HOOPSWORLD.COM: When Travis Heath asked me if he should get with Kobe Bryant on a recent trip to cover Team USA in Las Vegas I told him just go and ask Kobe and see what he said. As it turned out, Kobe was very giving of his time and generous with his answers. Of course, Travis stuck to friendly territory. The one thing we noticed most on feedback related to the video was that people were trying to figure out what Kobe’s answers meant in relation to the Lakers. The truth is he had nothing to say about the Lakers in the video, which you can see on the main page if you scroll down through the video clips on the right side of the screen. Travis didn’t ask him anything about the Lakers. We were, after all, there to cover Team USA. Protocol dictates that you don’t hang a player out to dry when you want insightful answers.

When I turned off the camera Travis remarked that Kobe really was a good interview, which was consistent with my experience. We don’t see him that often, what with Travis being in Denver most of the time and me hanging out in the Texas Triangle. The few times I’ve interviewed Kobe he has been funny, insightful, and forthright. I’ve heard the stories about his dark side, of course, and everyone knows about his borderline schizophrenia when it comes to his future with the Lakers. But at the end of the day I have no reason to bash Kobe based on any personal experience.

I’m sure my perspective would be different if I covered him on a daily basis with the Lakers, as HOOPSWORLD’s Eric Pincus does. It must be frustrating not knowing which Kobe you’re going to get. Will it be the self-centered and self-serving Kobe, or the selfless teammate Kobe? It’s hard to imagine covering someone who can be two totally different people from game to game. Dirk Nowitzki, for instance, never blames his teammates or management when things don’t go well. Yao Ming always talks about what he could have done better when the Rockets lose and wouldn’t dream of making his teammates look bad. That’s not the case with Kobe. It seems when things are going well he’s all about taking credit, but when things sour he’s the first to point a finger.

Continue reading ‘Kobe Bryant – Friend or Foe?’

  • foxxy

    WOW!!!!! LOVED THIS ARTICLE….SOMEONE WHO TRUELY UNDERSTANDS AND APPRECIATES KOBE…HE HAS REALLY MATURED.HE’S COME A LONG WAY FROM THOSE SELFISH DAYS…YES, HE DID RANT EARLY ON THIS SUMMER,BUT HE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO!!!! SOMEWHERE DOWN THE LINE KOBE LOST TRUST WITH THE LAKER ORGANIZATION…NOW THEY(EVERYONE UPSTAIRS)INCLUDING KOBE WILL HAVE TO GET BACK THAT TRUST AND RESPECT LOST. I BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN!!!! KOBE WILL RETIRE A LAKER!!!!

  • Faith

    Check out those rosters, then talk to me.

  • Faith

    Unfair comparison if I ever saw one. But I appreciate the sentiment, as a Kobe fan.

  • JordanT

    Ming and Dirk would love to complain about their teammates but they dont know enough english to express their frustration properly.

    j/k

    anyway, this year will answer alot of questions for the Lakers.
    If Bynum improves a few more points, few more rebounds..Id be willing to say the trend will continue. If he is stagnant this year, trade him before January. If we suffer another first round play off exit, then it will answer the question “Will kobe stay or go?” it is my belief that Phil Jackson is really waiting on signing his contract because he wishes to find out of Kobe is staying or not =P
    How good is Fisher as a starter in the triangle offense these days?
    How good is Java vs NBA players right now? How much progress will he make?

    Can Radman still see Earth from his celestial space orbit?

    Can Odom lock in and become that Shawn Marion style player that just gets his numbers no matter what things are designed to be like, instead of just the “I need something drawn for me” passive kind of passer guy that never seems to be anywhere at the right time?

    Lamar, has alot of weapons in the old arsenal… he does show flashes of mega potential but the consistency rating is nil. We will see how he gets it togeather…

    Will Chris Mihm actually finally…be ready to play again? Has he gotten better, or worse? What level is he at now?

    With Smush Parker gone, can the Lakers forget how to whine and cry and remember how to Rock N Roll?

    Can Brian Cook, pull it togeather and be a legitimate big man..and be tough doing it..aswell as someone who can shoot the 3 with relative consistency?

    Can Luke Walton get his dad to retire from announcing games, so that the rest of the world can watch basketball without muting the TV?

    Anyway, tons of questions..and this year has answers… Sweet..Im just looking forward to it.

    Hopefully the NBA’s usage of the Replay function transitions into other things besides altercations and buzzer beaters. I believe the coaches should get 1 flag each per half to use for required replay review of a call. If you are wrong, it charges a timeout just like football.

    I bet the first charge/block call of each game gets flagged XD

  • fatty

    JordanT

    Nice post, enjoyed deading it.

