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The Black Mamba

Seems odd for my first post to be about a guy I’ve hated for so many years. Make no mistake, I wanted him to fail. With that being said I genuinely felt bad for Kobe as I saw him fall to the ground knowing it might have been the last time I witnessed him at his best. Not sure why I hated the guy so much. He did start his career off by forcing a trade after being drafted. Or was it the Colorado accusations? Could it have been his constant crying and feeling entitled every time someone touched him?

The Rockets have been stuck in mediocrity for much of Kobe’s career. My favorite team wasn’t a legitimate threat, so I found myself rooting for the Kings/Blazers, hoping against hope for Iverson and the Sixers in the Finals. Pleading with Reggie Miller and the Pacers to beat the Lakers. Anybody! Somebody! FINALLY Detroit knocked Kobe and his ego back to reality. This was followed by Kobe’s apparent “snitching” on Shaq and the fall of the Lakers as we knew them. At last Kobe and the Lakers run was over. They overhauled the roster and never made it out of the first round in a 3-year stretch. I could finally exhale…

We all have Memphis GM Chris Wallace to thank for Kobe’s 4th and 5th titles. He gifted Pau Gasol to the Lakers which helped the legendary franchise get back on top.


Living out West, I started to get Kobe overload… but something funny happened as I watched them knock out the Rockets in the 2nd round of the playoffs. My hate turned to respect and admiration for Kobe Bryant. Let’s be honest, I hated this guy because he was a phenomenal player. Not to mention Kobe played for the Yankees of the NBA. Why do we hate Jeter, Coach K, and currently Alabama Football? They have what we want. They have success. They have championships. All the other stuff just added fuel to the fire.

He is the closest thing to MJ we have ever seen and maybe we ever will see. So as much as I rooted against Kobe for all those years, I’ll be rooting for The Black Mamba to come back as he once was. I don’t want my lasting image of him to be shooting two free throws with a torn Achilles.


Kobe modeled his game, and has always tried to match MJ and his six rings. Lebron, KD and those that follow need to understand…to be like Mike, they must first match Kobe.

Joe Palomarez
Las Vegas, Nevada


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