Kobe Bryant received a heartwarming tribute from Michael Jordan on Monday night before the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Charlotte Hornets. Bryant, who has always considered himself a villain to the other 29 NBA teams, spoke to the media after the game about all of the love he has been getting from road crowds across the league.
"Sometimes the best way to beat a villain is to give him a hug," Bryant said on Time Warner Cable Sportsnet after the game (as transcribed by Serena Winters of Lakers Nation), calling the love his "kryptonite." Kryptonite is of course the fictional chunks of radioactive rock that takes away comic book hero Superman's powers, which is not a bad analogy in this case. Bryant went 5-20 after Jordan said he was proud of him and called him his "little brother," so I guess MJ's Lex Luthor strategy worked and helped get his Hornets the win on Kobe's final night in Charlotte.
In fact, some of Kobe's worst performances (at Philadelphia and at Atlanta for example) have come in the arenas that have cheered him the hardest. So everyone just needs to be really mean to Kobe so he can play well. Don't question a super-villain's methods.