Wednesday night's game between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers demonstrated not only why Kobe Bryant is simply the best player in the NBA, but also why he is the role model of the entire league during the playoffs this year.
Let's start with his remarkable performance.
Bryant dropped a game high 40 points on 16-of-27 shooting, with six rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
Even though Bryant was smothered on the offensive end by both Shane Battier and Ron Artest, neither top notch defender could find a way to contain No. 24's extraordinary performance.
Bryant managed to drain shot after shot—with more than two hands in his face at some points—throughout the game.
He went into Game Two with the mindset that this battle was a must-win for not only himself, but his entire team as well. Bryant proved he can bring his best performance to the table when his team is in any sort of jeopardy.
He also proved he is a true role model, even in the most hectic of games.
During the third quarter of the last night's game, Bryant and Artest were battling for position near the bottom of the basket. After extreme contact by both players, Bryant inadvertently elbowed Artest in the chest and ultimately won the battle for the rebound, the play ending with a foul on Ron Ron.
Artest went on rambling to the referee that the foul was in fact on Bryant and not himself. When the ref wanted absolutely none of it, Artest proceeded down to the other side of the court, where he had a few words for the Black Mamba.
In such an intense playoff game like this one, players sometimes have to do what they have do to win the game.
In this case, Artest felt the need to get in Bryant's about the foul instead of simply just letting it go.
Bryant was the grown-up in this situation, as he spoke for his actions by immediately throwing both of his hands up in the air, wanting nothing to do with Artest.
A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is, or can be, emulated by others, especially by younger people.
In this instance, Bryant was that person.
Now, before you guys go on and comment about Bryant talking smack to Battier about him not being able to guard him and how that is not something a role model does, let me just say one thing: It is called greatness.
Only a player as great as Bryant is allowed to talk smack to the defender that is guarding him, especially if he is hitting shot after shot right in front of Battier's (one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA) grill.
Only a supreme player like Bryant can get away with an elbow to the chest, just because of how royal he is to the game of the NBA.
A true role model can show off his success and say whatever he wants if he is backing up his performance.
End of story.