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Kobe Bryant: Still the Alpha Male, Thanks to Pat Riley

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Shayan ZaeemContributor ISeptember 10, 2010

National Basketball Association’s top man, Kobe Bryant, is all about real competition. One could very well imagine his level of excitement after the competitive professional heard about Pat Riley’s plan.

Riley, the general manager for the Miami Heat, formed a diverse, dynamic, and one of the most talented trios in the history of the league. He could not have formed a more relentless powerhouse by re-signing Dwyane Wade, in addition to signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh to the roster.

Arguably, this year will be one of the NBA's wildest, as most of the teams have completely rebuilt their rosters to compete with the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Pat Riley has a stupendous history as a player and in coaching. He has given the news and bloggers much to talk about. Even though the Lakers have won back-to-back championship titles, he has taken away attention from the champs. Riley has given the league something to talk about for years to come. Miami Heat’s wins or losses in next year’s playoffs won’t make a difference. 

If they win—hallelujah—everyone who predicted they would, will be able to hold their heads up high and say, “We told you so. No one is a match for the monstrous team.”

However, if they lose, the NBA nation will be in utter shock, as much is expected from the team—from even their haters. Either way, until the end of time, basketball fanatics will discuss how the legendary Dwyane Wade and King James came together and revolutionized the whole NBA nation.

Nevertheless, until we don’t get to see them in action, one should certainly give other teams the benefit of the doubt. When the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in 2008, the team was heavily criticized and critics did not stop bashing Kobe Bryant. There were millions of articles published about how Bryant had lost his ability to be an astute player.

The Lakers did not back down from all the criticism. Instead, they showed the world that they were truly a world-class team. Bryant came back stronger than ever the next year. Gasol bulked up, making the team more robust.

In 2009, they weren't the favourites. Nobody thought the Lakers were going to perform well. But an occurrence changed basketball enthusiast’s perspective once again. What happened?  The Lakers took the title for the 15th time in their history, eliminating the Orlando Magic, and Bryant was named the Finals MVP.

All the negativity from the media toward the team was washed away. The Lakers were once again the favourites. Bryant, as always, had proven to the league that to doubt him as player is plain foolishness. He had brought the whole league to its knees and legends like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson proclaimed him to be the best currently in the league.

The hype about the Lakers taking the championship this year might have faded within a month, due to Riley’s checkmate to the league. But the Lakers were triumphant once again and obliterated the Boston Celtics.

According to the critics, Bryant has yet to play with true stars of his calibre and will now be put to the test as the Miami's trio step up to take on the undisputed five-time champion. One should certainly credit Riley for giving us what we needed—something to talk and write about.

Also, one should thank James and Wade for forming a team that has put fear in the hearts of every league franchise, despite the fact they have yet to play a game and show their might.

The National Basketball Association will reel in more viewers this season and break the viewing record that was set last season. Let’s just hope we’ll get the thrill we used to get in the 90s when the Chicago Bulls devoured each and every team in their path.

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