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NBA / Jun 15, 2009 / 4:22 pm

Forget Mike; Kobe is the new Jeter

Kobe & Pau (photo. Orlando Sentinel)

Kobe & Pau (photo. Orlando Sentinel)

Late last night, after hearing yet another TV analyst talk about Kobe Bryant‘s “drive” and “competitiveness” and “will to win” the same way you’d talk about a woman’s features, I wondered when we started defining our greatest athletes with intangible terms we can’t even define.

Nevermind the ring count: This is how Kobe has truly set himself apart from Shaq. For any athlete, once they stop talking about your actual talent and statistics and instead fawn over your “desire” and “clutch” and “mental toughness,” you’ve made it to a different level of legend status. Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Lance Armstrong, Brett Favre … this is the class Kobe has been on the doorstep of entering for years, the class everybody wanted to put him in, the class he finally joined last night with his first post-Shaq championship and Finals MVP. It’s not an exact science to determine who makes it there. Favre and his one Super Bowl ring are in; Shaq and his four NBA rings are still out. Evander Holyfield is in; superior fighter Lennox Lewis is out.

And while today and the rest of the summer will be devoted to the “Kobe vs. Jordan” argument, there’s another athlete in that aforementioned elite class (I’d call it the League of Clutch if Gatorade hadn’t already worn that out) with whom Kobe has a lot more in common: Derek Jeter.

What separates Kobe and Jeter from most of the athletes in that next-level elite class is that most of them are universally loved, with few haters. You have to search hard for anybody to say a bad thing about Lance Armstrong or Jordan or Russell. Kobe and Jeter, on the other hand, are still in that area where large legions of folks are still convinced they are the John Milton of their respective sports, and can’t be swayed any other way.

Because Kobe (Lakers) and Jeter (Yankees) are the respective faces of successful, big-money, big-market franchises that polarize fan bases just on GP, the stage is already set for a love/hate relationship with the public. Throw in the natural feelings that come along when fans feel like an athlete’s greatness is being forced down their throat by the media, and Kobe and Jeter have even more of an uphill battle.

You heard Kobe in his sit-down ESPN interview after Game 5, asked how this championship changes public opinion of him: “I have no idea.” Kobe knows a lot of people don’t like him. When he came into the League in 1996, he was trying to be that universally loved Jordan figure, but had to give it up for good — guilty or innocent — after the Colorado case.

Kobe has acknowledged his love/hate dynamic in commercials (“Hate that I’m loved for the exact same reason.”). Jeter has done the same. (“To me, [booing] sounds like victory.”) But while they’ve both hit the stage in their careers where those paid to put their careers in perspective have stopped using numbers and accomplishments to prove their points, that’s still the best unit of measure, the one that even the most stubborn hater shouldn’t be able to argue with.

After all, the numbers can’t lie THAT much. Jeter’s resume is impeccable. Kobe, with four championships, a Finals MVP, a regular season MVP, a bunch of All-NBA and All-Defensive picks, and two scoring titles, is in the same position.

At some point, you just have to accept reality. Whether you choose to define Kobe Bryant by facts and figures or more romantic ideals of clutchness and determination and whatever else, he’s done too much to be denied his place as one of the all-time greats.

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  • http://www.realgm.com Rare Air

    Some good points in here, but I think at the end of the day Jeter is much better liked and not nearly as polarized as Kobe fans. Mamba you either love or hate, not to many people in the middle. Jeter doesnt draw quite that much energy from both sides. Both are clutch as can be!

  • Danraps

    Why isn’t Lewis in? Dude fought anyone they put in front of him and not only beat them….but schooled them! Holyfield is definitely in but I think you’re way off on Lewis. He wasn’t Ali but he is in the top 10 if no 5 of heavyweights to ever fight.

  • Sanpitch

    What a difference a year makes. Last year it was very apparent that Kobe and MJ were far from being compared to each other. Now everyone is on Kobe’s nuts.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Danraps — When I hear fight experts/fans talk about Lennox Lewis, they talk about his skills and his stats, not his heart and “will to win” and all that. No one’s saying Lennox isn’t an all-time great, but he’s not one of those guys who gets fawned over for his intangibles.

