Thank You

Kurt —  March 11, 2008

If you hadn’t already noticed, today is Kobe Bryant Blogging day, a day where bloggers around the Web pay homage to the good things about Kobe. Hardwood Paroxysm put this together and if you head on over there is a list of all the posts already up, some great stuff.

Frankly, this left me in a quandary — virtually every day around here is Kobe Bryant Day. We’ve talked and marveled at 81. We’ve broken down his game — his amazing ability to do everything well, go left or right off the dribble, pull up or drive to the basket. As Bruce Bowen put it, Kobe has no tendencies to play on. Plus, when he can focus on it, he is one of the game’s best on-ball defenders.

We’ve done everything but talk about that questionable (at best) jacket he wore after his first Lakers title. What was left to say?

Thank You.

Thank you for the years of entertainment and excitement for us Laker fans. Thank you for the high-level of effort and the obvious love of the game that shines through.

Sometimes I think we take you for granted. We see the pull-up three over a defender so often we don’t think twice about it. Then we watch a game on League Pass and listen to other announcers and as they marvel at that shot we forget how uncommon it is that someone can do it consistently. We take for granted the passion and love you bring to the game, then we watch another NBA game from a midwestern city between two average teams and see listless, uninspired play and effort.

Kobe, his credit, is not wired that way. While is passion for the game and drive to win has driven us fans to frustration at times, we forget what a pleasure it is to see that night in night out. How amazing it is to have a player that still, after all these years, does something every game that makes my jaw hit the floor like I’m in some Tex Avery cartoon.

So, Kobe, thank you. Thank you for everything.

Kurt

Posts

29 responses to Thank You

  1. Sentiment vigorously seconded.

    – 5 -

  2. Hear, Hear!

    As Laker fans, Kobe is our guy. I mentioned this the other day, but, through all the good and the bad, the winning and the losing, the bitching and the celebrating, the questionable shots and the highlight reel plays, he is our guy. The most polarizing hoops player alive has captivated us through all the ups and downs and is still going strong. Long live Bean.

  3. Man, there will never be a player like Kobe. I’m happy to have seen his whole career, and can’t wait for what is next.

    Here is a link I saw with lots of great Chick calls, including the Kobe to Shaq alley-oop versus Portland.
    http://www.estnyboer.com/chick/

  4. Probably because I’m bit too young at 25 and didn’t really follow basketball during the Magic/Bird/MJ eras (I know!), but Kobe has been (and probably will be) my favorite player of all time. There is nothing that this guy can’t do on a basketball court. He has the heart of a champion. Thanks to him and Shaq (and 11 SoCal-bred housemates in college), I’m now a [diehard] basketball fan.

    Kobe, thank you for everything.

    P.S. Please stay a Laker for your whole career! (I know it’s out of his control to some extent, but here’s for wishful thinking)

  5. I am pretty sure that pic is from the second title i think it even says back to back on it

  6. Kobe Bean Bryant is the main reason I’m still watching the NBA. Though I didn’t like him at all in his first years. I love what he’s become.

    GO KOBE!

  7. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to watch Kobe day in and day out. I hadn’t really thought about it in this context but like KurkPeterman I can’t imagine anyone else ever usurping Kobe’s position as my all-time favorite player. In many ways he’s made me the basketball fan I am.

    Kurt, minor thing, but the sentence “Then we watch a game on League Pass and listen to other announcers and as they marvel at that shot we forget how uncommon it is that someone can do it consistently.” Shouldn’t that be “we remember how uncommon….?”

  8. This LIttle Pinky March 11, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Kobe is really taken for granted.

    But I think time and history will be good to him.

    Just last night, I watched video of his 50 pt game against the Suns in the Playoffs two years ago. Yes the Lakers lost, but I was even more amazed at Kobe’s performance. He was making shots no one has any business taking, let alone making.

    Sometimes it’s hard to see what a great thing is in front of your very eyes.

    Spencer Haywood said it best about Kobe: “They’ll learn one of these days that he’s the man.”

