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

And there, Charles, is where you find the difference between Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Kobe isn’t better because he has rings—it’s because he understands what it takes to be a champion. Remember when the Heat had their little tear where they beat up on the Lakers and some sub-500 teams? Dwyane Wade said (and I’m paraphrasing here) the “Heat were where they needed to be to win a championship, it’s just about staying there.” Just two months later, how preposterous does that sound?

Kobe Bryant isn’t better because he wants it more than Dwyane Wade. Kobe Bryant is better than Dwyane Wade because Kobe simply refuses to accept anything less than what he can be on the basketball court. It’s what Kobe’s drive has brought him that makes truly great. It’s why he took a broke jump shot (which was worse than Wade’s) and turned it into a reliable stroke, while Wade just keeps jacking dumb, contested threes. It’s why he’s wrung every last ounce of potential out of his wiry frame.

Watch Dwyane Wade when LeBron is working without the ball. He’s just standing there in the corner, like a wrestler on a tag-team waiting to be tagged into the game. Then go watch Kobe Bryant—he’s a coach on the floor—yelling out commands, positioning his troops, and making hand gestures. His hours of film training and studying the game have led Tex Winter (you’ll probably need to Google him, Charles) saying he’d never met any player with such a deep understanding of the game.

This isn’t even touching the defensive end, where Dwyane Wade isn’t even allowed to stand in Kobe’s shadow.

Wade can run, jump, and shoot much like Kobe can. If you think the game of basketball and a player’s contributions can all be boiled down into simple statistics and those statistics give you the entire picture, then yes, you might believe Dwyane Wade out-performed Kobe Bryant in the playoffs. You might also think he’s had a better career.

Those of us who watch basketball and appreciate it for the art it is truly know: Kobe Bryant is superior to Dwyane Wade.

(Except PER. Dwyane Wade will always have the PER chart over Kobe’s head and I’m sure it will be the biggest regret of Kobe’s Hall of Fame career).

– Follow me on Twitter: @djbrnz

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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