  • Scott

    A year does make a huge difference, the difference it seemed this year was that Kobe couldn’t get rattled. Last year the Celts did it. This year the Magic couldn’t. Some will say that the Celts had better talent, but it seemed like he did infact grow and learn from last years experience. I have a hard time justifying that the Celts perimeter players did that much better of a job than the Magic did this year.

    The other difference is that Kobe finally deferred to his teammates multiple times in clutch situations. Whether it was to Fish or Gasol. He was making good plays and not just trying to do it all himself. Especially with Gasol, you could see them growing together with their trust and comfort level on the court in such an intense stage.

    It was definitely a team effort, but where Kobe failed from panic last year, he elevated his team this year. If you don’t believe, go ask the Celts how tough a team the Magic are.

  • fallinup

    @ 3

    Welcome to Day 1 of the off season. :D

    It’ll be like this until the Lakers next season ends. But if they win the chio next season…god help us.

  • Ian

    if kobe is the new jeter then he is the most overrated basketball player ever?

  • doc

    Jeter aint did shit in 5 years.Nothing like Kobe.

  • Ian

    gotta love austin tryin to compare the one team sport basketball that one individual can decide how the team does to the other team sport that one individual cant carry a team on his own. jeter won because he was lucky enough to be around allstars period. he didnt carry shit. baseball is all numbers and jeter is known because he plays for ny you think dude could have carried kansas to 4 titles in the 90s?? FUCK NO no one would know him

  • Ian

    doc
    kobe aint did shit in 7 years.

  • Dukesman2000

    Jeter is overrated. He isn’t even the best short stop on the Yankees. The best SS plays 3rd base

  • Knock Knock

    lebron STILL aint done shit in what, seven years now??

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    In the history of the Yankees (not the Washington Nationals, the YANKEES), Jeter ranks:

    5th in batting average
    4th in runs scored
    2nd in hits
    5th in total bases
    5th in doubles
    10th in RBI
    7th in walks
    2nd in steals
    1st in singles
    7th in extra-base hits

    Numbers don’t lie. He ranks right up there in several categories with Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, etc. What else does he have to do?

  • Rafa23

    well, armstrong is amazing in terms of his will and fight to beat cancer. his charity is awesome.
    BUT you hear a lot of people outside of america who dont like him. reasons are his arrogance toward the meadia and the other cyclists or his almost certain use of drugs.
    i dont agree with it, but its like that.

  • Ian

    austin he ranks up there with who ? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you just compared jeter to ruth and lou HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    dukesman you are right and not even close the thing is jeter cant play third you know he cant catch shit going left. sad thing is new york has 2 teams and hes the third best ss.

  • focalmatic

    Curious to see how Kobe’s career will compare to Tim Duncan’s who actually won 4 championships is less time – once its all said and done?

  • TheNatural

    You have to be kidding me. I for one am tired of the comparisions. I mean no one will come close to Jordan overall…NO ONE!!! And I’m saying that not to take anything away from Kobe but thats just stating the obvious.

    Now, I say all this to comeback to the actual article and say this is the area where Kobe and MJ are on the same wave length. The drive, the love of the game, the passion. These guys would steal the ball, dunk the ball, and talk smack all in mere seconds on their moms!!! Just ruthless.

    Also,to come at Scott talking about what a difference a year makes. Yes I must admit its been a huge difference but the Lakers obviously lucked up. Yes they were an elite team but they didn’t crush people as they should’ve. They should thank the Jazz for not showing up at all due to Carlos Boozer just not being anything worth the hype. Then the Rockets who lost Yao Ming after putting up great numbers in the first few games of the playoffs. Then Denver collapsing on 2 big games in the series just like Orlando. Kobe is great but please realize this was almost handed to them in more ways then one.

  • Duke

    Why isn’t Duncan on the list?

