The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off an impressive second half comeback Sunday night and were able to knock off the Indiana Pacers in front of the Staples Center crowd. Kobe Bryant hit the game-winning shot with only seconds remaining and the Lakers held onto an 88-87 victory after getting a crucial defensive stop.
Bryant has made timely plays throughout his entire career and his ability to remain calm under pressure has helped him win five NBA championships. Over the years, Kobe has been criticized for his aggressive style of leading and many believe that is the reason why Dwight Howard decided to leave the team.
However, Bryant told the media after the win over the Pacers that those who accept his leadership style will be rewarded with the ultimate prize, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
Kobe on his dictator style of leadership: “If it breaks you, then you don’t belong here; if it doesn’t, then you’ll win championships.”
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 5, 2015
There is no doubt that Kobe puts a lot of pressure on those around him, but knowing how competitive the guard is, that should come to no one as a surprise. Bryant understands what it takes to win multiple championships and his teammates must realize that he is preparing them for a long playoff run.
Some players do not respond well to criticism and take some of the comments Bryant makes too much to heart. Howard never really felt at home in Los Angeles and it was clear that he did not like the way Kobe treated him on the court. Nevertheless, it is interesting to think about just how successful the Lakers would have been if Howard was able to truly accept Kobe as the leader of the team.[divide]
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