As if he didn’t already have millions of groupies eager to come to his defense, LeBron James can now count on Kobe Bryant to have his back as well. In an interview with the Sun Sentinel Bryant opened up about all the LeBron hate that boiled over thanks to the King’s 4th quarter disappearing act in the Finals.
“I think people need to lay off that kid, that’s what I think. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well, playing with the Olympic team, and I think they just need to back off him and just let him play and let him live his life and let him make his decisions and let him mature as a player.”
“It’s tough to be under the microscope like that all the time. So, I would like everybody to just back off of him and just let him play.”
While the general public has had a field day destroying the self-proclaimed King you get the feeling his NBA brethren have a much different outlook. Those that have been in situations similar to LeBron will surely sympathize. As we all know KB24 has been in the middle of numerous salacious situations over the years that have drawn public ire.
That being said LeBron’s turmoil is much different.
There are certainly plenty of folks all too eager to hate on LeBron just cause he’s the newest media darling. The same was very true for Kobe when he began to climb Mt. Jordan.
However that’s about where the comparisons end.
Most of the ill will toward James stems from his all too public statements and actions. James has bought in on all of his own hype and revels in all of the premature adulations. This is primarily where there is a disconnect.
Bryant too was shunned when he dared to pull on Jordan’s laces. The difference, of course, is that Kobe has the hardware with which to make an argument. James is still a king without a crown or a ring as it were.
While I can appreciate Kobe coming to the aid of LeBron I can’t help but feel this is just more enabling for the game’s biggest scapegoat. But listen to me throwing LeBron under the microscope. Then again, I can’t recall Kobe having a live special on cable to announce where he was going to go during his free agency flirtation.