The most telling conversation came when the struggles of New York Yankees third baseman and Bryant’s friend, Alex Rodriguez, were brought up. In typical Bryant fashion, the veteran shooting guard answered the questions with as much confidence as possible.
ESPNLosAngeles.com Lakers insider Ramona Shelburne reported Bryant’s following comments towards the Yankees’ third baseman:
We're different. But you're talking about, "He's one of the best to ever play." I think really the difference is, sometimes he forgets he's the best. ... Where, I don't.
We know what it takes to get to that level. The consistency, the sacrifice, the work ethic, the constant scrutiny, that's something we all have in common -- from golf to cycling to swimming to basketball to baseball.
While the truth is that every player needs to ooze confidence to be one of the best of all time, Bryant comes off so smugly when he says things like this. It’s really no wonder how Rodriguez and Bryant get along so well.
No one loves these two more than themselves.
As far as the pure content of the quote, though, Bryant isn’t exactly right in this situation. As much as all sports are similar, age tends to ruin a batter’s vision and reaction time more than it hurts a shooting guard’s fadeaway jumper.
Bryant can walk out onto the court and hit the shots that he wants during an NBA game by controlling the space he gets with his quick feet. All Rodriguez can do is stare down the barrel of the 100 mph fastballs and swing too late; it has nothing to do with confidence.
Father Time takes his toll on every athlete, and it appears it is a lack of elite bat speed that is costing Rodriguez in the playoffs right now, not confidence. When a player is 3-for-23 in six playoff games with 12 strikeouts, there is something physically wrong more than anything mental.
Someone needs to tell A-Rod to bunt so he can remember what contact feels like.
Sorry Kobe, but you are flat-out wrong…again.
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