KOBE BRYANT: THE ILLEST
I’m sitting here in the aftermath of the Western Conference Finals, still speechless after witness-ing the Black Mamba in action. A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, but we’ll refer to him as #3) called me today and instructed me to remind the world what a SICK player Kobe Bryant is. #3 said: “write about Kobe dropping 30+ in the past 10 of 11 games. Tell ’em about Kobe averaging 33 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds in the series while shooting over 50%.” Those are gaudy numbers, make no mistake. But it’s not only about numbers, it’s about doin’ it when it counts. Prior to the playoffs, it seems like everyone had written off Kobe. Heck, I even awarded the NBA Title to the Cavs before the playoffs even started. Then, after Lebron took a dive, I turned to the only other superhuman in the league in Kobe. I wondered if this guy had anything left in the tank, especially since he looked so mortal, so often, during the regular season. But the truth is, as the Lakers went deeper into the playoffs, this monster got bigger. See, anyone can lead the league in scoring, or win a meaningless game in January. But not everyone can hit a buzzer beater, lead his team to significant victory after victory, time and time and time and time again. There isn’t a fan in the world that wouldn’t trade their entire franchise for this guy. And I’m not talking about the Kobe 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. I’m talking about the present, the 32 year old son of Jelly Bean Bryant who has at least 2-3 finals appearances left in him. Everyone who watches basketball should realize that we are watching the greatest player ever. When I get old and gray and have grandkids, I will be able to tell them my story, that I witnessed the greats, from Magic and Bird, to Jordan and Lebron, but I lived during the time of Kobe, assasin’ of dreams, second to nobody.