The title alone might enrage Jordan and Lebron fans alike, but I'm just metaphorically speaking if you equate their on court production and achievements into their Hype it makes sense.
However I'm a pretty religious man myself so its hard for me to call a ordinary man a god so here's a analogy for you if Lebron is King, Then Kobe is Maximus the warrior General from Gladiator yes that's better. To understand why I've made this bold statement one would have to read the folowing.
Kobe Bryant the Man is no different from any other American born male athlete, bull headed,cocky, slightly arrogant, driven, fierce competitor, intelligent, sometimes to honest other times not honest enough. As far as the world is concerned when Kobe finally hangs up his battle tattered Nike Zooms he will be the most celebrated NBA athlete across the globe with his closest rival haling from the archives of the Hall of Fame.
However here in America, Kobe is the most hated and scrutinized NBA player of all time. Hated for being a typical American male. Hated and generally disliked to a level that his on court achievements gets played down on a national level. I know Kobe haters you feel you are justified in your hatred for the man. I feel your pain, I too was once a lead Kobe hater. Being from Chicago, IL I HATED KOBE WITH EVERY SQUARE INCH OF MY JADED SOUL!!
I hated the fact that he not only obtained a ring before MJ did at the same point in his career but he matched MJ's three peat. So I made what I thought was the perfect escuse for MJ " Kobe only has three rings because of Shaq".I hated the fact when he faced M.J. in battle he wasn't intimidated but seemed to go at MJ as if he was his equal. I hated the fact that Kobe stole MJ moves his reverses, his fade aways, his fakes.
Until I was introduced to ESPN classics and learned to my surprise that MJ's dunks were actually Dr. Jays so was his reverse lay ups. His fade aways wasn't his either but it was Elvin Hayes, And his series of endless fakes and finishes were coincidently similiar to Elgin Baylors. Again I made a escuse for MJ while taking away from Kobe saying "Well MJ looked better doing it". That still didn't take away from the fact that he didn't invent the wheel.
I hated the fact that Kobe scored 81 points in a single game. I pawned it off on everything EXCEPT Kobe, the defense was weak, he was a ball hog, it was against the Toronto Raptors for Christ's sake. But really the truth of the matter was for the first time in my life I had witness a Basketball player that was truly unstoppable. In all actuality the Lakers were getting manhandled by 18 points in the game and they needed Kobe to take over.
Sadly when Kobe was arrested for allegedly raping the young lady from Colorado, I was happy I wanted to believe it. I wanted him to go to jail and never play basketball again. Not because I felt he was guilty I didn't care whether he was guilty or not. I wanted him to go to jail because I was tired of seeing him dominate the league. When he didn't go to jail I blamed it on a corrupt system where a star athlete can just throw money at the judge. In total disregard to the actual facts and common sense. The facts being that she was caught in various lies recanted her story numerous times and refused to testify againt her so called assailant.
During that time a fellow by the Name of Steve Nash won two back to back MVP awards for putting up the same numbers John Stockton used to put up. I was happy at the time but now I realized Kobe was being punished by the NBA for something he didn't even do. At the time I justified it with saying "well the league has a image to uphold". Even though it never stopped the league from granting MJ his MVP awards in light of his gambling debts and cheating on his wife Multiple Times.
This is what makes Kobe Bryant a legend to me, in the midst of all this turmoil and controversy he still delivered. In the land of Hollywood where stars come dime a dozen, those bright burning stars come to watch Kobe. The fact that the league wasn't delivered to him on a silver platter like it was to MJ and Lebron, but he took it wrenched it away from MJs hands and keeps it strategically away from LBJ's.
With everything Kobe has had to endure there is no way he should be in the postion that he is today. There is no way he should be in the discussion of greatest Laker of all time. Kobe vs MJ discussions are becoming more relevant with each passing year and he has a legitment chance of coming out on top. I'm the least bit surpised though he has been doing it his whole career, when the odds are stacked against him, the time is ticking the game is on the line. He makes his move knowing that the odds being against him, the time dwindling away or the odds being against him has never stopped him. His only nemesis has been fate and so far he has gained the upper hand wouldn't you agree? By Tommy Ross