Quotes on the Black Mamba

“I see a lot of myself in him. No doubt about it.” – Michael Jordan

“I’ve always thought he was the best player in basketball. I don’t think it’s even close.” – Alvin Gentry

“There’s nobody in this league that can guard him.” – Byron Scott

“Kobe’s a model of what a young player should aspire to be. Year by year he learned and made his game more solid, and now he’s not just a highlight-film guy but an accomplished NBA player.” – Larry Brown

“I’ve seen a lot of high school basketball, but I’ve never seen anyone as good as Kobe was.”- Kobe’s high school coach Gregg Downer

“Nobody can guard Kobe one-on-one. Nobody.” – Del Harris

“Every play, you look at him and wonder, ‘What’s next?” – Eddie Jones

“We have a deep-seated respect for each other. I marvel at this young man’s competitive drive to reach excellence all the time and what he puts into every game, his ability to drive his team forward and make the game competitive night after night even when we’ve had disappointing endings.” – Phil Jackson

“Kobe’s range is unreal, and he does it his way.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Jesus would have had trouble guarding him” – George Karl

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Kobe Bryant on the Mic

Over his 14 year career, Kobe Bryant has accumulated one of the best resumes of all time. However, he has also had some memorable moments with the media as well. Lets take a look back at some of Kobe’s most famous quotes.

“These young guys are playing checkers. I’m out there playing chess.”

“When I’m finished playing, I want people to say, ‘He handled this well, he kept his cool.”

“You always have to be on edge. You always have to take every practice, every game, like it is your last.”

“The guy said NBA players are one in a million, … I said, ‘Man, look, I’m going to be that one in a million.”

“My parents are my backbone. Still are. They’re the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.”

“I know how to play my guard spot, … He [Shaq] can worry about the low post”

“I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”

“I realize now that there’s a strength in dunking that I can use to my advantage. When you dunk all the time it isn’t as demoralizing to the opponent, but when you dunk at a key moment in the game you can use it to change the momentum.”

“What I’m doing right now, I’m chasing perfection.”

“I’ve pretty much done all I can here and, you know, God will carry me the rest of the way, so I’m pretty comfortable with that.”

“I was just letting the shots fly. You know, I don’t leave any bullets in the chamber.”

“I’ll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it’s sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.”

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

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Kobe vs Jordan: Part 1

This will be the first installment of many comparing Kobe Bryant’s career to Michael Jordan’s. When comparing two players, let alone two of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball, many factors must come into the equation when trying to assess both players in a fair and balanced comparison.  Statistics, accomplishments, eras, teammates, and the competition must all be closely looked at when trying to compare both legends.

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have had brilliant statistical careers but I am guessing almost everybody thinks Jordan stats are better than Kobe’s. When looking right at the numbers, it makes sense most people perceive this as Jordan beats Kobe in almost every statistical category both defensively and offensively. However, follow me on this journey through statland, and you will see the statistics are much closer than you think between these two legends.

Scoring

Though Kobe and Jordan are two of the greatest scorers in history, they each have their own unique abilities when it comes to puttng the ball through the hoop. Jordan’s athletic ability allowed him to jump higher and run faster than the rest of the competition. MJ could drive at will and whenever he decided could rise up and shoot a jumper over any defender. It wasn’t until his later years (2nd three-peat) where Jordan couldn’t rely solely on his driving abilities but rather on his mid-range jumper. Kobe Bryant on the other hand, though also an expolsive leaper, didn’t dominate physically/athletically as MJ once did. Because of this, Kobe Bryant has been much more of a jump shooter in his career than Jordan. Jordan’s career scoring average is 30.1 while Kobe’s is 25.3. However, Jordan also averaged career 22.9 shots a game while Kobe has taken 19.3 shots a game (whose the ballhog again?). In his 15 year career, MJ scored 1.3144 points for every shots he has taken (30.1/22.9) on about 49% shooting while Kobe has scored 1.3109 points per shot in his career (25.3/19.3) on about 46% shooting.  Wow…well look at this here. I thought MJ was a much more efficient player than Kobe but it turns out, they are pretty much exactly even with their scoring efficiency. Now, I know what the Haters are already thinking so hear me out. Though Jordan has always been a career 50% shooter while Kobe has always hovered in the 45-46% range, Kobe has hit a better percentage of threes while attempting many more. So even though Kobe makes a lower percentage of shots overall than MJ (which makes sense as Jordan was more of a slasher than a jump shooter), Kobe has taken and made a better percentage of three pointers therefore helping his efficiency.

Both Kobe and Jordan’s career stats can fool you a little bit due to the fact both players have unique careers. Jordan retired twice and missed almost his entire second season due to injury while Kobe Bryant was drafted as a 17 year old. Because of this, I found a way to compare both players best seasons against one another without any bias. With MJ, I disregarded his second season (only played in 18 games and averaged only 23 points) his 94-95 season (only played in 20 games and averaged 26 points) and his two seasons with the Wizards. For Kobe, I took away his first three seasons in the NBA which I thought was pretty reasonable considering 1) I took out MJ’s worst four years and 2) MJ was in college during this time. Now, we can compare Jordans best 11 seasons to Kobe’s last (best) 11 seasons. In MJ’s 11 best seasons, he averaged 31.7 points per game on 23.4 shots. In Kobe’s best 11 seasons, he averaged 28.0 points per game, but in only 2 of those 11 seasons did he shoot more than 23.4 shots a game! I will never understand why Kobe Bryant was ever called a ball hog (at least in negative ways) when MJ, the player many consider to be GOAT, attempted way more shots.

