On Tuesday night, Kobe Bryant dominated the headlines heading into his 19th NBA season with Dwight Howard’s Houston Rockets coming to town. Even though most people were anxious to see what Kobe could do after missing almost a full season due to an torn Achilles tendon and fractured knee, a recent ESPN article that was highly critical of the superstar remained a hot topic of discussion.
In a recent article by ESPN’s Henry Abbott, Kobe was ripped by unnamed sources for being the main reason for the team’s struggles to rebuild with big-name free agents. Although Kobe didn’t pay much attention to the article, the veteran guard had to field more questions about the subject.
Before taking on the Rockets on Tuesday, Kobe had to address the issue once again with Rachel Nichols. Bryant made an interesting statement after being asked about the accusations made in the article:
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 29, 2014
There’s not much else Kobe could say to discredit this article. His resume does speak for itself. Bryant’s presence has made the Lakers a competitive team for over a decade, period.
Even Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have come out to dismiss the article that claims no big-name free agent want to come to Los Angeles because of Kobe. Anthony went as far as to say, “I would always love to play with Kobe.” George dismissed the notion that he didn’t sign with the Lakers because of Kobe by taking to Twitter.
With the 2014-15 NBA season now underway, the negative attention Bryant is receiving from the Abbott article could begin to take a backseat. Kobe can help prove his doubters wrong by producing on the floor while being the role model needed to develop young players like Jeremy Lin, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.
It could be arguably the toughest season yet for an aging Bryant, but he’s benefited from embracing challenges in the past and will try to do so once again with the end of his career drawing near.
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