Friday, October 12, 2012

The price of passion: The killer instincts of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

Raging Bull and the Black Mamba. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are famed for their Second to none will to win, a killer instinct that has been known to alienate. Its in contrast with this generation of stars who value fun and camaraderie as they rise through the ranks together and social media bonds them.

Hall of Famer Larry Bird said of Kobe in an interview with Bill Simmons
Larry Bird praises Kobe Bryant
"... he wouldn't have been shooting as much as he does now ... but his desire to win, his dedication, to always get better, uh, and he's just, he's just tough. He's just a tough cat. But, if you want to have fun, like I did with Bill Walton, play with LeBron. It would have probably been more fun to play with LeBron, but if you want to win and win and win, it's Kobe. Not that LeBron's not a winner, just that [Kobe's] mindset is to go into every practice, every game, to get better."
After Kobe Bryant's unprompted ribbing of former teammate Smush Parker, questions resurfaced regarding Kobe's graciousness as a teammate. Smush Parker defended his reputation and shared his side of the story as a guest for 'Hard 2 Guard' radio
Smush Parker: Kobe was a bad teammate, and I stopped passing to him
"Basketball is a team sport. It is team-oriented. It is not an individual sport. It’s not tennis or golf, it is a team sport. When you are the star of the team, you have to make your teammates feel comfortable. You have to make them feel welcome. And he did not do that at all." Though Kobe said Parker didn’t deserve to be in the NBA, Parker says he earned a spot on the Lakers. That didn’t matter to Kobe, who he says completely disrespected him. "I had a workout with the Lakers, beat all the guards out for the starting position, earned a spot on the team. Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant — he is my teammate, he is a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day I go in to work — and I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious."
The G.O.A.T Michael Jordan had a similarly fiery reputation but little has surfaced from teammates regarding the harshness of Jordan as a teammate. Personal stories like rapper Chamillionaire's run in with his Airness offer a glimpse of what it might have been like

VIDEO: Michael Jordan's relationship with his teammates (ESPN)
As I've mentioned previously I feel the price of greatness is a stubborn refusal to lose, a skewed mindset that threatens to forsake happiness and harmony with others.

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