NBA fans have a reason to despise Kobe Bryant, since he did many questionable things during his early years in the NBA. Bryant was very arrogant and he believed the team would be best if the offense played through him. The term “selfish” has been associated with Kobe for several years, and it was adopted during the early years of the 2000s. “He wasn’t always the most lovable guy. Sekou Smith said of NBA.com. “When he was younger, he was brash and turned off as many people as he did people that instantly became his disciples.”
Kobe had as many supporters as he did haters, but it did not seem to bother the jocular young teenager. This type of public perception was very common, and it happened to players like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Despite the fact that these players had amazing careers, they were hated by opposing teams and fans. However, in the summer of 2003 Kobe Bryant reached the nadir of his career.
Bryant had been accused of sexual assault, and was put to trial for the nefarious act. Bryant had admitted to conducting adultery, but he pleaded not-guilty to raping a 19-year old woman. This topic is a very sensitive issue and is something many Lakers fans try to ignore. Although the charges were dropped, the events that took place in Eagle, Colo. ruined Kobe Bryant’s reputation.
After the trials concluded, the Los Angeles Lakers’ team was slowly falling apart. Despite their three NBA championships, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal began to fight over the spotlight in Los Angeles. In the summer of 2004 Bryant’s image took another blow when he was suspected of forcing the Lakers to trade Shaquille O’Neal.
In the middle years of decade, Bryant became the face of the Los Angeles Lakers; but this time he was the only star on the team. Although Kobe was an offensive juggernaut, the fans were not willing to forgive him. Kobe was by far the best player in the league, but his previous actions made him lose his supporters and his sponsorships. Kobe dropped nearly 35 points per game, but no one wanted to praise the young man.
That type of animosity for Kobe was completely unfair and the world had to acknowledge the fact that he was putting up numbers that no other player had ever put up before. Many haters say they will never root for Kobe because of his selfish attitude. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was arrested after driving under the influence of drugs, but he is still regarded as the greatest center to every play the game. Michael Jordan was plagued with the word “selfish” for a few years of his career and he had admitted to being addicted to gambling.
If those great superstars were able to deal with controversy in their careers, but had been forgiven, why can’t the world do the same with Kobe Bryant? Every person deserves a second chance and so does Kobe.