  • doc

    @ian-he did something this year.@AB-Who cares about them stats.If he played every year since 96 (which he did) he would have to be a retard not to be up there.@knock-knock-Bron did so much in 6 years he lapped u about 200 million times u Skip Bayless wannabe.

  • Kobeef

    From the WTF were you thinking files:

    Royal Ivey has declined the player option on his Sixers contract for the 2009-10 season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

    I can’t even remember seeing this kid on the floor for philly and he thinks he can get a better contract?

  • Justin

    Good comparison. Even closer is that both of them really aren’t the most outstanding athletes in their sports and really rely on their skill and work ethic to get ahead.

  • doc

    @kobeef-i remember seeing his ass and he got lockdown D so somebody gonna sign him.

  • Yoooo

    He won an MVP for the LEAGUE. Not like baseball where they give out 2, how gay is that

  • LakeShow84

    Jeter aint done shit in 5 years cuz the supposed “worlds best baseball player”, Arod, has stunk it up in every post season since being a Yankee.. and the big boss forgot pitching wins championships.. cracks me up how foo’s get on Jeter.. dude is consistent at an all star level..

    Good Article AB..

    And to the Lennox Lewis question.. Lennox Lewis turned tale, ran and retired when Klitshko (damn thats hard to spell) wanted a rematch.. no heart there.. he ran from the challenge..

  • isotope

    I think all the anti-Jeter talk is just proving Austin’s point.

    So if Jeter = Kobe, is Clemens = Shaq?

  • isotope

    Pujols = Lebron?

  • LakeShow84

    Jeter played through the steroid era without juicing and still had better #’s than most them foo’s..

    You guys cant be arguing his numbers..

    @ TheNatural.. Thanks i was beginning to get used to the SMART COMMENTS.. Always good to hear some dumb shit like “it was handed to them in more ways than one”.. gotta love the special kids!

  • Sanpitch

    all i can say is kobe better be buying trevor ariza and pau gasol a house, cause they made him look good. all the talk and hype is about kobe this and kobe that or how phil is the greatest coach ever, but what about lamar odom, pau gasol, trevor ariza?

    my favorite moment from last night was when mark jackson said, “Kobe has no flaw in his game.” what!!?? mark jackson you are now THE worst announcer in NBA history. bill walton now thanks you.

  • QQ

    I suppose it’s time i left a post – First off let me start by saying BURN THE IMPOSTER!!!

    Secondly, I know i’ve been acting a little strange and all, but please forgive me, this is a tough time for me. After watching my magic battle like warriors for 3 rounds, it was pretty devastating to watch them go down like pussys against the Lakers.

    A couple things i’d like to point out:

    1. Kobe is GOD (if Lebron won, i’d have said him).
    2. Phil Jackson is the GREATEST Coach of all time.
    3. The Magic, while they had a great season, will never accomplish more than they did this season.
    4. DFISH = Bully. He str8 bullied the fuck outta bitch ass Jameer in game 4.
    5. Dwight is a beast, but he ain’t clutch. still gots a ways to go before getting to shaq status.
    6. SVG = faggot. FIRE HIM.

    Anyways, I appreciate everyone showing me all the love on the posts. There’s this imposter out there trying to be me and shit. Lame. I’m out here keepin it real, keepin it GANGGSTAAAA, and this faggot tryn to ruin my good name. Don’t he know who I BEEZ?? Nigga, i’m G! Sure i grew up un an affluent orlando suburb, but still, i had hard times too.

    BURN the Imposter!

    PS: BURN THE IMPOSTER!!

    oh and PS: BURN THE IMPOSTER!!!!

  • Sanpitch

    @27

    can u prove jeter ain’t juiced? everyone was saying that about a-rod a year ago.

  • QQ

    @Lakeshow

    FUCK YOU YOU SORRY ASS FAGGOT! LAKERS SUCK. “KOBE, TELL ME HOW MY ASS TASTE!!”

    BURN THE IMPOSTER!!!

