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Kobe Bryant Will Be Back With A Vengeance

There is a fire that burns inside Kobe Bryant. This fire inside Kobe separates him from every other player in the NBA, he is different.

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This fire that burns inside Kobe is the reason he will go down as one of the five greatest basketball players ever. Yes, five. This fire is the reason that no matter how dark the the Lakers future may seem at this point and no matter how many reasons you can point out as to why they will fail miserably this season, if Kobe is healthy the Lakers are making the playoffs no matter what. They will not finish 12th like ESPN predicted, they will not tank for Andrew Wiggins and they will not just play it out this season and wait for a superstar to join them in free agency next summer. It won’t happened! As long as Kobe Bryant is healthy and playing this Lakers team is chasing a championship. That is what Kobe is about.

The truth is Kobe Bryant has been proving you wrong for quite a while now, he just doesn’t get the credit for it. Why? well because he proves us wrong to the point where he he truly shuts people up, embarrasses you, forces you to change the topic and find a new story. Its sad how the media and some basketball “fans” love to set someone up to fail, journalists and “experts” love to predict the fall of a player before it happens just so they can write another column four months later saying “I told you so :)”, but for so many years Kobe Bryant has not allowed that to happened, he has not allowed these journalists and haters to say the powerful words “Kobe is done”. The media is powerful, majority of the time they win the battle…they have the outlet to let their voice be heard and their enormous egos usually make sure they get the last word, they can manipulate and influence how fans-especially the casual fans feel about a player and his legacy.

While other greats from his era like the Allen Iverson’s the Shaq’s, the Tracy McGrady’s, Vince Carter’s, Kevin Garnett’s etc.. sort of let the doubters and critiques have that last laugh on them by actually losing a step, sticking around as a shell of their former selves or just fading into retirement Kobe Bryant has not.
Its that fire, that fire and the intelligence of Kobe Bryant has kept him playing basketball at the highest level possible year after year. Every off season for the past five years they have said “Kobe is slowing down”, “Kobe will not be the same this year”, “Kobe is a year older”, “Kobe is not a top five player in the NBA” and every damn season he has come back and been the same Kobe Bryant he has always been: the Black Mamba, the assassin, the clutch scoring machine that can get his own on anyone! anyway! any night! the player that can take over a game at any moment, one of the greatest to ever do it. That fire.

In 2000-01 a young athletic 23 year old Kobe Bryant averaged 28.5 PPG, 5.0 APG and 5.9 RPG….fast forward 12 loooong years to a totally different era and a 34 year old Kobe Bryant just came off a season in which he averaged 27.3 PPG, 6.0 APG and 5.9 RPG! Greatness. This man is driven beyond belief, he has a work ethic that is unmatched, the desire to be the best, to prove everyone wrong and continue to not just be relevant but straight up DOMINANT comes from the fire that is inside of Kobe Bryant. He was made differently, he was built differently, this fire inside Kobe Bryant is a god given gift that not many athletes let alone NBA players have. The only other player that had this was Michael Jordan.

This burning desire to be the best and not allow the critiques and media to get the last laugh or have an ” I told you so:)” moment at the expense of Kobe Bryant is what is going to give him that extra boost of motivation to make sure that he puts this Lakers team on his back and takes them to the Playoffs.  Kobe Bryant hates to lose more than he loves to win.

This off-season season ESPN predicted that the Lakers would finish 12th in the Western Conference, which is straight up disrespectful. However Kobe is used to these so called “experts” rankings and predictions and he actually uses it as motivation to come back better than ever to prove them wrong which he always does. For the past couple years Kobe has been getting snubbed on these rankings, in 2011 ESPN ranked Kobe Bryant the seventh best player in the NBA! in 2012 ESPN ranked him the sixth best player in the NBA once again leaving him out of the top five. A lot of people were saying he was on the decline and was bound to lose a step anytime soon, critiques said Kobe was no longer a top five NBA player and that his best seasons were behind him. Kobe Bryant felt disrespected and that fire grew stronger and led him to having some of the best individual seasons of his career averaging 27.9 PPG 2011-12 and this past season 27.3 PPG and a career high 6.0 APG showing no signs of losing a step at all and is indeed still a top five player in this league if not top three.

Year after year they say he is not and won’t be the same again and he responds with his play, he continues to play at a not just high but dominant level. By proving his doubters wrong these past few years as he enter his mid 30’s! he has won over a lot of people, close minded stone cold ” Kobe haters” have even become fans!, they appreciate him for his longevity and greatness because year after year they passionately claim and reason that this is the year Kobe slows down and and he just breaks their spirit, shuts them up by playing like a top three player in the NBA, hitting the same tough shots over the leagues best young defenders that he was hitting in his prime, putting up the same statistics and having the same monstrous performances he was having over a decade ago.

It has to be extremely tough mentally, physically and emotionally to have played over 45,000 career minutes in 17 years and now at the age of 35 years old suffering an Achilles tear and missing the entire playoffs than having to miss out on an entire off season of where you would be resting for a month and than working out and training to add to your game, instead your stuck wearing a boot for six weeks and are going to have to do rehab instead. Instead of taking a step forward, Kobe Bryant had to take two steps back.

