Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kobe: I'm a Winner-Winner-Winner

Kobe. How does one begin to describe #24, the shooting guard for the Los Angeles “LakeShow.” How do you describe Kobe? My term is “fierce.” He is known for his killer instinct, his proficiency in Italian, and the fact he scored 81 points in a game (January 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors—81 points!). He is also known among other things for his total lack of humility. Shortly after the Lakers captured the 2009 NBA championship my friend Kevin wrote simply “LAKERS!!!” on his wall. His friend wrote what remains one of my all time favorite responses: I love how the whole team went running to Kobe as the last second ticked off.......oh wait, that didn't happen. A significant number of fans will be cheering for the Boston Celtics, not because they recognize the greatness of “The Big Three:” Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, but because they hate Kobe.
Undoubtedly, Kobe sparks controversy and this may be a welcome thing for a professional sport has alienated many fans because of its high ticket prices, current identity and style of play. Game 7 will be the final game in what is the 11th N.B.A. finals between the teams since the Lakers moved West in 1960. As much as I love the spirited play of 20 year old Rajon RONDO! I will keep one eye on Mr. Bryant (for those who forget he has a last name). I can’t help but think if the Lakers do win, Kobe will take a microphone and ask to sing Jamie Foxx’s song “Winner” (featuring Justin Timberlake)
I feel like I can't miss
I know they want me to fall
But ain't nothin' bigger than this
So just pass me the ball
You know you lookin' at a winner, winner, winner
I can't miss, can't lose, can't miss
You know you lookin' at a winner, winner, winner
Cause I'm a winner, yeah I'm a winner
No doubt, “Winner” has a great beat; it mimics the rhythm of Kobe driving the offense, moving the ball between his legs, back and forth, back and forth as only he decides what to do. Its message however also emulates Kobe’s hubris. Kobe may be the all time scoring leader in Lakers' history, but basketball crowns are secured through good coaching, four other players and a bench. If the Lakers do win tomorrow night, I hope that Kobe will keep St. Paul’s letter to Timothy in mind.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Kobe is a fierce competitor and his work ethic is seldom questioned. Even though many of the games have not been particularly close at the finish, the fact that we are now in Game 7 proves it has been a good fight. Should the Lakers win tomorrow night, I hope that what will be Kobe’s fifth NBA crown will be different than the others. One of righteousness would be a good start….

Photo Credits
Kobe being Kobe
Kobe and Celtics

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