Kobe Bryant's 5 Ballsiest Career Moves

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IISeptember 9, 2011

Kobe Bryant's 5 Ballsiest Career Moves

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    This article will look at the five ballsiest moves of Kobe Bryant’s career. One would be hard pressed to find a player over the last 15 years who has played better basketball than Kobe Bryant has.

    But despite his outstanding play on the court, Kobe is one of the most polarizing, critiqued superstars the game has ever seen. Some of the criticism has been warranted, while some has definitely not.

    Kobe has made a few bold decisions throughout his career that had his most staunch defenders scratching their heads.

    In the following slides, you will find the five ballsiest moves of Kobe’s career.

    Let’s take a look.

    Photo Courtesy of urcollegefashion.com

5. The Kobe Bryant Whiteout

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    In May of 2010, Los Angeles Times Magazine did a profile and photo shoot of Kobe Bryant. This is by no means a ballsy career move. However, the outfits Kobe wore during the photo shoot can definitely be considered so.

    As you can see in the photo that accompanies this slide, Kobe and the people at the magazine decided to get “creative.”

    The name of the feature was appropriately named Kobe Bryant. White Hot.

    When I see the pictures from the photo shoot, I can’t help but think of Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange.

    Photo courtesy of latimesmagazine.com

4. Kobe Bryant Changes His Jersey Number

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    Prior to the 2006-07 season, it was announced Kobe Bryant would be changing his jersey number to 24, after wearing No. 8 for the first 10 years of his career. Considering all of the criticism Kobe has received throughout his career, him changing his jersey number received plenty of fanfare.

    Some accused him of trying to one-up Michael Jordan and LeBron James, who both wore jersey No. 23.

    While I was unable to find a confirmed reason as to why Kobe changed his number, the popular sentiment seems to be No. 24 was unavailable to Kobe when he originally joined the Lakers in 1996.

3. Kobe Bryant Demands a Trade, Disrespects Andrew Bynum

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    After another early exit from the playoffs in the spring of 2007, Kobe Bryant demanded to be traded to a team who would surround him with a better supporting cast. Later in the offseason, an amateur video was released of Kobe denouncing both Andrew Bynum and general manager Mitch Kupchak.

    Kobe’s rants ceased, when Bynum played well to start the following season, before he suffered a season ending knee injury in January of 2008. Then the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol, the team made the NBA Finals and Kobe’s harsh words were soon forgotten.

2. Kobe Bryant Uses Anti-Gay Slur

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    At the end of last season, Kobe Bryant was caught yelling an anti-gay slur at game official Bennie Adams. Bryant directed the slur at Adams from the bench, still furious over a call Adams made moments before.

    Kobe was fined $100,000 for his mistake. Bryant promptly made public apologies to gay rights groups.

1. Kobe Bryant Accused and Interrogated

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    In 2003, Kobe Bryant was arrested in Eagle, Colorado after being accused of sexual assault by a 19-year-old hotel employee. While Kobe admitted to having consensual sex with the woman, the charges of sexual assault were eventually dropped.

    Kobe made amends with his wife, Vanessa, thanks to a teary public apology and a $4 million ring.

    But according to a 2004 report, Kobe Found time to talk about then teammate Shaquille O'Neal during his interview with the Colorado police.

    Kobe Bryant had this to say concerning teammate Shaquille O'Neal’s supposed extramarital affairs:

     "He (Bryant) should have done what Shaq does ... that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything" and already had paid up to $1 million 'for situations like this.'"

    Pretty ballsy when you consider while under the pressure of being interrogated by the police, Kobe still found time to throw Shaq under the bus.