In 2011, Kobe is still Kobe. The 25 points a game quota is fulfilled a little differently now. Comparing highlights of his 2011 season to his younger days is akin to watching an experienced Call of Duty player picking his spots since he knows the map inside and out, he relies of precision and accuracy and uses a perk (dunks) once in a while to send a message (at the all-star game and in the New Orleans series). While a younger Kobe is a gamer with the same ability, but his kills are the ones that leave the other players in awe. At the end of the game, Kobe’s kill-death ratio is promised to be near the top of the leaderboard regardless of how he gets his kills.
When evaluating Kobe’s year, consider this: he released another pair of popular shoes, retained his status as the best-selling NBA jersey globally, starred in a short film alongside Bruce Willis, surpassed several legends on the all-time scoring list and further cemented his legacy as the best two-guard of his generation.
The Basketball Gods work mystifying ways, by humanizing the players we watch 82 times a years.
Rajon Rondo can do just about anything on the court besides hit an open jumper.
Shaquille O’Neal was the most dominant big man in the league for the better half of the decade, unless you placed him at the free throw line.
Kevin Durant is the best young scorer in the league, yet he occasionally vanishes in the fourth quarter, deferring to Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
And then we have Kobe Bean Bryant. The Basketball Gods have been good to Bryant, blessing him with 15 excellent years of basketball at the highest level.
But Kobe Bryant wanted to do more than just win, he wanted to win on his own terms. And that is his one and only downfall. When the Lakers completely revolved around him for three and a half years, he discovered it was basketball purgatory. By getting what he always wanted ,when Shaq was traded, Kobe had to learn that like everybody else he couldn’t win on his own.
Drake’s new single is titled Dreams Money Can Buy, unfortunately Kobe will never be able to purchase the prime of his career back no matter how fat his contract is.
From the moment Shaquille O’Neal was jettisoned to Miami, to when Pau Gasol landed in the Lakers’ lap; those were truly the wasted years of your life Mr. Bryant.