    CRUthik IN THIS BITCH!!!

  • doc

    Give me J-Roll….oh i forgot i got him AND the chip.Kobe shows us some offensive brillance we never seen.What the hell jeter did I never seen.I seen plenty of cats hit 280 with 15 homers.We call that weak juice where im from.

  • Ian

    lakeshow please man his numbers are ok not great and you said it yourself jeter hasnt won because he doesnt have the dudes around him to carry his ass anymore. on arod it takes jeter 5 seasons to do what arod does in one take arod out and see if they dont suffer more than without jeter.

    isotope pujols is the best baseball player EASY

  • Ian

    lakeshow that was cruel btw

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Ian — Sporting News just took a survey of 100 former MLB players (Hall of Famers, former MVPs, former ROYs, etc.) and front-office people, and Jeter was named the 8th-best player in the league today. Pujols, A-Rod, Santana, Manny, Hanley, Utley and Halladay were the top seven.

  • doc

    Well there u go AB in what world do u think Kobe would come in 7th place in that vote..

  • Ian

    hence hes overrated austin i can think of at least 20 more i rather have easyyyyyyyyy

  • LakeShow84

    If you need a base hit in the WORLD SERIES to bring your man in you go to Derek Jeter..

    If you want to cry in digust @ a double play and the end of your WORLD SERIES you go to Alex Rodriguez..

    I was in love with what Arod brought to the table once but dude is all jelly with no toast.. what his post season average?? Baseball is a clutch sport.. Why do u think, who was it, Aaron Boone is forever immortalized in Yankee lore for his walkoff.. dude didnt do shit before or after that but people still talk about him like hes a hero..

    The HR record is great but ARod aint brought NO KIND OF WINNING to the Yankees for all of his talents.. Jeter was drafted by the yankees then, POOF, they won the world series with him as the face of the team.. THEN they won it again and he was MVP.. (i think my baseball memory is weak)

    If they get a good lineup and have a chance the old Jeter will show but for now dude is content F’in all them fine ass broads..

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @doc — That’s the thing I don’t get with Jeter haters. Nobody is saying Jeter is the best SS in the game, the best of his era, or even the most-skilled player on his team. But he is ONE OF the best ever at his position and ONE OF the best Yankees of all-time. Numbers don’t lie.

  • ERIC

    “when fans feel like an athlete’s greatness is being forced down their throat by the media”….

    {COUGH}
    {LEBRON}
    {COUGH}

    The media is all up in LeBrons jock yet he’s the media darling.. go figure..

  • ERIC

    **meaning people dont resent LeBron like they do Kobe/Jeteer – solely based on the media hype..**

  • doug

    yeah that’s a poor comparison..jeter is no where near the great Kobe is…Ian are you serious Kobe aint did nothing in 7 years…where should we start…score 81,score 62 in 3qrtrs,all league first teams,all-star mvp’s,earn the respect from anybody who is somebody in the league and past greats as being the best player in the L today…stop hating ian.

  • Ian

    austin dont try to sell that shit now u compared him to ruth and gerigh the best rf ever and a top 3 1b ever YOU ARE SAYIN HES THAT GOOD.

    lakeshow heres the thing you can have that same rbi single in the first and its better than the 9th inning one. btw why is this even an arod comparison?? you dont think arod wins with the 90s yanks?? please man. but playin the imaginary 9th inning hit id take pujols.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Ian — I said in terms of career numbers with the Yankees, he is up there with those guys. Go read comment #13 again: “Numbers don’t lie. He ranks right up there in several categories with Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, etc.” Here’s your proof:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/leaders_bat.shtml

  • Ian

    doug dont even bring that up we are talking team wise here thats why doc mentioned jeter shit dude tell me kobe pays you something. btw love that awards you made up for kobe “earn respect” hahahahahahahaha.

    TEAM WISE

    did anyone check the espn poll today lol
    about what we learned from the finals? kobe cant win without fisher nice.

  • LakeShow84

    @ IAN

    Yeah id take Pujols too..

