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

On Rings:

If you are telling me Kobe is better than Wade for “the rings” cliche, you’d better be ready to say Robert Horry is better than Karl Malone or Charles Barkley for the same reason.

Why do the haters always bring up Robert Horry when you bring up rings? It’s seriously always Robert Horry. “OH, KOBE HAS RINGS? SO USING YOUR LOGIC, ROBERT HORRY IS BETTER THAN KOBE AND JORDAN, RIGHT, RIGHT?”

Charles Joel, the author of this article, it says on his profile that he is an educator. I guess this explains America’s tumble down Marc Stein’s Education Power Rankings.

Let me say this in simple terms: nobody is saying Robert Horry is better than Karl Malone or Charles Barkley. Nobody is saying Adam Morrison is better than LeBron James because he has a ring. (Although, that does make me chuckle). I don’t need rings to see Charles Barkley was better than Robert Horry. That’s not the argument Lakers fans are invoking with the “rings” argument.

However, when you’re discussing elite players—and I’m talking the elite of the elite—then yes, rings come into play. They’re not a trump card by any means—but you’re going to tell me, Kobe Bryant’s five rings mean nothing when comparing his career with Wade’s? The fact that he was the alpha dog on two (and this number will be changing in June) championship squads means nothing? I’m just supposed to ignore Kobe’s fistful of ice? Why?

The Intangibles

I have to admit: since the Jordan tongue, Kobe’s scowl leads the league in symbolism. Unfortunately, this utterly subjective desire hogwash needs to be thrown out of these discussions as well. Simply put, it’s unquantifiable and based wholly on speculation.

I re-read these three sentences and have no idea what in the hell is going on here. What’s being speculated on again? I’m lost.

Why should we assume that one player’s emotional displays (or histrionics) amount to anything more than a personality characteristic? Why does Kobe want it more than Tim Duncan? And further, who wants it more than Kevin Garnett?

Well, we don’t have to assume anything about Kobe Bryant’s drive. His teammates and coaches, from pretty much every single level he’s ever played on have all said: nobody works harder than Kobe Bryant.

You realize, the legendary Jerry West, (another Top 10 Guard, by the way) needed to only watch Kobe Bryant work out for fifteen minutes before deciding: he was the Lakers’ future.

Go pick up Chris Ballard’s book, The Beautiful Game. The first chapter is dedicated to Kobe Bryant and his legendary fire. For any Lakers fan—the chapter alone is worth the price of admission.

Next: The ill-conceived numbers game
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