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Kobe's ride: a helicopter

Feb 16, 2010, 12:51 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for nba_bryant2_250.jpgIf you make $23 million a year with your body, taking a helicopter to work is actually quite practical.

That may be my favorite line this year, and it comes from GQ’s profile of Kobe Bryant (via TrueHoop). Personally, I would take a helicopter to work if I made $23 million. Except my commute is to my living room most mornings, but even then I still I might do it.

Maybe no other player in the NBA could pull this off. Kobe can do it because he is Kobe and because he lives in Los Angeles. The city worships him and the city has no fear of excess — if you are going to go over-the-top in LA, you have to do better than just taking a helicopter to work. We expect our excess to be more salacious than that.

And Kobe has a good reason, anyway. He always has a reason.

This is how the 31-year-old co-captain of the Lakers, the eleven-time All-Star, the four-time world champion, the most prolific and accomplished scorer currently drawing breath and an NBA paycheck, commutes. He takes a private helicopter from Orange County, where he lives with his wife and two children, to every home game. It’s a nice dash of glitz, a touch of showbiz that goes well with the Hollywood sign in the hazy distance. But sexy as it might seem, Bryant says the helicopter is just another tool for maintaining his body. It’s no different than his weights or his whirlpool tubs or his custom-made Nikes. Given his broken finger, his fragile knees, his sore back and achy feet, not to mention his chronic agita, Bryant can’t sit in a car for two hours. The helicopter, therefore, ensures that he gets to Staples Center feeling fresh, that his body is warm and loose and fluid as mercury when he steps onto the court.

What makes Kobe fascinating — what a writer of the caliber of J.R. Moehringer (Andre Agassi’s biography “Open”) does a good job getting at in this piece — is that you can’t sum up Kobe simply. We want our athletes to fit into neat little stereotypes, but Kobe is too complex a person to do that with. He is not simple, he takes time to understand, and even then you really don’t understand him completely.

The article traces Kobe’s career through his various injuries — up to and including his current broken finger that is “three different shades of purple and five kinds of black.” But that is just to tie the narrative together, the goal is to paint a picture of Kobe the person. As much as that could ever be done. The article is worth reading because it comes as close as anyone has.

Although at the end you still won’t understand the man.

  1. jujubean - Feb 16, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    “Given his broken finger, his fragile knees, his sore back and achy feet, not to mention his chronic agita, Bryant can’t sit in a car for two hours.”
    Ummmmm then don’t sit in a car – get a limo and lay down and watch TV, or even get an RV with a hottub and just chill… riding in a helicopter is pure primadonna excess – absolutely no justification for it at all…

  2. wizard of Ozola - Feb 16, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    If Kobe’s chopper crashes in to a house in CARSON,, the brothers will assume it was a white man, and sue the heli company. Donald Trump choppered from NYC to Alantic City to screw Marla Mapholes in the Trump Casino for a year. But lets see Kobe Heli-ski in Avalanche country to see how big his stones are.. Real men go 80 MPH on their feet !Next time Kobe’s ride gets in the air , can we get some F-15s to play chick with it ? LOL.For the record Kobe lives in a development CALLED THE IRVINE RANCH off of 101 south of Newport Beach in ORANGE COUNTY.IT IS A PRIVATE GATED COMMUNITY WITH 24/7 SECURITY. GOOGLE EARTH KOBE WHEN HE IS IS PLAYING B-BALL ON HIS PRIVATE B-BALL COURT. BUT NO JACK NICKELSON OR OTHER SHOW BIZ CREEPS.

  3. mensarino - Feb 16, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    You obviously don’t know much about Newport Beach,do you.It is the city that gives L.A. an inferiority complex……more money than god there.

  4. Scarf - Feb 16, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Kobe “neck wrench, force feed, dry ram” Bryant can get to da game any way he damm well pleases. It matters not to me as I no longer part with a dime in any way, shape or form for pro B-ball period. Free tickets and wild horses could not drag me to any NBA game. I might watch part of a playoff game on the boob tube but only if I got another channel to zip to during commercials. I prefer sports with civilized humans with class and without felony rap sheets.

  5. blackjack-bill - Feb 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    It’s libel when written, slander when spoken.
    But, who cares. Everything is just a matter of opinion, right?

  6. ocgunslinger - Feb 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    You are dumber than…..Nancy Pelosi. Had to think for a minute to come up with a total idiot.

  7. Bill Legal - Feb 17, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    Don…slander is verbal or spoken…libel is when it’s written…I believe. And if you live in San Diego…the whole area north of the County line is ‘Smell-A’.