    We already know that in Los Angeles. The rest of the country is just starting to catch up.

  9. last paragraph: is = his, just helping out Kurt, well put though, always a pleasure to stop by and read about the greatest.

  10. Question for all: When was the first time Kobe made you realize he would be one of the greats?

    Mine had to be the first title run. He sprained his ankle, couldn’t play in game 3. In game 4 he came back (defintley still hurt) and after Shaq fouled out he took over the overtime with some key plays.

  11. Kobe plays with style and grace that is unmatched in the NBA today. He is truly the heir to MJ, a cold-blooded killer that’s just better than you are. I am not too young to have missed Magic, MJ, Bird, Kareem, Dr J, and all the rest since, but there is something otherworldly about Kobe. He is the evolution of basketball embodied. LeBron has the chance to join him. But only if he collects rings.

  12. http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/polling?event_id=3372

    Dwane wade the best 2 guard shot blocker ever? No, these polls are not scientific. =)

  13. Right now Kobe is ranked #2 all time just behind a certain Mr. Jordan by 20 ESPN experts. My question to you all.

    What would it take for Kobe to be the greatest shooting guard ever? Passing Jordan’s title count would be a start.

  14. Let’s all just savor Kobe while he’s here.

    He’s already chiseled himself a place on the Mount Rushmore of basketball legends, and his career isn’t done yet.

    As Kurt says, he does something incredible every single game.

    And he’s done it all in the purple and gold.

    Thank you, Kobe. Keep on keeping on.

  15. Kobe hate is multi layered, A lot of people hate his good fortune, hate that he appears to have it all, hate that he plays for the Lakers (whom every other team’s fan hates), hate that he does not appear to be content, hate that he wants more, hate that he is so driven and will not relent.

    He has been labeled arrogant, cold blooded, calculating and how do they know this? 98% of the people with an opinion on Kobe do not know him and have never met him. They only know, what they think they know, from secondhand information.

    Every story needs a villain but it does not have to Kobe, the reason Kobe hate is so strong is that for a long time the haters were the only voices being heard, despite the fact that Kobe has been the biggest draw on the road in the NBA for years, moves the most merchandise, is routinely top 5 in All Star voting, there is an army out there telling you that so and so player is a bigger star, is more popular, has more fans etcetera, but it is all hot air. Sometimes if you come across a site with information you feel is false then you have to make the time to stop and correct that impression, it is important that you are heard just like the other guys.

    A chronicle of the odyssey into Kobe hate would have to start where it all began, in his trade from Charlotte to Los Angeles; some people never forgave him right from the very beginning. Ever since his yoke has been to be constantly compared to whomever else was the flavor of the month at the time, It’s been Kobe v Mcgrady, Kobe v Vinsanity, Kobe v Wade, Kobe v Lebron. From about 2000, if you had any kind of a dominant season you were automatically better than Kobe, when old standbys proved unworthy of serious consideration, there was the old reliable “he ain’t no Jordan” to fall back on. Kobe has seen many a challenger rise and ultimately fall, like Obi Wan this Jedi will eventually face a Darth Knight with more skill but until that day comes, HE REIGNS SUPREME.

  16. Travis Y., I don’t know if that’s ever gonna happen. Jordan has a much better shooting percentage. A lot of Kobe’s rate stats are held back by his 2 development years. Jordan has the MVP’s, the defensive player of the year, the scoring titles, the championships. Jordan was the de facto best player in the league for like, a decade, by pretty much any statistical (and reputational, if that matters) measure. For example, Kobe’s never led the league in PER. Jordan led it for 7 straight years. Comparing Jordan to Kobe, I’d take Jordan no contest. No disrespect to Kobe, of course.

  17. I love Kobe and am a die-hard laker fan but as far as public perception he will never be able to overtake Jordan as the best shooting guard ever i believe he is closer than people think but he doesn’t transcend the game like Jordan did and still does. So in my opinion i guess Travis Y. it is impossible for the masses to ever put him ahead of Jordan but I believe that us truly in the know about basketball would say he is not very far of at all and simply needs to continue to play at his elite, best in the world level and for us he just might surpass him. As a laker fan winning a few more championships wouldn’t hurt :) I think we all agree on that.

