Kobe Bryant and Frodo Baggins wouldn't seem to have much in common. Kobe is at least three feet taller than his counterpart, and I wouldn't guess Frodo was ever picked first in any of his pickup toad-pie skipping contests; However, the two are indeed kindred spirits, and their journeys contain parallels far beyond the obvious.
Both men are entrusted with a task; a task so great that the balances of power in their worlds are wholly connected to their respective successes. Like Kobe, Frodo's journey begins in the Shire (OK, for Kobe it's Hollywood, but I'll afford myself some creative licence and call it good). He inherits a ring (or five), and is advised by long-time confidant Gandalf the Grey Wizard (an obvious reference to Phil) to guard it with his life.
Like Frodo, Kobe knew the task was too daunting to go-it alone, and recruits his friends to join him for the journey. He is accompanied by point guard and longtime friend, "Fish," "Walton" (a hobbit-looking soul in his own right), and Odom. Eventually, Gasol (an elfy look to him eh?), Artest (the surly one), and Bynum (a tree-like Ent) are enjoined to fight the amassing army in Mordor...er...Miami.
Eventually, The Council of Lakers (sometimes we speak of them as Kupchak and Buss) reveal the significance of the rings history, and warns that a lust for them has corrupted the Wizard Riley (signing Wade, James, and Bosh...that surely was evil magic at work).
The Lakers Council decides that the threat of Riley in Miami is too great, and that the best course of action is to return the rings the the Mountain where they belong. You already saw this coming huh? That's right. The Hollywood Hills.
Bryant vows to return the rings, yet again, and a "team" is formed to protect them. None of the principles leave in free-agency. This is a true "Fellowship."
You certainly can't look past Phil Jackson in this analogy either. If ever there were an ever calming "Gandalf the grey" it would be Jackson. The "zen master" (as he is known) retired, only to return even stronger and "whiter" in the mane. Hardly a coincidence.
Of course for every hero, there must be villain and in our story, it's no different. How about the mysterious Ringwraith's? Call them the "Three Kings" if you will, but the trio of James, Wade, and Bosh are a scary lot. Additionally, the three have selflessly dedicated themselves to a never-ending quest to remove the rings from Lakers Nation, haunted by their elusiveness.
Riley then conjured a supporting army of Orc's (Haslem, Miller, Anthony) out of nothing, to form a team as formidable and "unbeatable" as you've ever seen in the NBA.
But this Classic is about our hero. Kobe Bryant has been chosen to defend his rings at all cost (yes, even if that means being down to just nine fingers). It is an all consuming desire to succeed. A craving for the elusive ring that drives Bryant. His own "precious."
Doubt if you will, but I propose that the legendary novel wasn't about middle-earth at all. It was in, fact, a premonition about a Lakers Legacy. An epic NBA portend of Lakers triumph.
I expect that immediately after publishing, the blog-orcs will descend upon this article like a marauding army at Gondor. But Lakers fans fear not. We all know how this movie script ends.
Kobe "Baggins" will not stop, and "Gandolf" Jackson is watching over.
Yes. The analogy is campy as hell, but Lakers fans can rest assured. The hardware will again return to Hollywood.
Kobe Bryant is the Lord of the Rings.