Boston.com: The bejeweled guy sitting in a high-priced front-row seat had a Lakers gold jacket. On the back it read “THANK GOD FOR KOBE.” Oh, the burden of being Kobe.
Sometimes it’s nice being Kobe Bryant. You’re scoring in the 30s and 40s, your team is comfortably ahead, and the adoring crowd is chanting “M-V-P!” as you take some pressure-less garbage-time free throws. That’s a good time to be Kobe Bryant.
But then there’s a night when you have no field goals and six assists as your team moves to an 18-point halftime lead and you then are criticized for not being able to mount the white horse and lead the team to victory by virtue of your fourth-quarter shooting. The critics now say you have failed to deliver, that you overdid the passing thing in the first half and you therefore didn’t have a proper shooting rhythm when it came to what Magic Johnson used to refer to as “Winnin’ Time.” That’s not a good time to be Kobe Bryant.
Meanwhile, there’s the comparison that never goes away. You may be good, kid, but you’re no Michael. Can Kobe ever win?
“It’s not fair,” contends Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “I said before the series started I’ve never seen a guy this talented get criticized as much as he does. It’s completely unfair.”