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Kobe Bryant posts about leadership on FaceBook

Oct 14, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant smiles during an interview at NBA media day for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team in Los Angeles Reuters

Kobe Bryant has been accused of being a bad teammate for his behavior by Smush Parker, who Bryant said was a bad teammate because he sucked. In response, Bryant has posted on FaceBook a brief message about leadership. It is one of the most Bryant things you’ll read, even if his publicist team likely wrote it.

Leadership is responsibility.

There comes a point when one must make a decision. Are YOU willing to do what it takes to push the right buttons to elevate those around you? If the answer is YES, are you willing to push the right buttons even if it means being perceived as the villain? Here’s where the true responsibility of being a leader lies. Sometimes you must prioritize the success of the team ahead of how your own image is perceived. The ability to elevate those around you is more than simply sharing the ball or making teammates feel a certain level of comfort. It’s pushing them to find their inner beast, even if they end up resenting you for it at the time.

I’d rather be perceived as a winner than a good teammate. I wish they both went hand in hand all the time but that’s just not reality. I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.

This is my way. It might not be right for YOU but all I can do is share my thoughts. It’s on YOU to figure out which leadership style suits you best.

Will check back in with you soon.. Till then

Mamba out

via Leadership is….

Now, let’s compare that to a fictional leader who was criticized for his unpopular decisions.

Col. Jessep: *You want answers?*

Kaffee: *I want the truth!*

Col. Jessep: *You can’t handle the truth!*

[pauses]

Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

via A Few Good Men (1992) – Memorable quotes.

Sound familiar?

Just kidding.

Kind of.

Look, there are two ways most will look at it. You can look at it from a “the ends justify the means” perspective, which always works out great in our society, and note that Bryant’s way has won five more rings than a lot of great players ever won. He’s a winning winner who wins, and everyone else just doesn’t understand his devotion to winning. The FaceBook post above was his way of saying “Yes, I’m a bad teammate, because my team needs to be a bad teammate, and in that, way, I’m a good teammate.”

Most people who have played with Bryant avoid the subject like the plague. They’ll usually just say “He’s so competitive, that’s great to be around and I learned a lot.” And Bryant has taken players under his wing before. But there are small moments in print, here and there, that largely reinforce what Parker said about Bryant, even if they didn’t react as negatively. And yet, those players wouldn’t want to give up their championship rings. It’s just what worked out.

The other way to look at it is that Bryant’s a bad teammate. He just is. He’s too critical, too domineering, sets his standards too high with an itchy trigger finger on his gavel of judgment. But he’s so good as a basketball player that how he is as a teammate doesn’t hold the team back. He’s not going to lift a bad team, like the 2006 Lakers, but he’s going to raise a good team to greatness, like the 2010 team.

If you think being a player who contributes the most to winning a championship inherently makes you a good teammate. If you believe that being a great teammate isn’t a part of being great, he can not be a great teammate.

Nothing will change the fact that he has five rings, is in good shape to tie Jordan at six, and is one of the best NBA players of all time. Being nice has no part of that description.

Additionally, not for nothing, but Bryant’s line of thinking is eerily similar to how a supervillain justifies his actions when he’s threatening to blow up the world. Just saying.

  1. charlutes - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    this post was over after the kobe quote. then I’m reading on and on and wondering where I’m going and it hits me. matt Moore, next.

    • omahakidw - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Kobe is a “heck” of a leader just ask the :LITTLE GIRL” whom he invited to his room when he went to Colorado. He`s a leader allright ! The reality is. he`s “stupid as bricks” !

  2. rjlink1 - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Please tell your editor to stop with the FaceBook – it’s Facebook. Mamba out.

  3. 00maltliquor - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Que the haters, trolls, and you-know-who in 3…2…

    • rexgrossman8 - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      00maltliquor,

      *Cue

      Sincerely,

      Kurt Helin

      PS Thank you for being a PBT fan.

      • manchestermiracle - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

        Kurt correcting someone’s spelling. That’s priceless.

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:11 AM

        LOL

  4. timb12 - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    I think “Mamba out” will end up being up there with “I’m taking my talents to…”

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:20 AM

      Na, not really…”I’m taking my talents to…” is an original. “Mamba out” is from “Seacrest out” from American Idol.

  5. matthewcarlson1 - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Hard work… and insane god-given talent doesnt hurt either.

    • omahakidw - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Also does`nt help if you go after little girls: and even though your a complete idiot, at least you “GAVE IT” your best shot huh? lol,lol,lol,lol,

  6. ibchuck33 - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    I hate Kobe. But he’s a fantastic basketball player. The league will miss him when he’s gone. Or when he’s “out”, as he supposedly said.

    • omahakidw - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Yes, but the women out there will be safer !

  7. davidly - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Apparently being a winner also involves denigrating someone you haven’t played with for nearly a decade–who doesn’t even have you on his radar until you open your winner of a big-mouth–and then when you get called on it, pretending like you’re the one who needs to defend yourself.

  8. zblott - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    So are we supposed to forget what “Kobe Doin’ Work” showed us about his leadership skills because he wrote a Facebook post?

