9 – Kobe’s not a good teammate. Call it the Emo era or the Glee-ification of America, all of the sudden we now expect our superstars to lead their respective teams with a sensitive touch, always nice, always having fun and always liked by everyone in the organization.
Oh and they also have to cure cancer, be wildly funny (but in a I’m-not-trying-to-be-funny-that’s-just-how-I-am way), throw birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese, and let their teammates win at beer pong.
Kobe’s not that guy. Ric Bucher said it best on a podcast I heard last season; Kobe doesn’t want to be your friend. He’s confident enough as a leader to get past all of that and pursue the real goal: Championships.
You won’t see him lead in any choreographed pre-game rituals or take the fellas out bowling. What you will get is an old-school, 80’s type of leader; an alpha dog who expects the same mental and physical effort that he brings daily.
His teammates might not adore him like LeBron or Nash, but they respect him. And really that’s all you need as a leader of the franchise…respect.