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Kobe Bryant is one of the few players in the league that genuinely has nothing to prove. He's a five-time champion, a two-time finals MVP, a (soon-to-be) 13-time All-Star, a two-time scoring champion and a one-time league MVP. If he left the game tomorrow, he would be considered one of the 10 greatest guards ever.
But in typical Kobe fashion, he still feels as though he has a lot to prove, and going into 2011 there are two things he will be looking to prove to his fans and detractors.
He needs to prove that he has declined, but can still dominate
So far this season Kobe has been pretty solid: 25.4 points, 4.6 assists, 5.1 rebounds. But in recent games against the Heat and Bucks, there were signs that Kobe may not be the dominant force he was just last season. He is shooting only 44 percent on the season and has appeared a step slow on defense, which has contributed to the Lakers defensive inconsistency so far this season. Nevertheless, he is still the most dangerous player in the game down the stretch and he will be looking to prove that reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated by playoff time.
He needs to prove that he can tie Michael Jordan in titles won
The Jordan versus Kobe debate has raged on for years, but in the last two seasons, with Kobe winning two more championships, the argument has reached a fever pitch. Some say that Kobe will never reach Jordan's accomplishments, statistics or impact on the sport, others say that if he ties MJ for titles won, he will be a step closer to surpassing His Airness. Kobe wants to win a sixth and show that he can equal Jordan in the most important category.