Kobe Bryant does not need any more motivation to play well, but when the fans in the opposing arena give him a piece of their mind, he makes sure his actions act as a response.
Kobe told reporters earlier today that he embraces the "Kobe Sucks" chants.
Kobe Bryant: "It's always funny to hear the "Kobe Sucks" chant because why provoke me... It's fun."
It's obvious that those chants have really meant nothing toward Kobe throughout his whole career. The league knows and the fans should know that not much phases him.
For example, he got into a tussle with Matt Barnes when they were not teammates a couple of years ago. While Barnes was taking the ball out, he tried to scare Kobe by acting as if he was going to throw the ball in his face. Most people would have reacted, but the Black Mamba did not even flinch. He just stood there and made Barnes look like a fool.
When Kobe was going in and out of court during his trial, he still was not phased by what the crowd was saying. Nuggets fans were throwing some very harsh comments at him, but he did not let any of it get into his head. The Lakers won because of a game-winning shot from the Mamba in overtime.
With most athletes, it makes sense to have the crowd try getting in their heads, but when it comes to Kobe, it actually works against them. Kobe will not sit around and let 15,000-plus try to throw him off of his game. If anything, he will make sure to push harder because of the extra motivation given to him by the doubters.
Let's see how the crowd in Denver reacts to Kobe tonight, as their team is practically in a must-win situation. Maybe they should try to get in Andrew Bynum's or Pau Gasol's mind considering both of them wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Whatever the crowd in Denver does, they better hope to not provoke Kobe anymore because he is already having a great series so far, and there is no reason to give him extra motivation.
Sammy Sucu is a featured columnist for the WWE and the Minnesota Vikings. Sammy also writes for the NFL, fantasy football and the Los Angeles Lakers. You can follow him on Twitter and follow all of his coverage during WWE events and Viking games for live updates and analysis.