How Kobe Bryant Narrowly Avoided Pulling a LeBron James

August 30th, 2010 by Matt Petersen Leave a reply »
Winning doesn't just heal wounds; it also erases memories.

Back-to-back championships and a concerted public relations effort, combined with LeBron James' alienating Decision, have vaulted Kobe Bryant's reputation to a combination of admirable and likable.

The words “leader” and “winner” are now frequently and willingly thrown his way.

We've already forgotten that Kobe, a mere three years ago, was a breath from becoming more the villain than even LeBron is today.

The championship champagne has nearly drowned out the memory of Kobe angrily insulting his teammates, demanding a trade, and allowing fans and media to enlarge the possibility of No. 24 playing in the house No. 23 built (Chicago).

Bryant was a 29-year-old throwing a tantrum worthy of a two-year-old. He was a child who, unlike LeBron, was restrained by the seat belt of his contract. Bryant wanted out, but needed the Lakers’ help to escape.

Instead of Bryant getting shipped out of L.A., Memphis sent over a gift-wrapped Pau Gasol. And like an upset infant being appeased, Bryant immediately grew quiet after his demands were me ...

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