Kobe Bryant has been one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports and as such, comes with both a positive and negative charge. He is an athlete that has faced constant adversity and controversy over the entire length of his NBA career, and the media blitz on the Blackmamba seems never ending.
Millions of people love Bryant and yet, many more hate him.
Bryant fans love his tenacity, intensity, and off the chart talent that enables him to be considered as one of the top ten players to ever play the game. His accolades and accomplishments from both an individual and combined team perspective have only fueled their fire.
Haters, on the other hand, can’t stand his arrogance. They can’t stand the comparisons to Michael Jordan. They can’t stand the smugness of his look.
But like it or not, Bryant’s career parallels that of Jordan’s in more ways than one can count, and both of their “me first personalities” have undeniably also been intrinsic to their winning ways.
It takes a man and not a mouse to win multiple NBA championships and MVP awards to go along with a Fort Knox sized treasure chest of awards and achievements.
It takes a man to win both off and on the court, and only a man can man-up to the most difficult situations.
And you can’t be a man without the ability to man-up in the face of intense pressure.
Wiktionary.org defines “man-up” as the ability for a man to "be a man about it; to do the things a good man is traditionally expected to do, such as: taking responsibility for the consequences of one's actions; displaying bravery or toughness in the face of adversity; providing for one's family, etc.”
Bryant has had to man-up by doing these things many times during his career, and as the head honcho of the L.A. Lakers, he has generously provided for family and extended family—this includes both his immediate family, as well as his gargantuan NBA family (team and fans).
For the most part, Bryant’s choices during his career have helped define his man-up moments, and in so doing, have effectually put him on the path of an overachieving winner.
And you simply cannot argue with five championships with a sixth baking in the oven.
From the moment he took his first step on an NBA court, the stage for his career was set, the orchestra started playing, and Kobe Bryant began to put on an incredible show.
So what are the ten most underlying man-up moments of Kobe Bryant’s career?
You will have to click to find out.