  • foxxy

    THIS HAS GOT TO BE A BREAK OUT YEAR…IT JUST HAS TO BE!!!!SO MUCH IS RIDING ON THIS YEAR!!!!! WE AS LAKER FANS HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER AND ROOT FOR OUR TEAM NO MATTER WHAT!!!!WE GOTTA HANG IN THERE…YES IT IS AGONIZING…BUT WE GOTTA TRUST THESE GUYS WILL PULL IT OUT…SURPRISE US……………PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/on3s3qu3nc3 123kid

    the huge difference between dirk/yao vs. kobe is that they dont even belong ont he same stage as kobe. they have no reason to complain because they dont know what a championship even looks like.

  • double

    that last paragraph is a bunch of BS.

  • foxxy

    [quote comment=”13274″]that last paragraph is a bunch of BS.[/quote
    WHAT??? PLEASE…. DIRK&YAO HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WINNING IT ALL FEELS LIKE!!!! ARE YOU FOR REAL?????

  • daboss1848

    I thought that the last sentence was quite interesting: “It seems when things are going well he’s all about taking credit, but when things sour he’s the first to point a finger.”

    When have we seen KB pound on his chest and say my bad? Not that often that I recall . . .

    Bottom line is maybe we’ve all overestimated this kid – maybe we’ve given him too much credit as a person because of his incredible talent. I watch a kid like Lebron and he always takes the blame and never points to anyone else (in the game and after the game). Flashback: Walton being scolded at end of the game for an extra pass.

    If you play or coach, then you can observe the game differently – just watch individuals, rather than the ball. If you watch Kobe individually his tendencies are clear – when the ball gets stolen or blocked, his initial reaction is to stand and blame the ref (rather than getting back on D); when he turns the ball over with an errant pass, he blames the receiver (rather than getting back on D or pointing to himself).

    This, of course, is my general observation – there have been occassions where he gets picked and makes an incredible hustle play to stuff the isht of that guy (Flashback: Ray Allen)

  • foxxy

    AGAIN!!!! WHAT???????????????????

  • foxxy

    [quote comment=”13277″]I thought that the last sentence was quite interesting: “It seems when things are going well he’s all about taking credit, but when things sour he’s the first to point a finger.”

    When have we seen KB pound on his chest and say my bad? Not that often that I recall . . .

    Bottom line is maybe we’ve all overestimated this kid – maybe we’ve given him too much credit as a person because of his incredible talent. I watch a kid like Lebron and he always takes the blame and never points to anyone else (in the game and after the game). Flashback: Walton being scolded at end of the game for an extra pass.

    If you play or coach, then you can observe the game differently – just watch individuals, rather than the ball. If you watch Kobe individually his tendencies are clear – when the ball gets stolen or blocked, his initial reaction is to stand and blame the ref (rather than getting back on D); when he turns the ball over with an errant pass, he blames the receiver (rather than getting back on D or pointing to himself).

    This, of course, is my general observation – there have been occassions where he gets picked and makes an incredible hustle play to stuff the isht of that guy (Flashback: Ray Allen)[/quote
    STOP SWITCHING HORSES…ONE BREATH YOUR ALL IN KOBES POCKET…THE NEXT YOU PICKING HIM APART…JUST WHERE DO OU STAND!!!!

  • Lakers724

    3 Reasons why the “Lakers Could Be CONTENDERS”!
    1st reason that the Lakers current roster (link: http://www.nba.com/lakers/roster/index.html ) is able to be at contending level is that if you look at them on paper, you can understand why I’m saying this. 2nd reason, is that
    if we’re healthy enough, we could be in the 4th slot in the West, and if we’re lucky, 3rd! 3rd reason, had we not had so many injuries last season, we’d be in 6th, 5th, or 4th place, but I doubt that! And guys there’re more reasons as to why the Lakers could be a contender this and, if you like to count it, the 06-07 season!

  • Lakers724

    [quote comment=”13296″]3 Reasons why the “Lakers Could Be CONTENDERS”!

    1st reason that the Lakers current roster (link: http://www.nba.com/lakers/roster/index.html ) is able to be at contending level is that if you look at them on paper, you can understand why I’m saying this. 2nd reason, is that
    if we’re healthy enough, we could be in the 4th slot in the West, and if we’re lucky, 3rd! 3rd reason, had we not had so many injuries last season, we’d be in 6th, 5th, or 4th place, but I doubt that! And guys there’re more reasons as to why the Lakers could be a contender this and, if you like to count it, the 06-07 season![/quote]

  • daboss1848

    uh, foxxy its called objectivity – I know it’s hard for you to fathom with all that yelling.

    I’m not in his pocket and I’m not picking him apart – those r my observations. I apologize for not seeing things as you do.