  18. Great article by Kurt’s friend KD:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/nba_experts/post/Why-Kobe-is-right-there-with-Wilt;_ylt=Al_d6qZrqeD7QnIvAE6tBHm8vLYF?urn=nba,71053

    While KD argues that Kobe took mostly jumpers, he did have quite a few layups and dunks.

  19. Warren Wee Lim March 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Kobe is a paradox. But to those that have followed him uncontentiously and loved him unconditionally, he is the unpopular “achilles” of the Greek army. Agamemnon never liked him, for he lived for the glory that was his only to define. He was uncontrollable, but somehow deep within you knew – you’ll never win the battle for Troy without him. He fought many Hectors in his lifetime. The seemingly better guys so to speak. But in his odyssey alongside arguable the greatest basketball mind, you cannot help but marvel at the glory that awaits them in the pantheon of greatness. And it shall echo throughout the ages.. And it shall be remembered for a thousand years.

  20. Why does Wilt’s greatness, or Michael Jordan’s for that matter, have anything to do with enjoying the magic that is Kobe Bryant today?

    Let comparisons be made after all the concerned parties have retired. By then people will be watching a new prodigy and how Kobe played will be fading from all but us oldsters memories – just like Wilt’s play has faded from the scene and Michael Jordan’s play is starting to fade today.

    For now I will be content to wonder at the talent that is Kobe Bean Bryant and be eternally grateful that I live in a city that broadcasts each and every one of his games.

  21. I’m only going to say this: Kobe Bryant ruined non-Lakers basketball for me. Seriously. I have tried (especially in the post-threepeat years) to follow other teams just for the heck of it but I really can’t. No other team and no other player in the league is just as entertaining, as dynamic, as inspiring to watch as Kobe. Nobody can make me jump out of my seat or scream at my TV like he has. All other ballers pale in comparison. There will never be anyone else like that for me or for many other fans of basketball out there.

  22. Effort. Heart. Dedication.

    Indomitable Will.

    That is how every professional athlete should be valued.

    I value Kobe Bryant.

  23. Love the jacket. Love it. Perhaps we’ll see it again?

  24. Not Charlie Rosen March 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    I had no idea George’s son was so accomplished. He looks so young!

    Seriously, I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’ve read too much Kobe/Laker love online today. Maybe it’s because we lost Sunday (always awkward to read heaps of praise after a nasty-tasting loss). I probably should’ve just bookmarked it all and read a few a day, especially after another KD “LeBron for Stern’s adopted son–er, MVP” post.

  25. Fun stuff, Achilles comparison was interesting, Agamemnon is Shaq and Ulysses is PJ? hah. Hector and Paris and the girl, forgot her name, could be Duncan, Parker and Eva.

    Although for many of you, you’d probably like to be the ‘Trojans’ here… unless you’re Bruins fans…

    As for me… go Bears!

  26. The first time I really realized that Kobe would not only be a hall of fame player, but one of the greatest ever was during the 2001 playoffs. He absolutely destroyed the Kings and the Spurs during that playoffs. It even prompted Shaq to call him the best player in the game during the Spurs series.

  27. A-Hole Carolla March 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I could’ve sworn that jacket was from the third title. Shaq wore one too. Definitely not from the first championship though.

    Attrocious.

    I hope Kobe’s a Laker for another ten years or so.

  28. I believe the jacket was from the second title. If you look closely at it, you can see the last half of “back to back” on it.

    For the third, they wore this jacket, which says “Three-peat”:

    http://sportsmed.starwave.com/media/nba/2002/0612/photo/a_kobe_shaq_i.jpg

  29. A-Hole Carolla March 12, 2008 at 8:38 am

    28. Oh God you’re right. I thought the jacket previous was the one that made my eyes explode.

    I couldn’t fathom there was another level of gaudy to rise to from there.