  9. lakerluver - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Kobe doesn’t have to defend himself against a scrub like Parker or any of his critics. 5 rings, 1st ballot HOF, and universally acknowledged as one of the top 10 players in the history of the NBA. Phuk the haters…Mamba out.

    • guyaneserj - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:52 AM

      Lakerluver, 4 da most part ur post’s, even thou I’m a Heat Fan, I can agree with., However, Being a HUGE LBJ Fan, even I admitted 2 his faults and the way he handled leaving Cleveland as one that should have been done in a more mature manner. With this is mind, plz plz plz, don’t let the Love for Kobe’s Talents, which is and shld never be in question.. HOWEVER, that’s no excuse for being a JERK… Being a gr8 player with all the accolades you previously mentioned, should no way detract from the fact, that as a man, he can do better….

      • guyaneserj - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:54 AM

        *which isn’t NOT which is

      • guyaneserj - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        If and I repeat if the following from Smudge Parker is TRUE, then this just illustrates my point.

        “…Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant — he is my teammate, he is a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day I go in to work — and I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious. [...]

        “We’re teammates, we talk basketball on the court. [Our talks were] about getting him the ball pretty much.”…”

  10. paulhargis53 - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    mamba out? of what your mouth lackerswallower? its about time!

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Do you obsessively check PBT throughout the day, waiting for him to post?

  11. cosanostra71 - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    As a LAKERS fan, I appreciate that Kobe is more committed to being a winner than a good teammate. Just keep winning!

  12. paulhargis53 - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Cosa, no. Anymore stupid questions?

  13. itsonlyaspeedbump - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    No problem with Kobe being not exactly a nice person .

    Do have a problem with the ‘kiss the rings’ argument in terms of ranking him among the greats. He does realize he would not have won the first 3 without Shaq?

    And if you think that fact shouldn’t matter with regard to his legacy, tell me, who is generally considered the better player: Kareem Abdul-Jabar (6 rings) or Magic Johnson (5 rings)?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      Question is, can Shaq get those rings too without Kobe? I do remember he once gotten into the Finals… and got swept.

      Would Kareem and Magic get those rings too without significant support from his teammates?

      The thing that one should put into consideration is: who were consistently members of those championship teams?

      • itsonlyaspeedbump - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM

        @Foul Dwimmerlaik
        Okay I’ll give you that. It’s a better argument than my own (Shaq > Kobe, which is a subjective argument) and certainly better than just counting jewelry.

        Even still, Shaq did get one without Kobe, in 2006 vs the Heat. (But of course Kobe got 2 without him, and its also arguable that Shaq was the 2nd best player on that 2006 Heat team.)

  14. lakerluver - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    @cosanostra71
    Everybody knows littlepaulie53IQ is a deranged stalker. Isn’t it weird how this loser knows EXACTLY when I post?! I can picture him in his double wide trailer home trolling the site just waiting for me to post something. What a piece of work this nut job is!!

  15. lakerluver - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    @speedbump, MJ wouldn’t have 6 titles without Pippen, Bird wouldn’t have 3 without playing on arguably the best frontline ever, LeBron wouldn’t have 1 without Wade/Bosh/Battier/Miller. Magic wouldn’t have 5 without Kareem. See how old, tired and dumb this argument is? Basketball is a team sport. Tell me one superstar that’s won a title by himself. To speak of Kobe like he was just along for the ride is ignorant on your behalf. Shaq didn’t win anything until he teamed up with Kobe then Wade. If Shaq was the number 1 player on those LAKERS teams, Kobe was 1A. Ask yourself this, why is Kobe always ranked ahead of Shaq on the GOAT lists? Even at his position, most people have Shaq between 4-6 on the list of centers. On the other hand most of those same people rank Kobe 2nd to MJ at shooting guard. Please stop with the so and so wouldn’t have won a title without so and so argument. It’s as old and tired as the act of littlepaulie5’3″tall.

    • itsonlyaspeedbump - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      @lakerluver my argument is not that great players win alone. That’s never happened, ever.

      My argument is that Kobe is considered by many as a top 5 ever player, ultra-clutch, winner guy and its because of his rings. Rings play too heavily a factor in this argument.

      For the clutch argument, I would say that the greatest and most important shots made during the Shaq-Kobe era were by Horry (game-winner vs Sacramento WCF) and Fisher (.04 sec vs San Antonio WCF). He played poorly against the Celtics in their recent rematch in Game 7, but was rescued by the stellar play of Pau Gasol, both scoring and rebounding (who ironically is considered a soft, choker). And where was all that winning/clutchness 2 years before against the Celtics?

      Is Bill Russel the GOAT (10, 11 Rings?) How about the numerous Celtic HOFs of that era who played with him and collect 5, 6, 7 rings? When talking about guards, how about the Big O Oscar Robertson, the only player ever to average a triple double for a season (only 1 ring) How about another former Laker, The Logo Jerry West? His per game averages are about as good as Kobe’s, in the regular season and playoffs, but only 1 ring. But I’m guessing your argument against those two is “KISS KOBE’S RINGS!”

