The Rocky Mountain News‘ Bernie Lincicome acknowledges Kobe Bryant winning his first NBA MVP Award yesterday, and wonders if the Nuggets’ anti-snitching specialist Carmelo Anthony (above, right) might seek inspiration in the former’s “journey”.
From where Kobe Bryant was to where he is now must be an object lesson to Carmelo Anthony. None of Anthony’s mishaps with the law or with society, nor any of Allen Iverson’s come to that, can compare to Bryant, now the Most Valuable Player in basketball.
From accused rapist and selfish pinhead to model citizen and all-around team inspiration, that is Bryant. And that could be Anthony, needing only to step over hurdles that Bryant needed to leap.
To be in the Age of Kobe, as this is and shall remain for another five years or so, as it once was with Michael Jordan, the rest of basketball will simply have to pay respect to the man and wait its turn.
Until Bryant decided to be the leader instead of the focus (and who does not believe he can score 81 points anytime he wants to?) he would remain feared but never admired, marveled at but never revered.
Anthony produces that same grudging regard, so clearly talented, and yet always lessened by some sort of failure or petulance or whine.
But how obvious is the formula and how similar the ingredients, with Bryant and Anthony both teenage prizes, suffering early letdowns, the talent obvious, too many public missteps, though, by the same time, Bryant had two titles to Anthony’s none.
Though Lincicome is correct in pointing out Kobe had to share the spotlight during said title run with Shaq, the columnist conveniently sidesteps the matter of Bryant not having won a ring without O’Neil. If Kobe is going to be hailed for his “leadership” (keep in mind, this is the same otherworldly talent who famously insisted in a mini-mall parking lot that his moron owner and GM should’ve swapped Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd), where’s the kudos for the much maligned Mitch Kupchak, whose steal of Pau Gasol was arguably the most successful mid-season acquisition in a spring full of crazed player movement? Perhaps an editorial encouraging Denver’s front office to emulate Kupchak would be more in order.
That Anthony oughta aspire to greater things is tough to argue. But there’s no way he oughta catch most or all of the blame for the organization’s numerous moves that haven’t worked out, the hiring of George Karl and the trade for Allen Iverson being at the top of the list.