  • Ian

    btw thanks for the pujols thing i just read doug hehe

  • Ian

    yeah decent career totals austin but you are missing something if i have a 20 year career with jeters numbers and you have 10 seasons of pujols numbers if you look at the totals youll be oh they are almost the same. fuck no pujols was the better player by far.

  • doc

    Yeah he a Yankee great and all that AB.And he was clutch in them World Series Lakeshow,but he cant GET U THERE.He can get a hit there.SO he great but like I said give me the guy on my hometown team and its that easy.U cant say some shit like that about Kobe unless u live in Cleveland and thats why I say they dont compare.

  • doc

    Jimmy Roll M-V-P under his belt and Utley and Howard I would take over his ass too.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    WTF if KG would have been healthy this season kobe would have been tasting Shaq’s ass again.

  • David_Brandon

    i was just talking to a coworker about the finals and they said they couldnt stand kobe…but he can hoop. didnt say anything else about anyone else, except they didnt like kobe b/c he’s arrogant. what i dont get about the whole kobe thing is how EVERYONE always says somethin about his attitude, or he’s cocky or he’s this or that…when they dont kick it w/ dude like that. they’re not playin foosball or watchin the matrix w/ him. they only know what the media’s said about him and what chris childs put up on his twitter feed. now if they wanna say he wasnt the consumnate team player a few years ago, i can vibe w/ that. he wasnt and thats just being real. but the notion that ppl continually toss out that he’s the male counterpart to cruela de ville…lol! when you make a claim to not like somebody on something you have no idea about, thats the epitome of a hater. its really that simple. its crazy to me man. you dont hear ppl talkin about how stingy tony parker is or how lazy chris bosh is. sure, crazy examples, but the point remains. its just funny how ppl make a big deal about dude when all they gotta say is, “i dont like him b/c he’s a laker.” end of discussion. i’ll roll w/ that anyday. even tho i’m a die hard kings fan, i still respect the game enough to know when somebody’s nice.

    even tho i still can’t stand shaq. ;-)
    AND robery horry.

  • the cynic

    doesn’t Jeter date a bunch models? All Kobe ever got was that tweaker in colorado

  • Drink the Haterade (LA LAKERS 09 Champs)

    @ Ian– you say there’s 20 other players you’d take, there’s a reason you’re not a GM… Jeter is clutch and the point is that he is hated.

    @ 52–“when you make a claim to not like somebody on something you have no idea about, thats the epitome of a hater. its really that simple”.

    They have always been like that with KB24…

  • LakeShow84

    Lol i was just arguing Jeter is better than ARod..

  • Sanpitch

    @52
    when you get drafted right out of high school and demand a trade, tell a hof power forward to not set a screen but wave him off to run an iso in your first all-star game, break up a dynasty, demand a trade because YOU can’t carry the team YOU wanted, throw your whole team under the bus in the playoffs by not shooting on purpose to expose how “valuable” you are to the team, doing the big-ball dance when you are 30 damn yrs old and have been there before, and again demand a trade after you just sign a max contract with the team of your choice.

    so when they say they don’t like a guy cuz he’s arrogant, on the surface it might come across as he don’t know the guy… but maybe he does. if you can tell an apple tree is an apple tree by looking at it’s fruit, you can tell a man is arrogant by watching what he does. you can only judge him on what he shows you.

  • Ian

    drink goh with that bs comment
    “oh theres a reason you are not a gm” lol
    are you a gm in the nba and you are here posting stuff all day
    dude the gms wouldnt take jeter whoever takes jeter on top of all the players mentioned is crazy

  • dh

    maybe we should just compare players by their position…

    is kobe the 2nd best 2 guard? hes gotta be top 3 @ least.

  • doug

    ian your sounding more like a poor sport,”kobe cant win without fisher nice.”it’s ridiculous the lengths some of you guys ignorance will go to just because you hate watching Kobe win.

