Kobe Bryant’s Legacy at Stake in 2010 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant has been viewed as many things during his NBA career. But above all else, Kobe is personified by the importance he places on his standing in NBA history.

The perception of Kobe has changed more times than Kobe scored against Toronto back in 2006.
When he won three titles with Shaq to open the 2000s, he was the next big thing in the NBA.
But when Shaq left and the Lakers struggled, the naysayers said Kobe couldn't win the big one without the Big Fella.
He finally got his big chance two years ago against none other than L.A.'s nemesis, the Boston Celtics. But when Kobe and Co. failed to bring home ring number four, people said that Jordan never would have let his team get beaten so badly when it mattered so much.
Kobe got another crack at the first ring P.S. (post Shaq) last season, and he didn't disappoint.
You can argue either way who was the alpha male on those Shaq—Kobe squads, but it is just that—an argument.
This time around, there was no argument. By winning his first title as the top dog, he proved that he was a true NBA champion.
But deep down, Kobe has a bitter taste in his mouth from that fateful defeat to Boston two seasons ago. 
As fate would have it, he will get another shot to wash away that bitterness with some sweet champagne.
Kobe knows, fair or not, that if he is not able to beat the Celtics, then there will be a big asterisk by his name in the annals of NBA history. 
While the Magic were certainly a decent opponent, they were not a worthy adversary. And quite frankly, if this season proved anything, they probably wouldn't have stood in Kobe's way last season if Kevin Garnett was healthy.
Therein lies Kobe's problem. 
Sports works in mysterious ways.
Nobody questioned Kobe's championship last season because everyone assumed the Celtics were a one—and—done band of old mercenaries. Whether Garnett was healthy or not, they ha...

About the Author