My Beef with Kobe Part II: Split Personality August 15, 2007Posted by Marquis Chapman in Basketball, NBA, Sports.
Kobe Bryant is a complex individual. I don’t think fans of Kobe will ever know the real Kobe Bryant. As a matter of fact, I firmly believe Kobe has a split personality. If you get a chance to watch Laker games, you may know what I’m talking about. During the course of the season, it is a guarantee that you will see two very different personalities of the Laker’s superstar. Not only does this affect the team and the coaches, but it sometimes affects the outcomes of the games. Let’s take a more in depth look at the two very different sides of Kobe Bryant.
The two personalities of Kobe Bryant can been seen at any of the Laker games. The first personalty is more dominate than the other. This personality is the aggressive, unstoppable offensive player that often carries his team on his back. Bryant seems to always encourage his teammates, and continues to have confidence in them no matter what. Whenever the Lakers are facing a great team like the Spurs or the Mavericks, Kobe usually takes over the game. He scores at will, sets up his teammates, and plays solid defense. Whenever he plays like this, and he usually does, you can never count the Lakers out of any game. This is the Kobe Bryant that we’re all accustomed to.
Now, the other side of Kobe isn’t seen as much. It comes out every now and then during the season, but has been appearing in the playoffs the last couple of years. This side of Kobe doesn’t seem as focused. This side of Kobe seems to get more and more frustrated with his teammates. He no longer encourages them, neglects them during timeouts, and shows no confidence in them whatsoever. This side of the superstar isn’t as aggressive as the other personality. The player that often takes over the game seems to disappear and becomes just like any other player on the floor. He noticeably shoots less and doesn’t even try to create shots. He passes up scoring opportunities and looks to pass more. He seems more lackadaisical, and that competitive spirit seems to vanish.
This type of incident most recently occured in last years playoffs, when the Lakers were facing the Phoenix Suns in the first round. Kobe was playing fairly well, but suddenly he decided to pass, and pass, and pass some more. As a result, the Sun’s lead just got bigger, and bigger, and bigger. The Suns eventually embarassed the Lakers by blowing them out, and moved on to the next round.
Why? Why the sudden change of play? Why the last couple of years does the other side of Kobe decide to come out when the games matter the most? I’m sure this has to make Laker fans extremely upset. As a fan, when it’s playoff time, you want your star player to do whatever he did to get your team to the playoffs. You don’t want an unstoppable scorer to suddenly start to pass everytime down the floor. In Kobe’s case, he definately can’t do that due to the lack of good players around him.
Put it this way, if the great point guard Jason Kidd was to lead the Nets to the finals by averaging 15 assist per game and throwing amazing passes, fans would be a little upset if he suddenly decided to start shooting almost everytime down the floor. It just wouldn’t make sense. A player shouldn’t just change his style of play when he makes it to the playoffs, especially if its been working.
Obviously, the two personalties are complete opposites. The most important thing to note about the two however, is not the different playing styles, but the fact that one personality is a good teammate and the other is not. I don’t have an answer as to why the other personality comes out when it does. I suspect that it’s Kobe basically shutting down due to all the work he has to do during the season. This side of Kobe is fed up with losing and even more fed up with his teammates. It’s only a matter of time before one personality conquers the other. Which one will it be?
Be sure to check back on Friday for Part III of My Beef with Kobe