  • David_Brandon

    @ sanpitch,

    i hear you, but ppl arent judging kobe by that. the typical person you ask about kobe, they IMMEDIATELY bring up the CO incident. and yeah, that was terrible judgment on his part, but really?, he’s the world’s worst person b/c of a mistake. i’m not saying he’s infallible, i’m saying know why you dont like somebody. there’s dudes i cant stand hoopin w/ and i can tell you exactly why…not b/c he puts his cereal box on the 3rd shelf instead of the 2nd. ppl find dumbass reasons to not like kobe. and with all of that stuff that happened w/ the team, i’m not sure i buy it was alllll kobe breakin up the team. you had a lotta ego on the squad (gp, karl, shaq, horry, kobe, fox, samaki walker? lol i mean, come on). it has to fall on somebody and i’m saying kobe’s gotten to SOME extent the raw part of the deal. its not always just on one dude. some of that cocky persona he may display on the court is just competitive nature. i’m hella competitive on the court. does that mean that before and after the game i’m not laughing and kickin it w/ the guys? not at all. but in between the lines, i wanna step on their throats. thats just what it is. my thing is this: if you dont care about he outcome of a game thats meant to be played in a win/loss fashion, youre in the wrong game. dont be on my team. i wanna win. somebody shouldnt be judged on their entire personality based on one facet of such…esp when it comes to hoop. cause there’s a lot more to life than those 48 minutes.
    you see what i’m sayin?

    @ drink the haterade,

    game recognize game my man. kobe’s nice. i’ve always loved his game. now if he’s takin the spoon outta my ice cream bowl, then maybe i can say he’s an ass! lol but until i see a problem outside of him bein a hooper, i dont really get. if that was the case, then i’m ass too.

  • Celts Fan

    As a Sox fan, ill vouch for Jeter’s greatness. If you absolutely need a hit, there’s no one I’d want at the plate more than Jeter. No one. Dude always comes through when it counts. That means he’s not overrated. Ya, he couldn’t carry a team, etc. But his contributions to that franchise transcend the #s. Now here’s hoping he gets chlamidia

  • Ender

    Here are baseball players that compare much better with Kobe.

    1. Roger Clements
    2. Manny Ramirez
    3. Jason Giambi
    4. Mark McGwire
    5. Jason Giambi

    But most of all – Barry Bonds.

    Kobe is ancient in basketball years, and his body has a bunch of wear and tear. Yet somehow in the playoffs he recovers so quickly from hitting the wall. It is literally unbelievable – as in, I don’t believe it. When an athlete is getting older but “works harder than anybody else,” there is usually a little bit of something cooking.

  • SharksBreath

    Did Kobe let anyone touch the trophy besides his daughters.

  • SharksBreath

    You can have Pujols. If one thing baseball has taught us is that to be one of the best you have to be on the juice.

  • K.i.n.G.

    I can’t stand dudes who snitch, kobe is now in the top 10 all-time, but he still a snitch in my eyes. Snitching is something every boy learns not to do when they FIVE YEARS OLD, Kobe was what, 25? I don’t care if shaq did pay off women, it’s a man’s principal not to snitch, especially on his teammate!!!! (at the time, of course)

  • http://www.myspace.com/beenobrown BERN BROGDEN aka BINO BROWN

    Kobe is the Kobe.
    Bottomline.

    Jumpshots in the face of smothering defense. Moves for DAYS. Is it me or does it also seem like he’s the calmest, locked-in, SMARTEST basketball player on the floor – most of the time. Is it justs me? Kobe b****n’ to the refs is gonna be a laff riots for days, for all barbershop, street corner, after church, Dime board, anywhere MAN TALK. Man! Say what you want but there is a history of footage of this guy floatin’ out there. When it’s all said and done, and you’re lookin’ at highlights – every last person on the planet Earth is goin’ to say “Wow” at sumptin’ they see Kobe do. I’m DEAD serious. 2019, a Nun is gonna see that MULTIPLE PUMP FAKE IN THE AIR OVER A VERY TALL DWIGHT HOWARD WAVIN’ HIS HAND LIKE QUEEN ELIZABETH EXCEPT HE WASN’T SMILIN’JAW DROPPER LIP-HANGER KINDA IMPOSSIBLE BANKER and say “OH SH**!”

