Why Can't I Hate Kobe?

Scott OttersenCorrespondent IJune 17, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 14:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the second half against the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Look, I'm not going to spend an entire article bashing the man. 

I respect his game.

No way any true basketball fan can't.

But, there is just something about him that I don't like.

I'm not going to get into the whole MJ vs. Kobe argument.  In my eyes, there is no argument.  And, there never should be, simply because it's impossible to compare two individuals who played a team sport. 

I'm not going to bring up his legal issues.  I don't care.  Hell, I have been arrested a few times in my life, and done some things I am not proud of, so who am I to judge?

What I am going to bring up is the fact that, isn't it my God-given right to be able to have my own opinion about someone?  Even if you don't like it?

I'm not telling anybody that they can't like the guy.  He's just not for me.  Simple as that.

Why is it that everyone seems to run to his defense, and to try and tell everyone in America that they need to love and cherish this man?  If I don't want to, why are you telling me that I have to?  Who are the media, and other Kobe lovers, to tell us Kobe haters to stop hating?

We live in a free world, where people are allowed to share their opinion about whatever it is they have an opinion about, whether that opinion be informed or idiotic, we still have the right to share it.

Yes, I can see that some people want to write puff pieces about athletes so that people can get to know the "true" person behind the scenes, but it should stop at the point where facts fade into feelings.  Besides, not all of us hate him as a person, we just hate him as an athlete.  We don't care about his charity work and what not.  Great for him.  That's not going to get me to enjoy watching him play any more.

And, before I get hated on for this article (which I know I will), I just want to say that I understand that writers are allowed to share their opinion as well, but there is a point where their opinion starts to cross the line towards being more of a proposition, in the sense where they are trying to sell you on their opinion, rather than allowing you to form your own.

I will end on this note.  I hate Kobe Bryant.  In a sports sense.  Not in a sense where if I saw him out in the streets I'd want to punch him.  No, I'd still ask for an autograph. 

I love watching him play, but hate watching him play, if you know what I mean.

Isn't it my (sports) right to feel that way?