Kobe Bryant vs. The World


There's a new movie opening on Friday August 13, 2010: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The premise? To date the girl of his dreams, Pilgrim must fight and defeat her seven evil exes.


The premise is novel and strangely bears an uncanny resemblance to the challenges Kobe Bean Bryant has faced over his 14-year NBA career.



1. Kobe vs. Teammates


Almost immediately after entering the NBA, Bryant had to suffer the slings and arrows of his teammates' hazing and perhaps jealousy. Who was this anointed kid? Or who did he think he was anyway?


Neither his infectious smile, tireless work ethic, nor his pedigree mattered. He was an interloper. He was a child on a team of men that had just acquired its "proven" meal ticket in Shaquille O'Neal.


Having nothing in common with men, Bryant mostly kept his distance, which only fanned the flames of discontent.


Making matters worse, Coach Del Harris did what most seasoned coaches did at the time—bring him along slowly (i.e., make him ride the pine). Never mind that GM Jerry West, the logo and one of the top 50 NBA players of all time said at the time that Bryant had the greatest workout he's ever seen. Never mind that Lakers crowds clamored for him nightly. He rode the pine.

The New York Times quoted Harris as expressing his frustration: "I don't want to be remembered...[as] the guy who wouldn't let Kobe Bryant play....I have to do it. I can't give him special treatment just because he's 18. He elected to come into a man's world and he'll have to play by a man's rules."


This was no drowning franchise like Cleveland was when LeBron arrived or like Minnesota is today. Both franchises put their product on the floor for better or worse—...

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