I have always believed from the time Kobe was caught in Colorado with his “Katie” that he simultaneously became the worlds most hated and most loved player in the NBA.
There is no “kind of” hating Kobe Bryant. If you don’t like him you truly despise him. Just go on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/BlkSportsOnline) and mention the name Kobe Bryant and you will see words that wouldn’t be safe for a young child to read. The hate is personal and has nothing to do with his basketball game. Some people just rub you the wrong way and Kobe is one of those guys. Especially with women I think if possible they would stab him in the shoulder. He has that type of effect on people.
On the flip side of that if you love Kobe Bryant you really “love” him. I have seen men defend him more that Cochran defended OJ. I have seen forum post about him that looked like mini novels. It is a bit obsessive and way over the top, but if you are a Kobe “Stan” you protect him at any cost even if it makes no logical sense at all.
Obviously the Kobe fans are still on cloud nine right now and one of their main targets will always be Shaquille O’Neal. The #1 criticism (of the many) about Kobe was that he could never win without Shaq. Now that he has done that Kobe fans want to make sure that Shaq doesn’t forget about it.
Shaq was coming out of a Subway (eat fresh) and a Kobe fan just in case Shaq didn’t know who was on the cover Slam Magazine wanted to send him a subtle reminder. Classic comedy as this battle is taking on Ali vs. Frazier type of feel.