    With Kobe, it’s like…hmmm…it’s like watchin’ME play a videogame. – I’m playin’ Live at Best Buy against some other videogame moocher. He happens to leave the store. I happen to be the 96 Bulls. Ummm, I’m Mike. Now WATCH me go to work.

    Funny, he also got Dwight with a VERY FILTHY AND DISRESPECTFUL CRAM A COUPLE YEARS AGO. We all remember THAT one!

    He did alot of big things these past 2 years. MVPS, All Star MVPs, Olympic Jewelry, Finals MVP, Scoring Crown, etc…he been on some Incredible Hulk/Teen Wolf type deal on the court.

    He just keep buildin’ and buildin.’ And he does in the face of madddd pressure. ‘Cause many expect him to fill the shoes of greatness. And it’s crazy, the MJ mold most want to compare him to – is unattainable. We all know that, that’s why it’s fun comparin’ him. He’s forever banished as the under dog in that argument. And we all like the plight of the underdog. Pop culture narratives love to live, and live long.

    But who knows where this guy’s legacy goes. I don’t know where the pressure generates – well mainly I do, he came in the league a teen, was a all star as a teen, was a million dollar superstar before he was 21, with 3 titles. His talent and drive to continuously get better skillfully, strategically and physically – propelled him to heights never seen. Pressure from media and the fans are just a side effect from his doings. His percieved attidude, cockiness, MJ bitin’ and past behavior enhances the narrative but that’s it.

    As a pure fan of the game, I speak for most: We expected him to win. HE GOT GAME. We wanted him to him, some of us – but the point is thsere was a intense expectation for him to throw the monkey off his back once, all while shedding that ‘selfish’ shadow. Yeah, he was ballin’ like the most efficient point guard. Derek was more like the undersized tailback lookin’ 2. While it’s arguable he still may be, he got a CHAMPIONSHIP as the MAN doin’ HIS way on some PLAYER/MINI-PHIL JACKSON tip. Sidebar: Trevor morphed into the HOOD DENNIS RODMAN UPGRADE BY FAR – Kobe owes him.

    These last two years been crazy. Just buildin’ – like a pimple about to be popped. And I’m not so sure it’s popped yet.

  • Ian

    doug
    did u take that shit for real?? lol lets imagine that i said that seriously why does that matter?

  • Sweet English

    The one thing that still sepereates Kobe and Jordan in my mind is that Hyper Star status. Take game three, par examplar, End of the game, Down by three with 5 seconds left Derek Fisher knocks down the tre to tie it up. Great shot, but NOTHING to do with Kobe.

    If this was the Jordan Era Bulls, the ball is in NO one elses hands except micheals. whether hes double teamed, off balance, it doesnt matter, micheal is taking that shot. Because if he DOESNT take that shot, and pippin/kukoc etc etc miss the shot, Your coaching career is done, people are gonna want to know why micheal wasnt the on the ball in those seconds.

    Throughout the finals, The Lakers have won games and it has been down to a number of people. Ariza catching fire in the third, Derek knocking down the three. For the Bulls, it was ALWAYS Micheal that pulled the W out the hat. Dont get me wrong, MJ had a great team with him but that teams main role was to supply and assist Micheal at both ends. He was the Alpha and Omega, the instigator and the finisher. Kobe just stands out as the best palyer on a good team.

    If Kobe is the Black Jesus of Basketball, Micheal is God.

  • AZ

    Ian, it must be hard work hatin like that.

  • AZ

    Sweet English,
    I think paxson hit 3 to close out the suns series and Kerr to hit the final shot in the Jazz series, i believe.

