loving, out going personality whereas Kobe was more of the anti social, kept to himself type. Even if they didn’t mesh together on a personal level, The two under the guidance of Phil Jackson developed a winning chemistry which led to the Lakers winning three straight championships. They redefined and built a dynasty under Jackson’s vision.

But shortly turmoil would rear its ugly head which lead to the fall of the dynasty shortly thereafter: Ego clashes, Injuries and the embarrassing defeat to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA finals would mark the end of an era and further drive a wedge into Kobe and Shaq’s already estranged relationship. Kobe himself would go through his roughest years while Shaq left LA for South Beach and won a NBA title with the Miami Heat. Between Rape Cases, Phil Jackson’s Departure, The key elements of the Laker dynasty leaving, and a possible Divorce. Kobe was on the verge of joining most athletes before him by letting their personal problems destroy their careers. Trials and Tribulation have destroyed many careers but for Kobe, It did nothing but reignite his will to prove his critics wrong and prove that he can win without Shaq.

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A shot at redemption

After beating the Rape Case, Kobe was still the most vilified athlete in the NBA. He had already had a bad reputation due to his attitude and ego. This fueled more into the fire for former teammates, critics and even rappers(Nas) to sink their teeth into. Kobe was basically what Lebron James was in 2010 but on a different scale, The only difference here is that he embraced the hatred and it made him even more eager to prove himself.

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He wanted to be known as Kobe and not a Jordan rip off. He had stopped emulating Jordan and now wanted to surpass him. He changed his number from number 8 to number 24 further giving the perception to the public that Kobe is basically stating that he’s better than Jordan by picking a number greater than his 23. With Phil Jackson returning and them building a team full of younger talent. The Lakers would reach the finals 3 times with them winning two out of three titles. After suffering a humiliating defeat to the Boston Celtics in 2008, Kobe came back more relentless than ever with the Lakers defeating The Orlando Magic and getting his revenge on the Boston Celtics a year later proving that not only can he win it without Shaq but he also showed that he was ready to lead and not letting adversities come in his way of winning.

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Regardless of your personal feelings about him, As a Basketball fan, You have to respect about Kobe’s game is that when its game time, It’s a battle. He isn’t the type of player thats gonna shake your hand, congratulate you on hitting a shot, or even show you respect. He plays the game like there isn’t no friends and for 48 minutes he’s gonna give you everything he truly has.

If it isn’t talking trash, fighting or yelling at his teammates or even taking the clip board and showcasing direction when the team is facing a crisis. There aren’t many players in today’s NBA that are willing to go that far to win a game. Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant are the last of a dying breed of players who came from that era where it was either balls out or go home. Once these guys retire then I feel that the competitiveness within the NBA will truly be gone for good.

Vic Da Ruler

About Vic Da Rula

What more can I say? I enjoy Hip Hop, Sports, and living the good life! var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname = "Escobar300(Covering Hip Hop Culture, Sports, and Events)"; a2a_config.linkurl = "https://escobar300.wordpress.com/";
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