Sorry, But Kobe Bryant's ‘Second Act' Doesn't Start Until He Wins His Own Ring

There are many people who believe the Los Angeles Lakers are on a hell-bent mission to destroy the NBA this season, en route to an NBA title (and a possible redemption matchup against the Celtics). It's a reasonable thought; and an interesting side note to the whole idea of a Lakers title romp was broached by Wojo earlier this evening.

For Bryant, this season is no longer about resurrecting his reputation. The NBA Finals run, the MVP, the gold medal, were his redemptive route. As Paul and James and Dwyane Wade jockey, the 30-year-old Bryant has completed a transformation from petulant superstar to enlightened elder. After an Olympics in which his performance, sunny disposition and, yes, private manipulations, regenerated his global image, Bryant has found a true second act in his career.

This particular quote is indicative of this season's issue

s

: winning a title. But it's also padded by incredulous descriptive behavior by Kobe, including hijacking Chris Paul's technical free throws in the gold medal game and sauntering away from security barricades for the sole purpose of being mobbed by international fans.

The entire notion -- and titled theme -- of Wojo's article is a "second act" for Kobe. And for me, as true as that is, it's even more freaking bizarre. First consider that yes, we are only a few years removed from the whole Eagle Creek business that seemingly forever (whoops) tainted his marketability and reputation. So, yeah, to see him as the new Jordan -- and a rival to LeBron -- when it comes to advertising:popularity dollars is a little crazy, still.

(Ed. Note: Something ate another 400 words of this. I apologize. My point being is that Kobe's second act doesn't start until he wins his own title; not for us, not for history, not for anyone other than himself. Yes, he has proved it on the court and, yes, he has resurrected his career, but until he steps out of a perceived shadow that he sees Shaq casting over the titles he's won, he won't ever consider himself heading into any sort of "second act.")

Sorry, But Kobe Bryant's 'Second Act' Doesn't Start Until He Wins His Own Ring originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Wed, 12 Nov 2008 22:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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