Okay so there are actually a whole lot of reasons that people dig Kobe Bean. He can do these things:
There is a whole generation of kids and Lakers fans that will adamantly fight anyone putting forth the notion that Kobe might not be the best player in the game (or ever in some cases). Four rings, a ton of clutch shots, and some truly mind-boggling performances will do that.
But even for us non-Lakers fans whose birthdays predate the iPod, there’s one thing to respect. Dedication to the game. Forget motivation. Forget the reasons and personality and what he may or may not be off the court. Respect the work he puts in. It showed up in a Grizzlies sports page of all places recently (Henry at Truehoop caught this one).
Monday Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was in Houston for a two-hour workout with Olajuwon.
Olajuwon said Bryant reached out to him for help with his moves in the post.
“He gave me the biggest compliment,” Olajuwon said. “(He said) You are the best (at the) mid-post and post move.
“He wanted me to show my moves to him.”
Olajuwon said his style of play in the paint is really suited for a guy like Bryant.
“In my mind most of my moves for a guy (with) that agility can use it better than the big guy,” Olajuwon said. “Because my moves are not really for the big guy.
“It’s for the guards and small forwards. So he would benefit most on the post because of his agility.
“It was so much fun because how he picks it up. I worked with him for two hours, step by step.”
Olajuwon expects Bryant to be even better than he was last season when he led the Lakers to the NBA Championship.
“Adding those moves to his game, watch out for him this year,” Olajuwon said. “I understand his dedication. His desire to win and stay on top.
“That’s what I respect most about him.”
So even though I pretty much never root for the Lakers (not since they played the Pistons in the Finals), I have no end of respect for the way Bryant approaches the game.He’s been the best 2 guard in the league for almost a decade, and he never rests on that. He’s constantly looking to improve, and he comes back to the game season after season with a little less hop and little more brain. He and I are the same age, and I’ve gotta say, I admire his evolution. He’s the master of the triangle on the floor, the best high post player in the league, and a pick and roll beast with Gasol. And now he’s gone onto the mid-post, working with the best back to the basket of the last generation. Dedication.