Standing Up for Kobe: Cooling Off Yahoo’s Over-Heated Miami Fan


On Rings:

If you are telling me Kobe is better than Wade for “the rings” cliche, you’d better be ready to say Robert Horry is better than Karl Malone or Charles Barkley for the same reason.

Why do the haters always bring up Robert Horry when you bring up rings? It’s seriously always Robert Horry. “OH, KOBE HAS RINGS? SO USING YOUR LOGIC, ROBERT HORRY IS BETTER THAN KOBE AND JORDAN, RIGHT, RIGHT?”

Charles Joel, the author of this article, it says on his profile that he is an educator. I guess this explains America’s tumble down Marc Stein’s Education Power Rankings.

Let me say this in simple terms: nobody is saying Robert Horry is better than Karl Malone or Charles Barkley. Nobody is saying Adam Morrison is better than LeBron James because he has a ring. (Although, that does make me chuckle). I don’t need rings to see Charles Barkley was better than Robert Horry. That’s not the argument Lakers fans are invoking with the “rings” argument.

However, when you’re discussing elite players—and I’m talking the elite of the elite—then yes, rings come into play. They’re not a trump card by any means—but you’re going to tell me, Kobe Bryant’s five rings mean nothing when comparing his career with Wade’s? The fact that he was the alpha dog on two (and this number will be changing in June) championship squads means nothing? I’m just supposed to ignore Kobe’s fistful of ice? Why?

The Intangibles

I have to admit: since the Jordan tongue, Kobe’s scowl leads the league in symbolism. Unfortunately, this utterly subjective desire hogwash needs to be thrown out of these discussions as well. Simply put, it’s unquantifiable and based wholly on speculation.

I re-read these three sentences and have no idea what in the hell is going on here. What’s being speculated on again? I’m lost.

Why should we assume that one player’s emotional displays (or histrionics) amount to anything more than a personality characteristic? Why does Kobe want it more than Tim Duncan? And further, who wants it more than Kevin Garnett?

Well, we don’t have to assume anything about Kobe Bryant’s drive. His teammates and coaches, from pretty much every single level he’s ever played on have all said: nobody works harder than Kobe Bryant.

You realize, the legendary Jerry West, (another Top 10 Guard, by the way) needed to only watch Kobe Bryant work out for fifteen minutes before deciding: he was the Lakers’ future.

Go pick up Chris Ballard’s book, The Beautiful Game. The first chapter is dedicated to Kobe Bryant and his legendary fire. For any Lakers fan—the chapter alone is worth the price of admission.

Next: The ill-conceived numbers game
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Alrighty, first let me say that you answered his garbage – thinly disguised as poetry due to a use of big words – with fact. I enjoy that. It’s easy to spin a yarn and tell a great bedtime story for the children of South Beach. It’s another to back it all up with fact.

Speaking of fact, I’d like to point out that it took a former Laker head coach stealing another man’s job for Wade to get his ring. However most of my commentary to your article is going to focus on one thing, the Olympics.

At the beginning of the Games commentators and sports pundits pointed out things such as “Isn’t Kobe giving away his secret? These guys are gonna see what makes him Kobe, they’re gonna see how hard he works and they’ll emulate that work ethic.” Before Chuck could choke on a donut from the thought I was screaming “bullshit!” for one reason, just because they’ve seen it doesn’t mean they can do it. When you talk about Kobe’s need to win it’s like he’s affected, like it’s the driving force for the very fiber of his being. This isn’t the even the main point to be made here.

Coach K took stock of his Olympic team and saw that he was SO saturated on offense he needed to focus on defense, he chose to use Kobe as the NBA All Defensive Team member he’d been named to 6 times at that point in his career. He CHOSE to have Dwayne Wade shoot the ball, and keep Kobe on defense.

Coach Krzyzewski had the ultimate hypothetical situation of this era of the NBA come true in front of him in the final minutes of that gold medal game. He needed one man to dominate the game, he had Lebron, he had Wade, and he had Kobe. In Coach K’s OWN WORDS after the game, in that pivotal time out against Spain he looked at Kobe and simply said “Do your thing.”

There is no argument here, that moment says everything. People had been theorizing since the draft class of 2003 landed the concept of “You’re a coach, you’ve got these two kids and that guy….which one takes the last shot?” He decided for us. End of argument.

  • I love Austen’s response almost as much as this article.

    Good job knocking this out. PER has its place, for offense only. And I’d expect Kobe to take more shots. Seriously, how many shots have Kwame and Smush taken since playing with the Black Mamba? The only way that team makes the playoffs is Kobe leading the offense.

    Charlie forgot one other small factoid: MVP: Kobe 1, D-Wade 0.

    Other fun fact: People rag on Kobe only being able to win the first 3 with Shaq. D-Wade hasn’t moved anywhere in the playoffs since Shaq.

  • This is one the best response I have read. That includes the comment from Austen. I am sick of the so called “columnist” bringing up stats to back their theory. Will they ever learn that using stat to back your theory only applies in fantasy sports? and last time I checked we aren’t talking about fantasy sports.

    Anyways, to reiterate what Byrnes said – there is no comparison between Kobe and Wade. I think Wade is a phenomenal player, I really like his play but Kobe is just another in dimension. He is just in another level Wade may or may not be by the end of his career.
    The only comparison right now is they both are shooting guards. and Yes Wade is no Kobe Bryant.

  • What an excellent article/rebuttal! I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought you did a fantastic job of taking that writer to task. Whenever I try to argue for Kobe, people invariably bring up stats/Shaq/Phil Jackson and it drives me crazy. Like you said, basketball is so much more than stats. Plus every successful championship team had at least one other star and/or amazing coach to help them along. The Olympics argument is one of my favorites, I remember watching that game and loved how the entire team deferred to Kobe in the closing minutes…as it should be. While his talent is otherworldly, it is his drive and knowledge that truly sets him apart. Again, fantastic article =)

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