Both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have 5 career 60 point games. Here is a list for both:
Jordan
1) 4/20/86 vs Celtics (playoff game) – 63 points (double overtime)
2) 3/04/87 vs Pistons – 61 points (overtime)
3) 4/16/87 vs Hawks – 61 points
4) 3/28/90 vs Cavaliers – 69 points (overtime)
5) 1/16/93 vs Magic – 64 points (overtime)
Kobe
1) 12/20/05 vs Mavericks – 62 points (3 quarters)
2) 1/22/06 vs Raptors – 81 points
3) 3/16/07 vs Trailblazers – 65 points (overtime)
4) 3/22/07 vs Grizzlies – 60 points
5) 2/2/2009 vs Knicks – 61 points

Michael Jordan owns the all time playoff single season scoring record with 63 points, but Kobe owns the second highest scoring game in the history of the NBA with 81 points. To go along with this, Kobe has also scored 62 points in 3 quarters outscoring the whole Mavs team by himself before sitting out the fourth (Kobe Bryant is the only player in history to individualy outscore another team through 3 quarters). Kobe would have at least hit the 75-80 point mark if playing the whole game. Unfortunately, Kobe has tallied up a few other games in his career where after catching absolute ridiculous fire, he had to sit out the whole fourth quarter because the Lakers were winning by a large margin. These two instances occured during the 2001-2002 (56 through 3 against Memphis) and 2002-2003 (51 through 3 against Denver) seasons respectively. Summing up – Kobe Bryant could easily have 4 70+ point games if having played the 4th quarter.

MJ never had an entire month where he averaged 40.0 points per game while Kobe has had 3 different months over the course of his career where he averaged 40.0 points per game for the whole month.
1) 2002-2003 – 40.6 points during month of Febuary
2) 2005-2006 – 43.4 points during month of January
3) 2006-2007 – 40.4 points during month of March

* Kobe Bryant is the only player in NBA history to score at least 600 points in the postseason for three consecutive years – 2008, 2009, 2010.

* Both Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have scored 40 or more points in 9 straight games (record is 14 straight games achieved by Wilt Chamberlin).

* Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlin are the only two players in NBA history to score 50 or more points in 4 consecutive games
March 16, 2007 vs Trailblazers – 65 points
March 18, 2007 vs Timberwolves – 50 points
March 22, 2007 @ Grizzlies – 60 points
March 23, 2007 @ Hornets – 50 points

Passing

Michael Jordan owns a career average of 5.3 assists per game while Kobe averages 4.7 assists per game. Again, most people will tell you Jordan is a better passer and is more unselfish than Kobe, but just like with scoring, we need to dissect the numbers a little bit more before coming up with a conclusion.

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Rookie Survey “Favorite player”

According to Andy Kamenetzky, writer for Land O’ Lakers (blog site for the Los Angeles Lakers), “the kids [NBA rookies] were asked to name their favorite player in the league, and the winner was none other than Kobe Bean Bryant. And by quite the honkin’ margin: 38.2 percent. The top 5 rounded out with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett and Dwyane Wade.”

This should not come as quite a surprise in my opinion. Though many fans hopped on the ESPN hype train with LeBron, Kobe has always been the best/favorite player among most of the NBA players when polls like these are conducted.

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Celtics sign Shaq due to Kobe?

It is reported that the Boston Celtics signing of Shaquille O’Neal is in direct correlation with Kobe getting his 5th ring. According to the Boston Globe, the Celtics’ principal owner Wyc Grousbeck, said “The minute I heard Kobe [Bryant] say he had one more ring than Shaq, I said to [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge], ‘Let’s go get Shaq,’ and it happened”

Kobe not only crushed Boston’s title hopes this year, but now he impacts who they sign in the off-season? All there’s really left to say is “Wow”.

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Kobe Bryant Career Stats and Achievements

Bold = Chamionship seasons
Italic = Lost in Finals
1996-1997 07.4 avg 1.3 asts 1.9 rebs .417 fg% 05.9 fga
1997-1998 15.4 avg 2.5 asts 3.1 rebs .428 fg% 11.6 fga
1998-1999 19.9 avg 3.8 asts 5.3 rebs .465 fg% 15.6 fga
1999-2000 22.5 avg 4.9 asts 6.3 rebs .468 fg% 17.9 fga
2000-2001 28.5 avg 5.0 asts 5.9 rebs .464 fg% 22.2 fga

