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Why Does Everybody Hate Kobe Bryant?

Kevin June 11, 2010 Blogs, Kevin Burke 105 Comments

Hate Kobe Bryant Lakers

June 11, 2010 – Kevin Burke

Kobe Bryant is arguably the most talented player in the league. He is the best closer and the guy who seems to routinely make tougher shots than anyone else.  He is also the guy who is hated more than anybody: by both fans and other players across the league. But the burning question is why?

The most casual basketball fan will tell you that he / she doesn’t like Kobe Bryant, and they usually don’t even have a good reason why. In speaking to both casual and knowledgeable fans who are neither Lakers nor Celtics fans, I found that the majority of them are rooting for the Celtics in this 2010 Finals. When I ask why, the answer is no doubt, “because I can’t stand Kobe.” I’m sure you know a few like that as well. Maybe you’re even one yourself.

I first thought that this anti-Kobe sentiment surfaced when he was accused of rape in 2004. I thought that the general public believed that he was guilty and thought negatively of him as a result. I soon realized that wasn’t the case. I think that he was largely acquitted of any wrongdoing in the court of public opinion and most felt that he was innocent. So that wasn’t it. Maybe some of it set in when, in the wake of his rape case, he made insinuations that then teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, was in fact unfaithful to his wife as well. I can definitely understand the beef there. But that’s not the answer, because he was hated even before that.

Before that it was thought that he was trying too hard to be like Michael Jordan; which he most certainly was and still is. He walks like Mike. Talks like Mike. Points like Mike. He even chews gum like Mike. But plenty of guys have come through even before Kobe that wanted to be like Mike. I guess Kobe was just the best at resembling him. Basketball fans are protective over Michael Jordan, so maybe they didn’t want anybody infiltrating his persona. I don’t know.

He’s from Philly and when the Lakers visit the Sixers, the venom from the fans seems extra fierce. His hometown even appears to dislike him. Fans have the right to boo if they want, but why do players around the league dislike him? They respect him as a player, but it doesn’t seem like most guys actually like him. Just think. How many fights has Kobe been in in his career? Chris Childs comes to mind. Doug Christie comes to mind. Ray Allen comes to mind. All of these guys swung at Kobe first. Can you image multiple players swinging at Michael Jordan first? No, because they had too much respect for him. Kobe has never had that level of respect around the league.

I’ve heard that people don’t like Kobe because he’s too cocky. If that’s the reason that people don’t like him, that’s a ridiculous reason. Why shouldn’t he be cocky as arguably the best player in the league? Isn’t LeBron cocky? Isn’t Wade cocky? Yes and yes. But they also have every right to be.

I probably should have stated this at the top, but I am not a Lakers fan or a Kobe apologist. Not even close. What I am though, is perplexed as to why there is this widespread feeling about this guy.

**Update** – Due to the flurry of emails and responses to this post Kevin has written a follow-up post “Why Does Everyone Hate Kobe Bryant – Part 2″. Thanks for reading, and participating in the discussion…

If you’re looking for your everyday, predictable basketball talk, then go somewhere else, because Kevin Burke of The Kevin Burke Project brings provocative, thought provoking content about basketball as only he can. Kevin also hosts The Hoop Doctors weekly podcast show, which you can subscribe too for free on iTunes.

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  • aj

    How can anybody say that was shaq’s team or that Kobe was in his shadow. If you say that then you dont know your facts. Out of the three peat, two of the years Kobe averaged over 30.0 point per game. If thats living in someones shadow then thats whre I want to live.

    • Jeff

      @aj,

      NO HE DIDN’T He only averaged 22, 28, adn 25 during the 3peat regular season and in the playoffs 21,29, and 26.

      http://www.nba.com/playerfile/kobe_bryant/career_stats.html

      Shaq on the other hand averaged 30, 28, and 27 regular seaon and 31, 30, and 29 playoffs during those years.

      But the real key thing to note is that shaq wasn’t one dimensional as a scorer like Kobe was back then. Shaq also dominated other areas huge. Like rebounding he averaged 14, 13, and 11 rebounds per game those championship years and during the playoffs for the title years averaged 15, 15, and 13.

      As you can see Shaq up’ed his game in scoring and rebounding during the playoffs for those post season runs and was the dominant force behind the lakers wins. Kobe was just a long for the ride. Kobe was a great scorer on those teams, but there are many one dimensional scoers that could have taken his place and the lakers would have still easily won the title.

      C’mon AJ….Looks like you need to be the one to check your facts!!!

  • jim palmore

    Will Kobe ever catch MJ? Only time will tell. He’s 31yrs old and has a very good team around him. I do know that its hard for old heros to be replaced or even challenged in the minds of their devote supporters. Believe me, there will never be another MJ. Kobe exists because MJ did what he did! But lets give Kobe some creidt guys! Lets throw out to some degree all this talk about how selfish he was, is or whatever. lets stop talking about his ego and arogance. Nobody’s ego was bigger than Jordan’s. he always refered to his teammates as HIS supporting cast and they were. But come on, Over the past 10 yrs there is only one player that most coaches and players themselves look at and say night in and night out – WOW! Kobe won’y ever be MJ but atleast give him credit for accomplishing the things that few have dared to even think about.

  • Elgy

    Everybody hates him because he is an asshole and he is great.

  • udi

    I don’t know about the others but I hate Kobe because he’s always been very arrogant and moreover I don’t think the comparison between him and michael is necessary.what i hate most about kobe’s fans is that they say ‘kobe has 5 rings and 1 more he will be like michael’.lets get things straight:KOBE HAS ONLY 2 RINGS!!!the first 3 champs were only because of Shaq and his big ass.it was shaq’s team and the reason the lakers won the champ was because of shaq.the last 2 champs are kobe’s no doubt and as much as i hate him i admit that.
    Kobe Bryant is a great basketball player but his selfishness and arrogance makes him for me the most hated basketball player of all time.

  • X

    ALLRIGHT DROP THE CRAP ABOUT “I HATE KOBE” CUZ KOBE IS COOL NO MATTER WAT U SAY! LEBRON SUCKS DICK, THE HEAT ARE SHIT AND LET ME REMINDER U THAT THEY ONLY ONE ONE CHAMPIONSHIP AND THAT’S THE ONLY THING KEEPING THEM GOING! THE LAKERS HAVE 17 AND YES I COUNT THE GOD DAMN NBL CHAMPIONSHIP! SO DONT GET IT TWISTED BITCHES! AND FOR THOSE WHO LIKE KOBE, KEEP THE LOVE COMING CUZ AINT NO ONE GOT ANYTHING ON HIM!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JOSEPH2125 Evangelist Joseph Barnes

    KOBE JUST KEEP BEING KOBE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JOSEPH2125 Evangelist Joseph Barnes

    5 RINGS SAYS IT ALL. CASE CLOSED!