For many, many years there was nothing that you could ever say or show me that would remove Michael Jordan from the throne, “greatest basketball player of all time”. Recently that has changed, at least been matched anyway… And it has absolutely nothing to do with performance on the basketball court.
You could argue with me all day long until you’re blue in the face that, what encapsulates a great anything – is how one has proven themselves within their art. We all know that the truth is, how we measure who we believe to be the greatest extends beyond that particular person’s field of play. Who they are off the floor is just as important. I won’t get real deep into this aspect, but shoes, clothes, relationships, scandals, philanthropy, etc.; are everything to this society’s perception of public figures. When that conversation arises in reference to basketball the answer for me had always been Jordan. I’m not going to pretend that I never did like Kobe Bryant’s game, of course I did. I’d deny it for a long time but he was the closest thing to Jordan, and I did admire his game and performances.
Kobe was somebody I’d always put on the back burner in talks of greatness in basketball. As funny as it may sound, he just seemed to be too close of a reflection of Michael Jordan. I know, weird right? Honestly somehow in my mind, that disqualified him from obtaining that title because of that relationship. To me he wasn’t the original, so.
It’s not even the fact that Kobe recently won an Oscar for his new television show ‘Detail’, that changed my perspective on him. After sitting down and watching his show, I came to the realization that he was sharing his brilliance. Hmmm, that’s different… On a large scale, nationally, globally for all to see, not just to a small select group of people who paid a large amount of money. Whoa!!! A quality that I’ve always admired most about athletes especially, is their tenacious competitiveness within the lines, but then to be down to earth and humble human beings outside of the arena. Kobe, a man of legendary status, has shown me that throughout the years. And now, for him to share all the little intimate details of what made him great, his thought processes as a basketball player; that shoots his level of greatness into the galaxy.
In the grand scheme of things, Kobe’s actions and achievements may seem a bit insignificant. Though in this case he has, can and will change the lives of many young people that wish to grow up and play basketball at the next level. Even those who are already there in the NBA. The integrity of the game has been in question in recent years. Kobe with his new series has a chance to completely change the direction it’s currently going. Although nobody will ever make me feel the way I did when I watched Michael Jordan play. I cannot deny Kobe Bryant and his brilliance. Or even his imprint on shoes, apparel, media attention, fame and so on and so forth. The most honorable though, and the greatest of these is his philanthropic excellence. The passing down of knowledge is crucial to our youth in today’s society. For a man of his stature to do it so articulately, puts him for me, extremely high in the “greatest of all time” conversation. Maybe even number one!!