Individually, Kobe’s greatness can’t be denied, although some still try to do just that. The 7th all-time leading scorer has 5 championships, an 81-point game, an MVP, two Finals MVPs, and numerous other accolades. Many players would be content with all of this success, but not Kobe as he still has the same competitive fire that he has had since day one. This will to be the best is why Kobe is head and shoulders better than everyone else and is quickly ascending in the short list of NBA legends.
Bryant is one of the few superstars in the game who will do whatever it takes to win, if the Lakers need an incredible game winner he’ll do it, if they need a defensive stop he will do it, if there is a loose ball to be had he will be the first to the floor. This kind of effort and willingness to risk his body wins championships and also sets the tone for role players to do the same.
We have seen it time and time again, whether Kobe is on top of the basketball world or suffers defeat, he always does what it takes to take himself and his team back to elite status. Bryant’s determination, not athleticism, is the major reason that he has outlasted the players he rivaled in the early part of the decade and it is also the reason why he will outlast several of the players of this generation.
So while many basketball fans are captivated by the athleticism of LeBron, the dunks from Blake Griffin or the speed of Derrick Rose, they should also make note not to bet against that old man from Los Angeles in June.