Kobe Bryant had to have the last word in his out-of-the-blue personal attack on former teammate Smush Parker, because that's the type of guy Kobe Bryant is. Parker alleged that Kobe was a bad teammate, which is a surprise to no one. What is surprising, though, is that Kobe is perfectly content with being a bad teammate -- in fact, according to Bryant, it's vital to the Lakers that he's a dick to everyone.
On his Facebook account, Kobe posted the following message. We'll go through it, point-by-point.
Kobe Bryant isn't a villain, he's only perceived as one. Dwight Howard must have given him that idea. Good to see they're meshing so early in the relationship.
If there were any doubts as to the deranged egomaniac that Bryant has become, he quashes them right here. In four bewildering sentences, Kobe makes the bold claim that ballhoggery is tantamount to leadership, and that making Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol better often means not passing them the ball. Brilliant. It's the most perfectly-twisted and delusional Bryant-logic that's ever existed. The best way to build up a teammate is to strip them of any opportunity to prove themselves until they're so fed up they either flee Los Angeles or resign themselves to an existence as something less than an equal to Bryant. Kobe Bryant is not a natural-born leader, he's a self-appointed basketball dictator, and Lakers fans seem to love him for it.
Here's just one of the glowing replies Kobe's message has generated on Facebook:
Last week you said that you "nearly won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown" on your team, and that "Smush was the worst" and "shouldn't have been in the NBA." Don't worry Kobe, nobody perceives you as a good teammate.
Bryant says he has nothing in common with the people who blame others, but he also seems to have nothing in common with the people who give credit where credit is due. Kobe is obviously a winner and is one of the best players of all-time, but his delusion is that his qualities as a leader have delivered five titles is laughable. The Lakers have won because Shaq and Kobe were unstoppable together for a period, and again because he was the best player on an outstanding team led by a legendary coach in 2009 and 2010. All of the success has come despite the dickish qualities he brands as "leadership," not because of it.