Wednesday, January 6

One of three main sports heroes.

This would be Kobe Bryant of course. Dude had THREE gaming winning shots (winning a game with time expiring and your team behind in points, with a buzzer-beating shot which leaves no time left on the clock) in the last month. That's more than most players get in a whole career, quite literally. And yeah, that would be yet another NBA record.

The Lakers have the best record in the league, and it all starts with this guy. He is an absolute assassin on the court; the bigger the game or the situation, the better he gets. Michael Jordan is really the only player in my mind who he could be compared to, a guy with that same unimaginable urge to win and work ethics, pain tolerance, and focus that frankly I can't even comprehend.

Oh and how about this? At the age of 30 with no signs of slowing down, he just moved into 15th place in career scoring all-time. That's more than 50 years of great NBA players like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Kareem, Julius Erving (Dr. J), Oscar Robertson, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Moses and Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan... Pretty exclusive company and he could finish in the top couple in history if he continues at this pace. Plus he's on track to get his fifth NBA championship ring in seven trips to the Finals. Jordan got 6 rings in his storied career but most were in his 30s, and Kobe has the whole of his 30s to get those two more to equal Jordan, or 3 to surpass him.

And he speaks at least three languages fluently!

By the way, my other main sports heroes are Barry Bonds (formerly of the San Francisco Giants and 7-time MVP), and Lance Armstrong, 7-time consecutive winner of the Tour de France. Andre Agassi in tennis gets my runner up! Not a bad crew there, and I never "bandwagonned" on any of them - I stuck to them all from early in their careers through triumph and some major controversy over the years, all the way to the bitter end (some haven't ended yet...). I don't ditch my heroes!

And yes, I model my swing in baseball on Bonds' and my jumper in basketball on Kobe's, not that I get anywhere near their results (heh), but I don't even try to emulate Lance or Andre in their sports - I'm not even good enough to try. *sigh*


Hans said...

Good to have heroes. Those guys were focused!

billybytedoc said...

I don't believe in turning entertainers into heros. And professional sports is part of the business of entertainment now days. And entertainers have one goal in mind. Huge amounts of $$s.

There are a few exceptions such as Bryant and Bonds, but not many.

Remember when "sports heros" stuck with their team through thick and thin. I do.

Metamatician said...

Yeah, that's such a rarity these days. I agree with you and it's easy to be cynical about it all, but in the end there are certain guys I like to see play, and if they're on my team so much the better.

But on the whole I'm pretty down on modern-day sports. It's nothing like sports were in the early half of the 20th Century when players got paid well, but nothing even close to what they get today, and winning was everything.

It wasn't such a spectacle.

I guess, though, that's why the guys I DO like are guys who seems to play unbelievably despite all the hype and hoopla. I think Kobe would try to win a playground game with every fiber of his body, for no money, just for pride. Same with the other guys I named - they were just made to play their sport. I get the feeling they really enjoy the money but not the fame so much - in fact Bryant, Bonds, and Agassi are all notoriously private "off the court" and lost a lost of endorsement that more extroverted athletes would have gotten.

Lance is pretty visible, but then, everything he does is to raise awareness and money for a cure to cancer. Can't fault a guy that driven to beat a disease.

Metamatician said...

By the way I heard one of the Dodgers in the 60s, might have been Drysdale, was let go by LA when he'd gotten to the end of his career and the only team who came and offered him a decent contract to play for them was San Francisco. Because of the rivalry, he said "no way" and retired rather than be a Giant. Gotta love that kind of loyalty - it's all gone now.

Hans said...

From what I hear this country and possibly the world is getting sucked down the sewer by the crud that lives upon it.

Metamatician said...

I think you heard right.

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