ESPN: Only with this team and this player could an outcome as predictable as Kobe Bryant’s receiving the Most Valuable Player award at a Laker playoff game be considered a surprise ending.
It seemed inevitable once his career took off a decade ago and he was clearly on his way to becoming the best player in the NBA. Yet it seemed impossible in October, when his days in Los Angeles looked numbered. You know the backstory that came before tonight’s freeze-frame moment, when David Stern will hand over the Maurice Podoloff trophy at Staples Center. And you can’t separate this triumphant time from the dark days that came last summer, when Bryant demanded he be traded.
You couldn’t escape the incongruity when he was formally named the MVP on Tuesday, in a crowded hotel ballroom that included the teammates he’d disparaged, the owner he’d called an “idiot,” the front office he’d deemed “a mess.” There’s only one way to explain the turnaround.
“It’s Hollywood,” Bryant said. “It’s a movie script.”
Maybe it’s why these two sides belong together. A player who constantly creates drama couldn’t play anywhere but on a team that seems to thrive on it.