The House That Kobe Built is Stronger than Ever

June 17, 2008.

Already I think I’ve lost a few readers. How dare I bring up the single most forgetful day in recent Lakers memory? In retrospect, was it really that bad? Okay, so maybe it was. But shouldn’t the Lakers winning back-to-back championships allow fans to move on from their 2008 finals defeat?

Well, it’s all a matter of perspective. To some the 39-point loss to the Boston Celtics in the finals stands as a blemish in the Lakers franchise’s long and illustrious history. In many ways that statement is accurate, but what if I told you that loss had to happen in order for the Lakers to come together and win titles No. 15 and 16? Imagine if the Lakers had won the finals in 2008. Would they have tried just as hard to win the following year even after Andrew Bynum went down with a knee injury? Would they have mustered up enough tenacity to overcome a 13-point deficit to the Celtics and win in 2010?

There’s something about that date that sticks out, and it isn’t just the mental picture of the Lakers walking off the court as green confetti trickled down from the beams overhead. That’s the day that Kobe Bryant the player became Kobe Bryant the leader.

He didn’t make his way off the court and refuse to talk to the media. He didn’t run into the tunnel and remove his jersey to symbolically separate himself from the team. He did none of that.

Instead Bryant opted to face the media, albeit frustrated and disheartened, to say things like, “once you go through your ups and downs, struggle a little bit, taste defeat…it makes you stronger,” and, “we can’t expect to win a championship by focusing on the offensive end,” and “we have to continue to work…understand that [the finals aren’t] guaranteed to anybody.”

Next: Bryant leads the way using lessons learned in 2008

You May Also Like

LeBron James Stresses Need To ‘Appreciate’ Positive & Negative Moments In Reflecting On Year Passing Since Being Told To ‘Shut Up And Dribble’

While LeBron James has been in the public spotlight since high school, it intensified and stretched into the political realm one…

Lakers News: LeBron James Believes Russell Westbrook ‘Was In The Right,’ Commends Jazz For Banning Fan

The NBA world was abuzz Monday night as video of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook engaging in a…

Lakers News: Frank Vogel Believes He Has LeBron James’ Support, Respect Heading Into 2019-20 NBA Season

There were a lot of names being thrown around as potential candidates to be the next Los Angeles Lakers head coach but…

Executive VP Jim Buss Talks About New CBA Impact on Lakers

Over the past few years, Los Angeles Lakers Executive Vice President Jim…