But like I said, nothing should or will change after last night. The Greatest went into the Hall, his fans love how human and honest he was, the rest of us are kind of uncomfortable and a little put off by how bitter and sad he seemed, but hey, he scored a lot of points and won a ridiculous amount of games, so it’s cool. But something else changed for me last night.
I’ve long despised Kobe because of what I perceived as his arrogance. He always seemed so smug and so absolute in his confidence about his game. But the first thing I thought after the video ended on my little screen? “Kobe would NEVER do that.” When Kobe enters the Hall, he’s going to thank his coaches, especially Jackson, even after their problems. He’s going to thank his teammates. He’s going to thank his family, and while there are certainly jokes to be made in that arena, there’s no question he loves his daughters and his wife. This isn’t to say Kobe’s any more or less of a good teammate than he was yesterday. He’s still got selfish tendencies, and is still an amazing leader and an incredible passer. But to look at Kobe’s actions which are much more honest thank Jordan’s were when he was playing, and to say they are arrogant when compared to what Jordan showed of himself last night. I can’t imagine when it’s time to close the book on Kobe’s illustrious career, that there will be anything in him but humility and graciousness.