  8. Tung Sten Man - Feb 17, 2010 at 1:58 AM

    First off, amazing site. Why do guys always say I’m gay when I wear rings. They just don’t get it

  9. leet - Feb 17, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    What are you all arguing about. It’s Kobe’s money and Kobe’s life. Like the saying goes there is going to be always someone who is going to be envious. You can never be him or be like him. Concentrate on your lives. You just make Kobe more interesting when you talk about him because he is SOMEBODY.

  10. KOBEFAN - Feb 17, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Was he convicted or did his accusser drop charges for fear of having to testify. I could call you a rapist, but until you are convicted of the crime, you are innocent. Stop hating because you have nothing else to do. What does this have to do with him taking a helicopter to work? NOTHING you hater!!!!!

  11. KOBEFAN - Feb 17, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    How about until you know his medical status, you can’t speak on it. I have a back injury and can’t sit for 2 hours straight. Is it a crock for me as well? It just so happens I don’t make 23 million a year so I have to take my meds and ride it out. If you simply hate Kobe, stop reading and posting about him. Those of us who love him get tired of reading your jealous post. No one is making you read this, so if he irritates you that much, go to another site!!! I’M SICK OF YOU KOBE HATERS!!!!

  12. Rey Wolfgramm - Feb 18, 2010 at 6:37 AM

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  13. ThoughtProcess - Feb 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    You are still an idiot

  14. TrueDat - Feb 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    I have to agree with the comments regarding Kobe being a sexual predator. I honestly do not understand how it is that the world has forgotten he raped a woman and then paid her off so she wouldn’t testify. To all of you people who defend him by saying the prosecutor dropped the case, you are deliberately ignoring the fact that the case was dropped because Kobe paid off the victim. Once the prosecutor no longer had it’s rape victim testifying, they had no case. So of course they had to drop it. Any simple Google of the subject will produce the prosecutor’s statement expressing that. To ignore that fact is to show that you are just ignoring reality to defend your sexual predator idol.
    If you speed in your car, you are a speeder. Whether you get caught and ticketed for it or not, you are still a speeder. Kobe is a sexual predator.
    And, as was pointed out above, Kobe himself issued a statement stating that he understood that his victim did not consent to the sexual encounter. That, by any legal definition, is rape.

  15. JOHNNY DOVE - Feb 28, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    To truedat:
    Shut your sour mouth you hater.Personally, i do not like Kobe but he is no raper. You must be some poor ass person wishing you had his money. Anyway,a woman who was wearing the same panties, soiled with different semen, for many days, must be a double slut trying to get rich off an innocent sports star. All she wanted was money and I believe you wish you were in that slut’s shoes. Both of you go to hell. And remember, you will see him each time you turned on the television, whether you like it or not. Hope you do not get a heart attack, loser.

  16. Nelia Coia - Mar 2, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    you have a nice blog, i enjoyed the post. –

  17. TrueDat - Mar 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    To Johnny Dove:
    So, you say you do not like Kobe yet you get so personally enraged when someone calls him a raper (which he is). Yeah, OK
    Exactly the response I would expect from a Kobe-phile.
    Best of luck with that.

  18. jillian michaels diet - Mar 5, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Keep up the great posts. I really like reading your posts. Thanks.

  19. jillian michaels diet - Mar 5, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    I believe most people would agree with your post. I’m going to bookmark this web site so I can come back and read more posts. Keep up the good work!

  20. Marv Alberts - Mar 10, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Let’s hope he doesn’t rape the pilot of the chopper if Kobe gets ansi.

  21. EPIC - Apr 5, 2010 at 5:02 AM

    I cant believe the idiots who live in worthless colorado try to say “we know what really happened”. Keep trying to make your stupid state look cooler by knowing the “real truth”. IF you knew any real truth you would know that any person with the title of kobe bryant can get any women at any place at any time. And if he REALLY wanted to rape someone he could have just looked up some fine escorts on craigslist and called it a day. Theres no way that he is this “rapist” top 5 basketball players that EVER lived. And theres a big difference in the people who say hes a rapist or that this colorado SLUT just wanted to be another girl on kobe bryants list. No matter what point the sluts of colorado try to pull it doesnt make any sense for him to RAPE her. Keep trying because maybe someday we people from LA will be as stupid as you.

  22. Jarrod - Apr 27, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    really no kiddig I have been an insurance agent for years and dont remember hearing that anywhere. You are wrong.

  23. Fortune Teller - Aug 2, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Kobe is the man. Helicopter or psychic, he’d be good at anything he tries.

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