It feels good hating Kobe. Just feels right, natural. Like hating people who are famous for no reason, or Crash.
But it’s been tough going out there of late, this Kobe-hating business, because the guy seems to be pretty dominant these days. His team is an absolute juggernaut. They’re unstoppable, likely to win another championship while hardly breaking a sweat.
Which means I’ll take any negative press on him I can find.
In this case, it’s Henry Abbott over at the incomparable TrueHoop. There’s plenty in the article to love, but I’ll quote my favorite tidbit here:
Every which way people slice and dice crunch time numbers — field goal percentage, plus/minus, you name it — Bryant is not the NBA’s best in crunch time. A glance at last year’s crunch time numbers on 82games.com makes clear Bryant shoots more than anyone else in the NBA in crunch time, but is he more skilled at making those shots? That’s what we’re trying to judge, right? In crunch time field goal percentage, last season Bryant finished 92nd in the League, right behind Michael Beasley. Others ahead of him include Kevin Garnett, both Gasols, Zach Randolph, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Terry, Jameer Nelson, Tim Duncan, Amare Stoudemire, Eric Gordon, Brandon Roy, Andre Iguodala, Jason Kidd, Ben Gordon, and Chris Bosh.
You can remember Bryant hitting all those clutch baskets, stat geeks say. But you’re forgetting all the misses. (And if you are learning about Bryant from highlights, then you’re not even seeing most misses.)
And for one small moment in time, all was right in the world.