Why We Should All Relish the Kobe Bryant Show

Basketball is entertainment, and Kobe Bryant is the best show in town. That has to be the starting point, or we'll get nowhere.

If you keep those ideas in mind, it's harder to get bogged down in the weird outrage surrounding Bryant's crazy shot totals and the broader truth that his presence does more harm than good to the Lakers' long-term health.

Kobe's desire to dominate on his terms is phenomenally interesting on a number of levels—especially if you like digging for universal truths and real-life lessons in something as inherently silly as a game played by adults for money.

It's also nice if you're paid to think about basketball, an unserious thing, in a serious way. Bryant is nothing if not endlessly analyzable.

But when you get caught up arguing about Bryant's play, his impact on his team and whether what he's doing is right or wrong, you're really just trying to say something you think is important.

And it's ridiculous to use basketball for that purpose.

There are two extremes to this. Some laud his loyalty, while others chide his selfishness. Everybody has an opinion, and everybody seems to use Bryant as a tool to explain something bigger.

Forget all that. Toss out the lessons you're trying to learn (or teach) from what Bryant's doing. Dispense with the high-minded criticism, the stubborn devotion and whatever other rationales are in play. Unburden yourself.

And consider just one truth in place of all that stuff: This. Is. Fun.


We'll never see a single-minded basketball monster like Kobe get away with something like this again. It's fascinating—surreal, even—and we should be drinking it in, bathing in the wild absurdity of a player turning a team game into a one-man show.

Bryant leads the league in scoring despite posting career lows in efficiency. He's taken more shots t...

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