It’s true. The title Kobe Bryant held for so long has been snatched out from underneath him. Long considered the spoiled brat of the NBA, Kobe may very well be sitting back watching Lebron get ripped by every fan, franchise, and media outlet in the nation, smiling uncontrollably. I know I would be. See, Kobe grew out of the bad boy stage a couple years ago. Somewhere, he realized he didn’t need to be a villain. Moreover, in order to be regarded with the Jordans, Magics, and Birds, he needed to be liked. I’m not saying he changed his personality, but he simply became tolerable. Many still hate him, but not as passionately as they used to. I actually came around a lot earlier than most. I think it was a combination of going to college with his cousin and the Kings fall from contention and no longer having to deal with him in the big moments. What really did it for me was that Kobe simply is THAT GOOD. I was a damn good swimmer all through high school, and somewhere along the line, I realized you had to KNOW you were that good to BE that good. That’s all Kobe was doing. You need your opposition to believe that they can’t beat you. Kobe has mastered this. Up until now, Kobe was the bad guy and Lebron was the good guy.
Not so anymore. Lebron James was a man among boys ever since he was in high school. Grown ass men were looking up to him because he seemed to have the world in the palm of his hands. Thursday night ended up being the biggest heel turn – to put it in WWF terms – the NBA has ever seen. It was almost as if Lebron ripped off his Cavs jersey to reveal an NWO shirt underneath. Now, it’s not like the Heat are a hated franchise or anything. They’re not the Lakers or the Knicks or even the Celtics. Had he gone to the Knicks, which was highly speculated, it would’ve been fine because it would’ve been HIS team. Instead, he goes and joins D-Wade’s team. Even if he wins a championship, it won’t be his. But clearly he doesn’t care about it. I don’t know if I’m going to hate the Heat as much as I’m going to root for the Cavs. Even though Cleveland is widely regarded as one of America’s shitholes…. the Mistake by the Lake, if you will…. I grew up during the Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, Craig Ehlo era. They were a solid franchise when I was young. They’re not really a poor hapless franchise like, say, the Sacramento Kings or Golden State Warriors, in my book. But on one fateful night, the Cavs became the biggest underdogs the NBA has ever seen. Can anyone really root against them? I mean sure, Daniel Gibson could go away and no one would miss him. But Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams deserve better. I was never much of a Dan Gilbert fan, and as much as he may have been going a little overboard, I am now. I avoided “The Decision” at all costs, but I’ll definitely be tuning in for Lebron’s first game back in Cleveland as a flamer. You can take that to the bank.
July 9th, 2010 at 9:54 pm
Hint , one of the reasons now coming to the fore is at that actress Betty White stated that she’d spend the night with LeBron were he to remain in Cleveland with the Cavaliers. Apparently White is an avid fan of the team and of LeBron in more ways than one it would genuinely seem .
July 10th, 2010 at 12:31 am
It is what it is, I guess.
But you’re right, it’ll be a tough team to root for.
Did you see the LeBron-related Tweets prior to “The Decision?’
July 10th, 2010 at 12:26 pm
You hit this right on the dot. I’ve been a Kobe (personality) hater for the longest time, the cocky bastard. It’s one thing to pattern your game like Mike, but to pattern everything outside of it? C’mon. I never questioned his game though, he is the second best guard in the history of the NBA, or at least shooting guard, no doubt he is an assassin.
But the moment LeBron said South Beach, Kobe became one of my favorite players and I can’t even wait to see him and Gasol crap on Miami in the Finals. (Can’t believe I just said that).
As for Cleveland, they are now like my beloved Warriors … I know they’ll suck, but I’ll cheer my ass off for them.
July 10th, 2010 at 5:06 pm
It’s hard to pinpoint when I stopped hating Kobe as much as I used to. Maybe it was around the time when I started expecting him to be great all the time and he delivered all the time. Maybe it’s because he’s in my face everywhere down here in Socal… Yeah, that’s probably it, I just see so much of him, and a lot of televised games made me have a respect for him that he is the best.
I’m on the Miami hater bandwagon, although if they fill up the top ten list every night on SC, I might lose some of that hate…
I don’t really feel sorry for Cleveland. They knew this was possible, and maybe if they’d gotten rid of Delonte West before “the decision” he might have stayed haha
July 10th, 2010 at 8:49 pm
At one point did it not hit the Cavs’ fans that LeBron would leave because all of the signs were there to begin with ! Never mind that the front office couldn’t find their a_s from a whole in the ground when it came to assessing and finding talent ! Other than James as their # 1 overall pick (2003) what have they actually done to improve the team overall ?
July 14th, 2010 at 10:52 pm
[…] Chappy: Haha, did you see Matt’s post over the weekend saying Lebron dethroned Kobe as the most hated man in basketball? […]