Therefore when Sports Illustrated ranks him a disrespectful ninth in this seasons player rankings and ESPN predicts that his Lakers squad will finish a disrespectful 12th in the West, I say it is exactly what he needed! These rankings are what is currently pushing him that extra mile to rehab and recover the right way, its what drives him to continue to want stay in top shape, eat right, train his ass off everyday, watch film, reconstruct his game, study and find different ways to be just as effective as he was at the peak of his career. It is what drives him to fly all the way to Germany to receive treatments to ensure that his knee is not an issue when he does return. Kobe Bryant will not return till he is 100% ready mentally, he knows that there could be no coming back from this injury but he has to do everything he can possibly do to come back ready to dominate because if there is anything short of dominance it just isn’t enough for Bryant. 

He will do whatever it takes to remain elite and win because for Kobe Bryant those two things are tied together and always have been, it is one thing to count him out and leave him out of your top five NBA players list but to say that his team will finish 12th in the conference on top of that is a slap in the face.

He has all the odds stacked against him this time, an Achilles tear that very few players have come back from at all let alone to play at a high level, a young but at the same time old roster, a disgruntled fan base and a team with no real direction or goal. But mark my words, when Kobe Bryant does return he will take this team to the playoffs and shatter everybody’s  predictions AGAIN, it doesn’t matter what it takes Kobe will do it. If that means canning Mike D’Antoni’s ridiculous seven seconds or less offense that just isn’t the right fit for this team than so be it, Kobe will run an offense himself. If that means taking 35 shots a night than he will do it and if it turns out that he has to play more of a team game than he will do it! Kobe will do whatever it takes to prove everyone wrong.

Very few people have come back from an Achilles tear let alone to play at the level that Bryant is aiming to play at, he has made it clear many time in the past few years that he won’t stick around if he can’t dominate. In a sit down interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith last year Bryant said “You think I’ll hang around and average 19 points or 18 points? Hell No!” That says a lot. Kobe also doesn’t have any plans to jump ship to chase another ring, this very well could be the final season of Kobe Bryant’s illustrious career.

The Achilles tear will affect him but just how much damage could it possibly have done? You have to remember that Kobe Bryant’s game is no longer all speed and quickness, as he got older and lost his killer first step that we saw in the early 00’s till about 2007 Bryant found other ways to be just as effective and continue putting up the same numbers he did in his prime. He has developed one of the best best post up games in the NBA over the years a lot like Michael Jordan did late in his career as his quickness faded, therefore Kobe gets to the line off post ups just as much as he would 10 years ago when he was an athletic freak that could blow by you and draw the foul at the hoop; Bryant got to the line 8 times per game this past season just as much as he did in 2003-04. A lot of Bryant’s points came off of jump shots, pull-ups with a hand in his face, his patented fade away and easy lay ups.  No matter how many defenders are draped over him he continues those shots that just leave you speechless, his jump shot is as wet as ever as he shot a near career high this past season at 46% from the field. He is fifth all-time in points scored for a reason because putting the ball in the hoop just comes easy to this man, don’t expect his scoring ability to take a big hit because once he gets into game shape he will continue to be one of the best scorers in the league.

If Kobe comes back healthy, strong and motivated to show the world that despite this injury he still has it than I don’t see why this team can’t make the Playoffs. In 2006 Bryant led a starting line up Kwame Brown, Brian Cook, Chris Mihm and Smush Parker to the Playoffs and damn near beat the Phoenix Suns, will Kobe really fail to lead a team with Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Nick Young and Chris Kaman to the Playoffs? Of course the West is just much better now than it was in 2006 but I still don’t see a healthy and motivated Kobe Bryant missing the Playoffs in what could be his final season in the NBA. Expect the Lakers to make a big move at the trade deadline if they start off slow.

Ultimately the Lakers probably won’t win a championship this year and Kobe Bryant may never get another ring again but so many folks are predicting that the Lakers miss the playoffs, this is disrespect to Kobe Bryant. The Lakers will not fail at this stage in Kobe’s career, they will not finish 12th, they will make the playoffs because they are led by one of the most driven athletes of all time, a guy who loves a challenge and loves proving people wrong. He knows what is being said about him and his team and he reminds us about it.

Kobe Bryant loves a challenege:

So you can take away the Achilles, the knee, the athleticism, take away the innate scoring ability, the early morning workouts, the stats, the records, the rings, the awards take it all away and this man is still an assassin, he is a killer, he is cold blooded and has been his entire life…it is what is inside him that led him to accomplish everything he has his entire career and it is what is inside him that will lead him to overcome all the odds and prove everyone wrong again by taking this team to the Playoffs. It’s that fire, that fire has burnt inside him his whole life.

Say the season rolls around and Kobe Bryant eventually returns and all of a sudden we see slippage in his game and he clearly isn’t the same player and all the mileage he has throughout his 18 year career combined with his injury have taken him down,  he can no longer get shots off let alone get them in, his scoring averages drop, he is missing every other game due to his injuries, the Lakers struggle mightily and begin looking forward to free agency.

This will all only mean one thing: “The fire” no longer burns inside Kobe Bryant and this truly is the end. We’ve seen the same story so many times with our favorite athletes.

Don’t count on it though. Hes just different.

By: Ekam.N

2 Comments

  1. bobby

    November 7, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Hahahaha what a bunch of bs…how is kobe greatness worked out the last 2 seasons @25million plus/season? This guy had his day n time in the spotlight…he will not allow the great young lakers talent to flourish as he insists on jacking up the most shots in the team and is a ball stopper without the brillance of his youth…..retire already

  2. hey

    February 24, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    fzfy.com

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