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07/03/2006: "Darth Kobe"


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Darth Kobe
Written By Robert Littal
Email Robert Littal

I love Darth Kobe. I liked Kobe Skywalker but I have been waiting to see Darth Kobe for a long
time. And when I say a long time, I mean for 10 years I knew this day would come. It wasn’t a
matter of if, just when. I knew Bean had it in him to become Darth Kobe one day and the signs
were there from the beginning. At 17 he told his high school girlfriend he wasn’t taken her to
prom because he was going with R&B singer Brandy. Think about that for a minute from the
young lady’s perspective. You are the girlfriend of the most popular guy in school and prom is
supposed to be your crowning day and he dumps you for basically a photo opportunity. That is
cold and only someone with the darkside inside him could do that to someone.

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I love Darth Kobe. I liked Kobe Skywalker but I have been waiting to see Darth Kobe for a long
time. And when I say a long time, I mean for 10 years I knew this day would come. It wasn’t a
matter of if, just when. I knew Bean had it in him to become Darth Kobe one day and the signs
were there from the beginning. At 17 he told his high school girlfriend he wasn’t taken her to
prom because he was going with R&B singer Brandy. Think about that for a minute from the
young lady’s perspective. You are the girlfriend of the most popular guy in school and prom is
supposed to be your crowning day and he dumps you for basically a photo opportunity. That is
cold and only someone with the darkside inside him could do that to someone.

From throwing up 3 air balls in a clinching playoff loss to waving screens off at the All-Star
game you had to know that Bean had that darkside in him but he didn’t want to embrace it. You
can blame corporate America and Racist Stern for that. Kobe was never as perfect as he
seemed to be. Bean was the closest thing that Racist Stern could get to Michael Jordan and
corporate America searching for the next Jordan pitched Kobe as the model American athlete.
Kobe obviously after being obsessed with Jordan had to study the way Jordan handled the
media and sometimes when he spoke it seemed like it was Jordan speaking in from inside his
body. His answers were always predictable; dull and never rocked the boat, which was great for
the NBA and Racist Stern who were trying to shed their hip-hop image. Kobe was handsome
and articulate. He speaks fluent Italian and has no tattoos and no affiliation to the hip-hop
nation (unless you count that horrible rap performance in a Brian McKnight video. If you email
me, I will find the clip for you).

The darkside had been pushed aside even though there were glimpses of it coming out from
time to time (i.e. his bitch slapping fight with Chris Childs). Similar to the actual Star Wars
movie, it was a woman who was going to finally take him from Kobe Skywalker to Darth Kobe.

Vanessa Bryant is a dime piece (for those not up on the vernacular that means she is hot
and if you haven’t seen pictures of her just email me). She is also a former rap video actress
and possible stripper (that can’t be confirmed at this time). From the start she had her mind
made up she was going to get Kobe Bryant. Bryant for all of his basketball knowledge and
general intelligence lacked “street smarts”. He was no match for this “hood chick” who quickly
got knocked up and got a ring on her finger. For the NBA, this was great for marketing
purposes. You had your young superstar marrying his baby mamma and playing father of the
year for all of the cameras. Kobe was the Teflon Don and he even had me fooled and it was my
job to be suspicious. I had just finished a long article on athletes cheating on their wives for a
local paper and one of my exact quotes from that article:

“People need to realize the 99.9% of athletes cheat, that .01% that don’t is either Doug
Christie or Kobe Bryant and one of them in fooling us right now.”


Two days after that article posted the Colorado incident went down and it became obvious
who was doing the fooling. I am not going to rehash the whole Colorado incident but while I
know Bean probably didn’t look upon it in a positive way in my opinion, it was necessary event
in his transformation. Bryant obviously figured out at some point that to marry so young was a
mistake and did what a normal married man does when he is a celebrity he started to cheat.
Since my proclamation of 99.9% of athletes/celebrities I have changed that percentage to 100%
and that includes Doug Christie. What Kobe did was the norm, not the exception, but because
we had been whitewashed that he was the perfect person it shocked many to the point that their
disappointment turned to anger. In general people don’t like to be made a fool of and Bryant
made a fool out of all of us who held him to a higher standard than his peers.

