Let it be known that Kobe Bryant keeps enemies close. While the likes of LeBron James would rather round up his buddies to play a game of ball Kobe prefers a much different approach. Not saying one method is better than the other, not if both result in hanging banners at least. Just saying Kobe is a different breed.
Not too long ago Kobe reached out to Raja Bell in hopes of recruiting the man that once clotheslined him to join the Lake Show. That opportunity went wanting but it said a lot of Kobe’s basketball character. Later Bryant would bury another hatchet as he welcomed another Kobe hater by the name of Matt Barnes to the purple and gold.
Now the ante has been upped with Steve Nash, the NBA poster boy that swiped two MVPs from Kobe’s cabinet, coming to Los Angeles.
Of course Kobe has always been about the bottom line. He’s hungry to get on even ground with Michael Jordan and the clock is ticking louder than Marisa Tomei’s. That’s why it was no real surprise to see Bryant take the diplomatic approach when asked about playing alongside Nash.
“He wanted to know if I’d be OK with it because he knows how competitive I am and obviously the history we’ve had. But I said, ‘Our bond coming in the league together in ’96, especially he and I, because we weren’t necessarily highly regarded coming into that draft. That bond is much bigger than the rivalry we had with Phoenix.’ “
That’s great for Kobe but what about us? I’m still scarred by Tim Thomas’ dagger. My psyche still can’t get past that epic fail that was Game 7 back in ’06.
But before I go to a dark place where only the soul of Charlie Sheen now rests I’m reminded of Kobe’s nasty throw down on Nash…ohhh weeee!!!!
OK, I’m good. So too is Kobe if Nash helps this team to another title. Bryant thinks it can happen. I say there is still more work to be done. But at least the title hopes have a pulse now.