Friday , Jun , 20 , 2008 J.N.

Kobe’s Legacy


Kobe's Legacy
First off, congrats to the Boston Celtics for truly showing that for every “Kobe is the best player on the planet” statement that people shoot off, great defense turns that type of player into a mere mortal living in Orange County, California. And that’s where Kobe resides.

Kobe’s legacy has not been cemented yet. I have a good picture of it already since I’ve seen enough of his work. This Finals series, for me, resembles what the NY Giants did to Brady and the Patriots: Kobe and Lakers are the unstoppable offensive machines wrecking squads on their way to the title series much like how the Pats did it through their run. They made it look too easy dismantling Denver, Utah, and the defending champs San Antonio. Most picked them to win just like New England. Then what happened? Defense is what happened. Brady and Pats looked like shit. So did Kobe and Company.

I live in California so I’ve seen plenty of Laker games since 1991 to be able to have some credibility. Give Black Mamba another 5 seasons and we’ll have the complete picture on the first true successful Michael Jordan clone. Why just 5 seasons? Kobe is simply getting old in basketball years. Yeah I can’t believe it either. I first saw this skinny 18 year-young kid back in 1996 coming out of Lower Merion dribbling a basketball advertising Adidas stuff. Kobe getting old? No way! Yes, it has been that long. He’s currently going on 30 years young, but with heavy mileage on his legs. At this rate, things will start to wear down. He’s already not as explosive as the Kobe of 2 years ago. I simply do not see Kobe playing until he’s 40 years old. His legs cannot take it. Remember that Jordan took 2 retirement breaks to be able to come back and play at a high level. Kobe will not do that. He’ll just keep on playing until he hits 35 and he’s done.

A lot of fans, even me, see Kobe as this unstoppable scoring force who can find sneaky baskets in tight space. In the 2008 Finals, he mainly just showed us that there’s a lot of space between him and MJ. Are they players with similar skill set? Yes, however the gap is as big as the gap between Michael Strahan’s teeth.

Yet this is not a slight against Kobe. Kobe is a damn great player; a player who is on my all-time team, but he’s on my second squad.

Kobe is definitely head and shoulders above Clyde Drexler, Joe Dumars, and Scottie Pippen, but he’s never going to be near MJ or Magic. I actually get disgusted when many Kobe fans and some Laker faithfuls claim that Kobe is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). Do you realize you just bitch slapped Magic, Jerry West, Wilt, Kareem, and The Diesel with that garbage?

Is Kobe a better sidekick/teammate than Pippen? I chose Scottie as a comparison because he’s the ultimate example of a sidekick who can be the number one option himself, but he humbly deferred to Mr. Nike. Scottie did mess up tremendously in the final seconds of a 1994 playoff game against the Knicks, but Kobe ran the most dominant center of this generation out of town. So is Kobe better than Pippen in this aspect? I’m going to say, “Oh hell no.” You can disagree all you want though.

As I see it, Kobe Bryant is the new barometer for the fresh shooting guards coming into the NBA. That’s his legacy. He’s the most realistic measuring stick for any young big guard prospect. No one ever should be compared to Michael Jordan. Ever. It’s stupid. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. The MJ comparisons do more bad than good for anyone so dead it. Jordan is just too God-like. It’s like trying to fill the Grand Canyon full of water.

Anyone remember this? http://www.nbadraft.net/profiles/deshawnstevenson.htm

That’s embarrassing whoever wrote that. You’re a damn fool.

So any new 6-6 shooting guard can be compared to Kobe Bryant. Bryant should feel honored. That’s high praise. Take Demar DeRozan for example. He’s a 6-6 shooting guard compared to Vince Carter. http://www.nbadraft.net/admincp/profile … rozan.html

I hope that Demar is thinking “I’d rather pattern my game after Kobe” because that ceiling has become the highest that anyone can hope to attain realistically yet even that is going to be extremely difficult to do.

Now let’s find the next Kobe.

-John Nguyen