NBA’s Rite of Passage: Beating Kobe?

by May 29, 2009
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Is being able to defeat Kobe the NBA’s standard of excellence? From Slate: “Playing Kobe Bryant is the biggest occasion in the league. From the moment he went pro, Bryant’s obvious, self-conscious ambition was to be the next Michael Jordan, the player against whom all other players would be measured. In his own way, Kobe has reached that goal. It’s just that other players like the way they measure up. This doesn’t mean that Bryant is easy to beat. If it were easy, nobody would care, and Kobe would be another Jerry Stackhouse or Vince Carter on the scrap heap of failed Next Jordans. Bryant is a ferocious competitor, a preposterously skilled and creative scorer, a stifling defender. He’s just not impossible to beat.”