From the day he decided to skip college and make the leap to the NBA to his trade demands following the 2007 NBA Playoffs, a great deal of controversy and criticism has surrounded Kobe throughout his career. Heightened in 2004 during his sexual assault allegations, Kobe Bryant has been one of the most scrutinized athletes of the last decade.
He’s been called a bad leader; a ball hog; a cancer to his team. There’s no doubt Kobe suffered from an immature personality for the first half of his career. However, in 2008, when everything truly came full circle for him, he didn’t have to put his finger to his lips to silence the haters, his play and matured mentality did it for him.
Although the silencing gesture Kobe has often made throughout his career represents a period of his career where he was still finding himself as a basketball player. While that may not capture the highest moment in his career, it represents how much Kobe has overcome in his 14 years as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shout out to Vincent Dunn for suggesting this idea on the Lakers Nation’s Facebook page!
Next: No. 4 – Game Seven