I'm not talking about his real children, I'm talking about all the sports media and analysts that have done a complete 180-degree turn on this guy. The people who might as well call Kobe "daddy" now that he's winning again.
Less then 12 months ago, Kobe was being raked over the fire for requesting a trade out of LA because he didn't think his TEAM was good enough to win a championship. Now, we rest on the steps to the NBA Finals, about to knock on the door, and all people can talk about is his "road to growing up."
1. His Cast. Besides the accidental pick-up of Pao Gasol, the Lakers did nothing to change their roster. They traded away Cook and Evans and got back Ariza who's played very little all season. They got back Fisher by luck and goodwill of Derek himself because of his daughter unfortunate situation. Other then that, he is playing with the likes of Walton, Farmar, Vujacic, Odom: all the guys he himself declared unsatisfactory.
2. Ray Allen. The quotes that are being pulled out of Allen's history book are pretty sad, and suprisengly...true. Allen said in a couple years Kobe would have to look for more talent after driving Shaq away, and ask for a trade. What happened? In case you all missed it, Kobe asked for a trade. Maybe all the analysts should go back and look what they said, and give us an accuracy report on their opinions.
3. Fan Base. The Laker fans were pretty much non-existant for the last 3 years. Only offering their support when the people started asking about the suprising Clippers. Kobe wasn't even a thought for a couple years. MVP? Nope, too selfish. The face of L.A.? Nope, the fans were more interested in Arnold's attempts to get another football team in California.
4. Analysts. These guys should just quit. Because their initial assessment on opening night this season, was that Kobe was playing his final games in the yellow and purple. They'd criticize his play by not taking shots in the first half to "prove points," or they'd call him selfish in the 2nd half when he didn't have trust in his team. Now he plays with that same methodology, and they're calling him the "best in the game," an "unselfish team player who trusts his teammates," or the worst of all, "MVP."
The Finals are going to be an epic battle, but it's because of the teams, not Kobe. The Lakers are in the finals mainly because Buss didn't trade him away, and because his teammates overcame playing with a selfish, stubborn team-leader. Let's hope that 1) his cast steps up to play for themselves, as well as for the Lakers, and not just for Kobe's approval, 2) Kobe realizes that Ray Allen hit the nail on the head, and doesn't resort to childish behavior he displayed during the Shaq/Kobe breakup, 3) that the L.A. fans aren't too upset when Kobe asks for another trade this off-season just to keep the power in his hands, and 4) that these analysts start looking for the true champions of this sport, and give them the respect that they feel obligated to give #8, I mean #24...whatever.