2001-2002 25.2 avg 5.5 asts 5.5 rebs .469 fg% 20.0 fga
2002-2003 30.0 avg 5.9 asts 6.9 rebs .451 fg% 23.5 fga
2003-2004 24.0 avg 5.1 asts 5.5 asts .438 fg% 18.1 fga
2004-2005 27.6 avg 6.0 asts 5.9 rebs .433 fg% 20.1 fga
2005-2006 35.4 avg 4.5 asts 5.3 rebs .450 fg% 27.2 fga
2006-2007 31.6 avg 5.4 asts 5.7 rebs .463 fg% 22.8 fga
2007-2008 28.3 avg 5.4 asts 6.3 rebs .459 fg% 20.6 fga
2008-2009 26.8 avg 4.9 asts 5.2 rebs .467 fg% 20.9 fga
2009-2010 27.0 avg 5.0 asts 5.4 rebs .456 fg% 21.5 fga

Career 25.3 avg 4.7 asts 5.3 rebs .455 fg% 19.3 fga

5 time NBA champion: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010
12 time All Star: 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
2007-2008 MVP
2 time Finals MVP: 2009 and 2010
3 time All Star MVP: 2002, 2007, 2009
2 time NBA scoring champion: 2005-2006 and 2006-2007
Gold Medalists in 2008
1997 Slam Dunk Champion
All NBA First Team 8 seasons: 01-02, 02-03, 03-04, 05-06, 06-07, 07-08, 08-09, 09-10
All NBA Second Team 2 seasons: 99-00 and 00-01
All NBA Third Team 2 seasons: 98-99 and 04-05
All NBA Defensive First Team 8 seasons: 99-00, 02-03, 03-04, 05-06, 06-07, 07-08, 08-09, 09-10
All NBA Defensive Second Team 2 seasons: 00-01 and 01-02

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ESPN in a N0-WIN Situation with Kobe vs LeBron

For years, Kobe fans have heard all the criticism/scrutiny about their hero, while having to deal with every excuse known to man on why Kobe isn’t as great as the other All-Timers, or even Lebron James for that matter. The 2 main arguments that the media (ESPN) and Kobe haters/LeBron fans would bring up were:

1) Kobe’s three rings with Shaq do not count, or at the very least were somehow tainted in the eyes of people.

2) Lebron’s stats are way better than Kobe’s…

 Now, as we can see, the Lebron homers have put themselves in quite a predicament. Lebron now has joined the Heat playing alongside 1 star and 1 superstar. First, let’s say the Heat do go on to win a couple rings, I can’t wait to here what ESPN and Lebron fans have to say…will they keep the same criteria that they have used to critique Kobe all these years with Lebron? In my opinion, I believe Bosh and Wade together equal more than 1 Shaq. Now I understand this is 100% opinion, but hey, for years all ESPN and Kobe Haters did was share opinions and hypothetical arguments instead of reality, so I believe Kobe fans have earned the right to give an opinion here and there; especially because WE ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE BEEN RIGHT ON THE KOBE/LEBRON DEBATE! Lebron has 0 rings, therefore no what ifs can be used to defend him, as he has done nothing to warrant such high expectations. Kobe has done enough where he rightfully and truthfully belongs in discussion of GOAT.

As for stats, I promise if Lebron is not posting numbers of 25, 5, and 5 during any of the Heat’s championships (if they do indeed win one) then Lechoke fans will not hear the end of it…from me at least. During the Lakers first three peat, Kobe put up sensational numbers (25, 5, and 5 was his average season for those three championship years) yet still was not given the credit he deserved until he won his 4th ring minus the Big Aristotle. Even after winning his fifth, there were still fans out there defending Lebron as the better player because his stats were superior, and supposedly did not have the right players. I find it funny how even after having the best team in the league two straight seasons, there are still Kobe haters using the “Lebron has no teammates” excuse. WHAT WILL THE HATERS AND ESPN SAY NOW!? Lebron’s stats will go down the gutter and even if he wins rings, how will they justify them when this whole time, they have been diminishing Kobe’s first three rings with Shaq?

I don’t care what the critics say, without Kobe, the Lakers are not getting past the Spurs and Kings in the 2001 and 2002 playoffs respectively. I also would make the argument the Lakers are not defeating the Blazers in the 2000 WCF without the clutch play of Kobe, but even as a die hard Kobe fan, I can admit he was the Robin to Shaq’s Batman during the 99-00 season, but that is the only ring you can say that for!

For years, I have done my best explaining to the haters the reasons why Lebron posts such high numbers. They decide not to listen, and keep making every excuse/hypothetical argument in the book. However, due to Lebron joining the Heat, I think they will finally realize why Lebron’s numbers were inflated in Cleveland. Lebron has never been a better passer than Kobe in my opinion, he just had way more opportunities to rack up an assist with the Cavs – this will change drastically as D-Wade will be taking a lot of those assist attempts away. Lebron’s scoring will drop heavily, but his rebs may go up a bit. We’ll see what happens

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Hello world!

Welcome to all sports fans alike. My name is Gary Greenwald and I am one of the biggest Kobe fans in the world. Though I reside in the Bay Area, Kobe Bryant has been my favorite athlete of all time and due to this, I have created this blog to solely enlighten everyone out there about the greatness of the Black Mamba!

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