Bryant was on such a high pedestal at that point and possibly believing his own hype he
failed to understand that you cheat on your wife with professional groupies who are only in it for
the money of the thrill of sleeping with a celebrity, not an emotionally unstable Caucasian
female who just had a fight with her boyfriend. Bryant once again blinded by the fact that he
thought everyone in the world saw himself as the perfect person actually believed if he told the
police he didn’t do it they would actually let him go. That if he mentioned that Shaq pays off his
women that would somehow help his case. Many people slammed Bryant for being naïve and
immature to the goings on of the real world, but those same people are the reason Bryant was
so ignorant to what can happen if you get yourself in a sticky situation.

After being knocked off that pedestal, after being criticized by every media outlet, after being
replaced as the poster boy of the NBA (see: Lebron James), after being on the losing end of a
verbal battle with Shaq, after being dropped by his major sponsors, after being dogged by Phil
Jackson in his book, after being ridiculed for his lack of team play, after being accused of
running Shaq out of town, after being made a national joke for the 6 million ring he bought
Vanessa to save the marriage and after failing to lead the Lakers to the playoffs as a solo star
Bryant eyes finally opened.

They had been closed for a long time, but now he saw that people who he thought were has
friends weren’t. He saw that just because he was a star and could speak Italian that he wasn’t
immune to the vicious racism and prejudices that go along with a black man being accused of
raping a white woman. He saw that once the once he wasn’t perfect Kobe that instead of
Jordan he was being compared to Dominique. He saw no matter what he did it was never going
to change some people’s opinion of him. The hate was strong for Kobe from all directions. It
was different than say a hate for T.O. or Barry Bonds because those stars mainly see the hate
from the white audience and the white media whereas Kobe got it from black and white alike. In
a 2 year time frame Bryant went from the top of the world to the bottom of the sewer and it was
the best thing that every happen to him.

Slowly but surely that blocks started to fall into place for the final transformation from Kobe
Skywalker to Darth Kobe. First Kathy Faber either decided she was lying through her teeth or
that if Kobe was acquitted that her chances to get some money would be greatly diminished
decided it was better off not to go through the rape trial. The fact that he was accused will
never be forgotten. Secondly Phillip came back, which took the sting out of the Kobe coach
killer persona. Thirdly when Bean dropped 62 on the in 3 quarters against the Mavericks and
voluntarily took himself out of the game in the hopes of showing that he was a team player only
to be slaughtered the next day in the media for not going for 80 I believe that was the end of
Kobe Skywalker as we knew him. That was his final attempt to get back what he lost in
Colorado and again it was turned into a negative. The last bit of good wholesome Kobe that
was left was gone. The last and most important thing that happen is Shaq in essence burying
the hatchet with Kobe. Not only did this free Kobe from having to always speak on Shaq and
their relationship, it freed everyone else from having to take sides and gave them to green light
to say “If Shaq can forgive him, so can we”. From that point we have seen Darth Kobe in all his
glory culminating in the “T.O.” game against the Raptors.

Darth Kobe still gives the standard answers when talking to the media, but everyone
including Kobe knows he is lying. You can see it in his eyes, that “I don’t give a f*ck” look. You
have to be a little crazy to score 81 points in an NBA game. You have to be a little crazy to go
through what he has went through and still act like it didn’t phase you. The Kobe you see now
is choking opponents by just using the force. He is carrying a recreational team to a possible
playoff season. The hate still exists, but it only fuels the fire. Do you think Vince Carter is
looking forward to meeting up with Bean? They used to say Bean was soft and now he is
getting suspended for busting players in the grill. You want to know the scary thing is? Even
though it seems Bean has been around forever we sometimes forget he is only 27 and he is
just hitting his peak. Don’t compare him with Jordan because at 27 there was no comparison 3
rings (even with Shaq) trumps anything Jordan did up to that point. We all know what Jordan
did after 27 that is what created the legend. No one knows what the future holds for Kobe, but
one thing we do know he won’t come up short for lack of desire.

The era Darth Kobe is in full force and as the hate and jealousy continues to flow he will
continue to get stronger. I for one embrace Darth Kobe because this is who he has always
been. From the time he kicked his high school sweetheart to the curb for Brandy, to dry
humping white girls in Colorado and to dropping a “T.O.” on the league this is who he is and it is
scary what a man can do when he can look in the mirror and the reflection is the real you.