Kobe Bryant Doing Work…After the Game
The Miami Heat finally got back on track. After beating the Los Angeles Lakers in a hard-fought basketball game, the Heat followed that up with the utter destruction of the late-surging Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. However, the Heat’s gain was the Lakers loss. And Kobe Bryant was not happy about it.
After the game on Thursday, Kobe “Bean” Bryant had a post-game shoot-around—by himself!
That’s right! A 14-year veteran, 32-year old, 13-time all-star had a post game shoot-around by himself, after he loss to the Miami Heat on national television. Kobe said it was the first time he had a post-game shoot-around in 7 years, but that the agony of that defeat affected him so immensely that he immediately had to improve upon his game.
Of course, any intelligent person will tell you that a post-game shoot-around won’t do much for Kobe Bryant. First of all, he’s 32-years old; thus, his body was far too tired to truly handle a productive shoot-around after playing a game that went right down to the wire.
Secondly, Kobe has been in the NBA for 14 years and hadn’t found the need to have a post-game shoot-around in the last seven seasons. You know why? Because there isn’t much he can do to improve his shot at this point in his life—especially not when he’s entering the shoot-around with a body that was clearly fatigued throughout the entire fourth quarter of that game.
Lastly, what good does shooting by himself do him at this point in the season? Let’s face it, Kobe gets enough personal workout time in during the day, and he surely gets plenty of shots up during a game. There’s nothing Kobe can do in a gym by himself and after a game that’s going to make the Lakers better. If he wants to do that, he should have had all of the Lakers out their taking shots and improving their games. While the loss to Miami was in part a result of Kobe’s poor night, if he had some better interior help, we would have seen the Lakers win that game.
Then again, Kobe knows that. You know how I know Kobe knows that? Because anybody you talk to who is close with Kobe Bryant will tell you that Kobe is one of the most calculating individuals in NBA basketball history. Kobe doesn’t do anything without thinking about the outcome, consequences and prospects of a single, public act. Ever since the rape charges against him, Kobe’s public persona has been as manicured as women’s nails. And there are instances that attest to that. From getting Shaq out of LA but not saying anything about it, to new grimace-look he developed a couple of postseasons ago, Kobe makes his mark on the public what he wants it to be, including arranging sit down dinners with reporters when he was trying to get his image back in line.
So what’s the motivation behind a post-game shoot-around? That’s simple. He wanted to change the narrative around the very game that he just lost.
If Kobe is one thing, it’s prideful. The man doesn’t like being outscored, and he hates taking a backseat to anyone, even if they are on his team (i.e. Phil Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal). You can only imagine how mad it makes him that this whole experiment in Miami is forcing him and his team to take a backseat to LeBron James and the Heat. And to lost to them on national television? Oh no! Kobe wasn’t having it.
So in a move to make the story about him and to “defend his honor,” Kobe went back on to the court, after the game, and took shots. Mind you, he didn’t do this after his basketball ego should have been shook in Cleveland when the Cavaliers put a whooping’ on him. Instead, Kobe saved his post-game antics for Miami, when TNT and ESPN were in the house and every basketball fan in America was watching.
Listen, Kobe is a great basketball player, but the next person to tell me he is a great guy is worthy of having his own bubble popped. Kobe has a problem with being second fiddle. But it’s one thing to be mad about Miami taking precedence over his last 2 NBA championships, but it’s another to try and steal attention away from somebody after you severely got outplayed by Dwyane Wade on the court. Kobe’s decision to go shoot around after the game like a young Jesus Shuttlesworth trying to get picked up by a top-flight Division I program is foolish. Kobe needs to be a man about his loss, and go back to his locker room and cry about it. Just like the Miami Heat would have done.