    PIC OF IAN HATIN in the L.A.,
    lol….TRUE SPURS FAN
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lakersfans15-pictures,0,3303598.photogallery?index=6

  • Brian

    I am trying to understand the comparison of Kobe and Jeter to John Milton. Do you mean the 17th-Century British poet who wrote “Paradise Lost,” “Paradise Regained,” and “Samson Agonistes”? Or are you referring to the character Al Pacino played in “Devil’s Advocate.” Either way, I don’t get the parallel.

  • http://www.random-ish.com Sccob

    Like son said above me, Jeter’s numbers don’t lie. Dude is gonna go down as the greatest Yankee ever. Trust me.

    It’s funny that the Austin brought this up. It seemed that when I was arguing about Kobe with people the same points I used to defend Kobe were the same ones I used to defend Jeter when letting Mets fans know what’s up. The numbers don’t lie people. In a sense, just as the Yankees are the Evil Empire in baseball with Jeter as Darth Vader and Steinbrenner as the Sith Lord (hey that’s what sportscenter refers to the Yankees as), the Lake Show is the evil empire of the NBA with Kobe as Vader and Phil as the Sith Lord. It is what is….

    The empire struck back….

  • karizmatic

    He still doesn’t belong in the conversation with Jordan, for all those state Kobe has, Jordan’s are on a completely different level.

  • karizmatic

    all thos stats I meant

  • MSkittle

    Good call. Plus, they’ve both experienced winning championships and not being able to get back to the promised land thereafter.

  • Ekstor

    Yeah, without Fisher… Kobe would have needed 6 games to wrap up the finals and his MVP and not 5 games… that right there proves what an impostor he is!!

    In fact, take away Fisher, Gasol, Odom, and Ariza and there’s no way he wins that ring by himself 1 on 5.

  • JuiceMode

    If Kobe is Jeter, would that make T-Mac the A-Rod of the NBA? Both are great players who don’t have playoff success, and the comparisons just don’t start and end there too…

  • jay

    first off mj is on another planet and rules were different. that being said kobe in terms of skill in dominating the elites for the league is close!
    as for jeter..i am not a basball historian but jeters numbers are crazy in historial terms.. yes, he is not a power hitter but a leadoff or bats 2nd. he gets on base and scores.what more do you want..he is a gold glover. his numbers are insane when they measure up in yankee history..as i said yankee history not say the royals where you have george brett and that is it! yankees not only have HOF but the best the game has ever seen..similar to the lakers!!!

  • QQ

    @sweet english – You’re on CRACK dude. Paxson and Kerr. Moron.

  • SagJism

    cmon, Timmy’s ring dont count for the stike year, stop it.

  • SagJism

    @sweet english – Yeah, you musta been smokin soome real wacky tobaccy with those statements. How old are you? Did you even watch Jordan? He was the most polarizing figure when he came i nthe NBA, thats why he got snub in the allstart game and it want just Isiah that snub the whole league did because of his arrogance, just like they arer doing Kobe now. Let 7 years go by and Kobe get 2 more rings and all this madness willl be forgetten and then he will B the king of the NBA until LBJ takes over. It is amazing how time changes perspective, luckily for Jordan we didnt have the bloggers and tweets like we do now so a lot of that can be dismiss or disremembered but not for Kobe, he is inthe real internet era and he wont get above it all as easy as MJ.

  • swiggs

    Timmy’s 4 rings don’t count as much because the media is enamored with perimeter players. Mike started it when he actually was the best player in the league. Shaq has been complaining for touches and respect for the longest.

    Just for a random example- MVP Nash needed 7 games to take care of MVP Kobe’s Lakers in 06. Enter Amare the next year off injury and they destroyed LA.
    Two on two game I’ll take Al Jefferson and Amare vs Kobe and Wade. So who are better players?
    I understand basketball is 5 on 5 with floor games but there are post players who get handchecked and pushed all game and still shoot over 50%.
    06 Finals Wade lived on the line.
    This year for what seemed like the last half of the 4th Q LA did not make any buckets. Kobe was just eating off BS calls. And we all saw Lebron’s phantom calls against DHoward.