Thursday, June 03, 2010

Appreciation (via Rufuku)

Via sweet and tengy. (Ryan this was too good to not re-post.)

Two years ago.

It seems so recent as if the wound is still fresh. As the confetti fell, Kobe Bryant walked off the mismatched hardwood floor with a look of defeat. Clearly, it was impossible to counter the “Big Three” and Kobe was a one-man show with a silent audience. With results like this, fingers begin to be pointed in search of a scapegoat. Pau is soft? Bynum was needed to clog the paint? Kobe needed Shaq?

One year ago.

World Champions has become a cliche’ in Laker-dom. We take for granted the ability of Kupchak to mold a team of egoes together into a dominating force. We take for granted that as fans, we are the least likely to “purple and yellow- out” Staples Center. We take for granted the 15 Championships that have made the Los Angeles Lakers a legacy in basketball. And oddly, we take for granted Kobe Bryant.

On Thursday, we will finally get our long awaited Finals rematch against the Boston Celtics. Calls of “Boston Sucks” have already rang throughout the stadiums of Los Angeles and to say that fans are bloodthirsty would be a dishonor to our hunger. Pride is at stake. From the ability to finally say that Kobe could repeat without Shaq to the chance to push Paul Pierce back into a wheelchair, the 2010 championship is possibly the most impacting NBA result for the Lakers as a franchise’s future.

I am writing this to express something that I’ve never felt before in the past 14 years. This is my letter of appreciation for Kobe. For 14 years, I’ve hated your cocky swagger. I’ve hated the fact that you were a shoot-first ball hog that forced contested shots when plenty of your teammates were wide open. I’ve hated your photo-shoots. (Well, who didn’t hate the last one.) But finally, I can say I understand you.

You’ve trusted your team for the first time in a long time and now you’ve become a leader through example. Almost averaging a triple-double in the postseason, you are unstoppable. As witnessed by the entire world watching, you couldn’t be guarded when you closed out the Suns.

I believe you are the only player to EVER shadow the prowess of Michael Jordan.

Thank you Kobe Bryant.

I appreciate all you have done for what I’ve taken for granted after all these years.


See…a Kobe hater can have a change of heart.


Ryan Teng

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