I don’t think people understand how difficult it would be for the Lakers to reach four straight NBA Finals. They don’t understand how hard it is to stay that focused and motivated.
The reason the Lakers have stay on course is Kobe Bryant’s obsession over collecting rings. He isn’t worried about being an Icon and taking photos at the club, his singular focus is to win titles.
His legacy is secure, but that isn’t good enough for him, he is going for something greater, something bigger. He wants to be on the Mount Rushmore of the NBA, he is close, but not quite there yet, one more ring gets it done.
He knows that and he is going down guns blazing.
The Heat and the Lakers are pretty different in a few ways, one more physical and one more mental.
Bryant provided alternate explanations, as well.
“I think the difference between us is we all know what our roles are,” he continued. “Everything is cemented for us, and they are still trying to figure that out, which makes it a little tougher … What (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) do in essence in their careers is pretty much the same thing, so it’s just trying to figure out how to adjust.”
A reporter followed up with a question about how the Heat have been discussing their attempts at getting used to the bull’s-eye with which Bryant and the Lakers have dealt for several years now.
“I don’t know,” he concluded. “I’m still trying to kill people*.”
If you read this site frequently, you know that I believe that NBA teams need serial killers to win titles.
That is the differences between the Vince Carters of the world and the Kobe Bryants.
This is not about making friends, this is about being an assassin and getting the job done. One thing people are critical of Kobe is his leadership, but one thing they may overlook is that while he may not be universally loved by his teammates he forces them to be tough.
When you are talking about Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom that isn’t an easy task. When Bryant’s career is over I think he will be appreciated more, but he doesn’t care about reflection right now, just getting his Jack Bauer on.