Mark me down as a player hater. Guilty as charged. When it comes to Kobe Bryant I will readily acknowledge that he is a remarkable talent, but I wouldn't want him on my favorite team. Kobe is a jerk. In fact I believe Kobe is Japanese for jerk.
Everybody's talking about Kobe's 81 points. La-dee-frickin-da. Sure it's impressive from a productivity standpoint, but come talk to me during the playoffs, which won't feature the Lakers. Kobe can't win meaningful games alone, but that's not important to him. Kobe prefers having all the sports writers marvel at his stat line. Give me wins.
I would be biased if I said I would rather have Lebron James. I'm a Cavaliers fan and I think Lebron is outstanding. More than outstanding. I swear I watched him walk right across Lake Erie. He needs to develop his game and improve his shooting in clutch situations, but I'm not worried about the King. He'll be just fine and he'll win his share of titles before it's all said and done. The reason he'll do well is because he understands what the game is all about and that's not scoring 81 points a night.
There are other players I would take ahead of Kobe Bryant. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, Ray Allen. I dare say I think I like the energized version of Vince Carter more than I do the selfish Kobe Bryant.
The problem with Kobe is that he desperately needs to be the center of attention. His goal this year is to win the scoring title and possibly secure the MVP award. Playing in the shadows of Shaq destroyed his self-esteem so he needs to be pacified with an offense that goes through him and him alone. Kobe just doesn't seem to get it. Sad, considering his been in the league so long and actually got a taste of winning it all. Maybe he got bored with championships.
81 points is a lot of scoring, and Kobe did shoot effectively. It's not like he was throwing up junk. But when one player scores more than half of the team's points it says more about poor team play and weak coaching than it does one player's skills.
I didn't see Wilt's 100 point performance. I'm not qualified to speculate on what it meant or how it affected his team. I'm not going to try to get to the bottom of something that happened a long time ago. I do know that Kobe drained a few three pointers which was a luxury Wilt did not enjoy, although I suspect he wouldn't have been shooting from the perimeter anyway.
I did see David Robinson tally 71 points one night and what impressed me was the fact that it didn't seem to be a selfish endeavor. Robinson's big night was one of those games where the team just kept getting the big man a lot of open looks. He didn't demand the ball nor did he take it upon himself to score. The Spurs still played a team oriented game, but Robinson was on fire. There was a purity to his performance. Kobe's 81 was all about Kobe. It wasn't a thing of beauty. Kobe forced himself on the scoreboard like a egomaniacal celebrity forces himself on a hotel staffers.
The Lakers are an abomination of what good basketball is supposed to be. Instead of watching five guys execute a precise game plan, the Lakers are a one man act. All Kobe all the time. He'll get his 33 points per game and probably win that MVP award but until Kobe stops making sweet love to himself and shares the court with other players the Lakers won't win anything of value.