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Smack / Jul 3, 2014 / 11:30 am

Kobe Bryant On Title Expectations For LeBron: “Absolutely Ridiculous”

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Increasingly our demands on NBA superstars have risen as we become more impatient for overall dominance. A single title is no longer enough. Witness the grief LeBron James still suffers from even though he’s only won a pair of titles in five Finals tries. Kobe Bryant was asked about this new superstar standard as regards arguably the two best soccer players in the world: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kobe spoke with a reporter in Brazil about the demand on soccer and basketball superstars. He was asked who was better between Messi and Ronaldo and said Messi has been the best for the last half decade, but Ronaldo might have gotten up to his level this year.

The most interesting part of this exchange comes 45 seconds in, after the interviewer asks if Messi or Ronaldo need a World Cup win in order to be considered successful and true all-time greats. The questioner segues into LeBron, and Kobe didn’t hold back in talking about how “absolutely ridiculous” the expectations have become for players, particularly James.

Here’s Kobe on the expectations placed on ‘Bron and himself:

“[LeBron] has two of them [titles]. For us players, it becomes about how many you get, which sounds absolutely ridiculous. You’re really lucky and fortunate to win one, but now it’s become so jaded, it’s like, ‘OK you only won one, you only won two, you should win five or six,’ which is absolutely ridiculous. But nonetheless, that’s the challenge that we deal with.”

There’s a reason LeBron is lying back and watching the July moratorium on some island bunker that only his agent can reach. He knows the expectations — he played a big role in setting them himself with that famous speech after arriving in Miami. Plus, we’ve had to read and listen to so many unoriginal jokes about “Not 1, not 2, not 3…” that — aside from the unfair expectations it loaded him with — is reason enough to detest LeBron’s welcome to Miami speech. So James is going to play wherever he can make the max — he’s the best basketball player on the planet, so of course he should make the max — and where he’s got the best chance of winning titles.

LeBron knows at this point in his career, it’s only about championships, which — to quote Kobe — is absolutely ridiculous. It’s really hard to win a title, let alone two of them, let alone five or six of them. Not many people have even won a single title, but that’s what comes along with being the best basketball player on the planet — something Kobe, LeBron and only a few others have ever really known.

(video via Worldstar)

What do you think?

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  • Minh Urban

    Kobe is just scared that LeBron will catch him up with 5 rings.

  • 2cents

    Agreed with Minh, but want to add that I think this sort of competition makes it for great viewing for the fans. Who doesn’t want to see guys compete every single season, even after winnning a ‘chip?

  • JayDynasty

    Where in the fuck do you get Kobe is afraid of Lebron catching him up on rings? Winning 1 championship is hard to win in any sport. Your reply to this article makes no sense with that 1 liner bullshit. Make a case out of it instead instead making your self look like an idiot.

  • MIkeD

    Kobe’s not scared of LeBron everyone knows that Lebron will never be as good as kobe was or MJ. LeBron needs a super team well kobe just needed a Paul. If you look at kobe won chips when that league had talent lebron only won because the east is soft since jordan left

  • iamSharp

    Kobe had Shaq and a great coach.

    LeBron(in Cleveland) and AI are the only two players to single-handedly lead a bunch of second rate scrubs to this finals.

  • http://30homegames.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page.html 30HomeGames

    A lot of it also has to do with the megaphone that is Social Media. Everyone has an opinion and we all get to hear it. Many of the people creating these unrealistic demands that can only ever be met by handful of people in the entire world have no idea what it’s like to be an elite individual and the dedication it takes.

  • eaglenation1187

    How does that make any sense when Kobe just defended LeBron? Fuck LeBron James and his whiny ass. If he played in Jordan’s era he would be just another good player not a great because they played a lot more rough and there was no turning to the refs and crying about a foul. Man up LeBron

  • Minh Urban

    nigga it was sarcastic
    it seems like you can’t take a joke lmao

  • JayDynasty

    Asian dude callin me nigga….lol. End of discussion. Smh.

  • Minh Urban

    you called my comment bullshit and you call me I’m making myself looking like an idiot but YOU, YOU can not notice that it was sarcastic. SMFH…

  • stevemb34

    It’s laughable but Mo Williams made the All Star team that year for Cleveland and Dikembe won DPOY for that 6ers team so no, no they didn’t do it alone.

  • stevemb34

    You’re very conveniently leaving out Bynum and Trevor Ariza and Phil Jackson. But ya, he “only” needed Pau. SMH

    Also, LeBron went through DRose, the Celtics, and now the Pacers. This year’s East was soft as heck but it has been pretty solid up through last year.

    BTW, Kobe’s got him in the all-time rankings at this point (though they’ve both played in opposite ends of the Duncan Era) but LeBron at his apex is probably better than what we’ve seen from Kobe and he’s still got plenty of time to catch up for rings.