The world is full of Kobe haters.  I acknowledge this fact.  As a fan of Magic Johnson, I understand that Kobe’s personality does not endear him to the average fan, the media or those who do not follow the NBA.  While I believe both Magic and Kobe are about winning, Magic always seemed to showed his happiness and enjoyment more willingly.  

Kobe had some legal trouble years ago.  And I think many haters justify their emotions based on the accusations that were made at the time.  The fact that he was not convicted and the prosecution was forced to drop the case when his accuser decided she didn’t want to testify in court is not important to the haters.  To some, being accused of something means you are guilty despite the official verdict.  I refuse to accept that perception; our legal system is based on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  Others would argue that he admitted to adultery and that makes him an evil person.  Ignore the fact that 50% of married women and 60% of married men have an affair while married. 

Kobe-haters say that Kobe drove Shaq out of town.  I look at Shaq and Kobe as teammates who played together for awhile, and then needed to go in different directiaons because they could no longer play together.  While I regret that the two of them were unable to put their egos aside and learn to co-exist, I believe it is team management that actually controls the roster.  Jerry Buss has said that he made the decision not to extend Shaq’s contract based on Shaq’s age, injury history and physical condition.  And Shaq has criticized every organization he has left, as well as many of his former teammates and coaches.  To put all the blame on Kobe and none on Shaq is wrong.  

Other haters say Kobe is a selfish ball-hog who shoots too much and doesn’t pass the ball.  If you ever watch classic games when they are replayed, you will see that this is untrue.  Of course, Kobe shot the ball.  He is arguably the second best shooting guard to ever play the game, after Michael Jordan.  When Kobe scored 81 against Toronto a few years back, the starting line-up was Kobe, Smush Parker, Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown and Chris Mihm.  And with that line-up, I would have advised Kobe to shoot as often as he liked.  I don’t really care about the number of shots he takes.  I look at two factors.  Is he making a decent percentage of them?  Somewhere between 45 – 50% is my benchmark.  And did the team win? 

Kobe-haters say Kobe is egotistical and smug.  I would argue that his domination in the new millenium is proof that he actually has been the best player in the league over the past decade.  LeBron James refers to himself as the King; I guess he’s king of the regular season.  Kobe is king of the post-season, which is having your priorities in the correct order.  Kobe has 5 championships in 7 final appearances; Magic had 5 championships in 9 final appearances.  LeBron has 0 championships in 1 final appearance.  My vote for most egotistical NBA player has to go to LeBron. 

Here is a past article by a self-proclaimed Kobe Hater

Here is the source for the adultery stat: