Before I met my husband, I was not into sports that much. Since we got married, however, I have become an avid basketball fan. Of all of the members of the Laker team, my favorite is Kobe Bryant. To me, Kobe is the epitome of greatness; he has exceptional talent, remarkable inner strength to play despite any ailments he is experiencing, and he has a great deal of tenacity, as evidenced by his ability to overcome personal obstacles in his life to achieve greatness.
Kobe’s superior athletic ability can be seen in the many awards he has received for his performance over the years. According to the Nickolodeon Kids Choice Awards website, (http://www.nick.com/kids-choice-awards/vote/male-athlete/?xid=195) Kobe was the first shooting guard to ever go directly from high school into the NBA. This website also mentions how Kobe has won such awards as the 2007-2008’s “Most Valuable Player Award”, the “All Star Most Valuable Player Award” in 2002, 2007, and 2009, as well as his 4th NBA championship in 2009. Is it any wonder that now, in 2010, he has also been nominated as favorite male athlete in the Nickolodeon Kids Choice Awards?
Not only can Kobe’s exceptional talent for basketball be seen in the many awards he has received over the years, but his current statistics illustrates his athletic ability as well. In the 2009 season he averaged 27.5 points per game, with a rebound average of 5.3 , and an average of 5 assists. His field goal average was 46%.
An athlete’s greatness consists not only of his aptitude for the sport, but of his mental strength as well. Over and over again, Kobe has demonstrated his willingness and his ability to rise above his physical condition, despite any ailment he has. I remember one game recently in which Kobe had a broken finger (which must have caused him excruciating pain!), yet he played as if he were in perfect physical condition. There have been other times during the season when he was ill but continued to play in the game for as long as he could.
An outstanding athlete not only can withstand physical pain and play through it, but he can also stand up against negative circumstances in his life and not allow despair, depression, or negative thinking to derail him from his chosen path. If there was any time at all when Kobe might have yielded to negative thinking, it would have been during the time of his legal battles with the hotel employee in Colorado. Instead of giving into fear and despair, Kobe settled his case and continued to fight for success in both his personal life and his professional life. In fact, even when he was in the middle of his legal woes, he still continued to play at his best during games despite boos from cruel fans (some of whom were influenced by the reports in the media) who wanted nothing more than to see Kobe fail. If I were in his position, I doubt that I would be able to play basketball in a state where I was facing legal problems. I really don’t believe that I could face the fans in that state, yet Kobe (being the strong individual he is) not only faced those people, but he continued to play phenomenally as if nothing had ever happened.
I believe that there are three components to an athlete which makes one stand out over the others: 1). extreme talent and aptitude for a sport 2). the ability to play under difficult physical conditions of any kind, and 3). the tenacity to come back from personal problems and to forge one’s path to success despite his troubles. Kobe Bryant, to me, possesses all of these attributes, and this is what I believe makes him one of the greatest athletes alive in the world today.