(This is an excerpt from my latest post on the best Lakers blog out there, Silver Screen and Roll. Check it out!)
There isn't a Lakers topic more difficult to write about than Kobe Bryant.
His depth both as a player and a person is far more vast than any one
post or discussion could adequately cover. On the court, he's so far
entrenched in a team's offense and defense in that it's extremely
difficult to assess just how positively or negatively he affects a
team's performance. No matter what type of negative statistical spin
some writers want to assign him or how much idiomatic praise other want
to heap on him, the beauty of Kobe's game is that the best way to assess
the man is simply to watch him play basketball.
Off the court, Bryant is just a polarizing. He's one of the most
instantly recognizable figures the world over, and yet there's so much
about him shrouded in mystery. There have been hundreds of Kobe
interviews over his 16 year career and literally thousands of minutes of
on-screen airtime, and yet, we still spout responses like "It's hard to
know how Kobe will react". He's an extremely intelligent man who
perhaps by design constantly holds back something from the audience. Not
to sound too dramatic, but Kobe is both a person we know all too well
and yet not at all.
For Lakers fans, it's hard not to love Kobe despite this dichotomy.
He's played in 14 All-Star games, seven NBA Finals, won five titles and
been on the court for more minutes than just 16 men in league history.
Despite all of his experience, Kobe is still universally recognized as
the hardest working player in the NBA, never taking a night off and
playing every single game like it were the playoffs. Bryant's
"clutchness" or aptitude in taking the last shot of the game has been
much maligned as of late, but in the latest 2011-2012 NBA GM survey,
Kobe was voted the best in that situation by a landslide. Bill Simmons,
one of the most recognized and visible Lakers haters out there, has
written that Kobe is one of the top 10 players ever to live. Not that
Simmons is the end-all, be-all of deciding who is great or not, but it
certainly is telling of how the general population feels about Bryant.
On the whole, Kobe is one of the most popular entertainers on the
So why is it that Lakers Nation feels he's still one of the most hated in the game?
Read on at SS&R...