      • guyaneserj - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:57 AM

        AGREED!

    • scalfor3 - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      Comparing Shaq and Kobe based on how high they rank all-time at their position is unfair: There have been far more great centers than great 2-guards.

      Kobe and Shaq obviously both contributed to that Laker 3-peat, but Shaq was the top dog on that team. Clearly. Even if Kobe gets his 6th ring to tie Jordan, we will all know that Jordan was never “1A”, let alone 2

  16. lakerluver - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    As I’ve said previously, Kobe is universally acknowledged by most people who study stuff like this for a living as the 2nd greatest sg ever, and a top 10 player. I didn’t personally make the lists. Of course his rings have something to do with Kobe’s ranking in NBA history. If MJ hadn’t won 6 rings would he be considered by many the GOAT? Take away Russell’s rings and he drops dramatically on the GOAT list. My point is, yes Kobe’s titles factor into his ranking, however, I don’t believe they’re the determining factor. Personally, I think what sets Kobe apart from the rest (accept for MJ) is the fact that he has no weaknesses on the court. You mentioned the 7th game against Boston. Well, how many rebounds did Kobe grab in that game? Who was the LAKERS best defender in that series? Kobe didn’t shoot well but he did everything else extremely well. Even go back to the Shaq/Kobe teams. If you recall Kobe was the closer and go to man in many of those Finals games because Shaq couldn’t shoot free throws. Because Kobe is such a polarizing figure, people will either love him or hate him. My point is in the history of the NBA his place is secure in the opinion of the experts. For those who want to believe its because of his rings you’re entitled to your opinion.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      Well said.

  17. lakerluver - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    And you contradicted yourself. By your rational Russell should be considered the GOAT. That’s if rings carry so much weight. He has twice as many as MJ, yet very, very few experts put Russell at the top of the list. Sometimes you have to go by what you see. My eyes tell me the best wing player I’ve seen since MJ is Kobe Bean Bryant. Obviously, I’m not alone in my opinion. Just google the lists of top NBA players of all time. You’ll get the lists of practically all the so called experts. Most of them agree with me.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      Let’s do a little paradigm shft here: What if the internet and the multimedia and technology of today were already available during Russell’s time? What if Russell’s achievements happened in our time?

      My personal opinion here is that Russell’s game and contribution to the game would be many times more appreciated had the fans of today personally experienced or witnessed Bill Russell’s game. During the 60′s, NBA exposure to the public was definitely nothing to the magnitude of what the NBA is today. True, there are archived clips of his games but it would be significantly different had he played in our time.

      On topic: Different strokes for different folks. That’s Kobe. Deal with it. Your opinion of him wouldn’t matter to him anyway. He’d still do what he does.

      Hopefully for his sake, the winning still continues till he retires.

    • itsonlyaspeedbump - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      I DONT believe rings are the end-all to the discussion, I was merely pointing out that its silly to make that argument since there are players who have more championships than Kobe, but frankly, are not as good as him. (I would place Oscar Robinson slightly above Kobe as a do-it-all player, despite the major disadvantage in championships, and I believe Lebron will also eventually surpass him)

      As for the experts…people much older than me insist that Robertson or West were the greatest wing players ever…

      Agree to disagree?

  18. itsonlyaspeedbump - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    ah crap. my niners get crushed, i double post on a basketball blog, altogether not a good day for me.

  19. jordanismyidol - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Shut up kobe

  20. teabone413 - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    People forget that jordan is/was the biggest jerkoff on the planet.

  21. ndirishfan1 - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Not going to lift a bad team like the 2006 Lakers? Swap Kobe out for a league average 2 guard…they aren’t pushing the Suns to game 7.

  22. onebigroom2012 - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Kobe does have a weakness. Its his shot selection. Had Kobe had better shot selection he would I would easily put him over MJ. Kobe is a legit 6’3 MJ was a legit 6’6. Kobe dominated like Mike in an era where the 2 guard had completely evolved because of Jordan himself. Amo stop with the who needed who. Shaq might have went to the finals before Kobe but there was another very good 2 guard slash pg on that team. So Shaq never won anything without a legit scoring guard next to him. doesn’t diminish what was accomplished. Kobe shouldve had least 2 more MVP…..

  23. omniusprime - Oct 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Kobe gets paid to win championships, not be the nicest guy in the NBA. Kobe has the desire to excel that Smush Parker never will because Smush is a lazy whiner who just wants to collect a big paycheck without really earning it. Yes Kurt there is an eerie similarity between Kobe and super villains, they just want to win and will do whatever it takes to do so. Just Saying. Go Kobe!!! Go Lakers!!!

  24. drewdatwit84 - Oct 15, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    If we were going by rings alone then the G.O.A.T. is Bill Russell with ELEVEN rings (since u Kobe knobslobbers always only mention his rings). U wanna say talent now? I’ll counter that with LeBron James, bcuz he’s a physical specimen to behold and watch, and he’s breaking Kobe’s records one by one (and I’m not even a LeBron fan but i AM a Heat fan. Makes no sense, i know.).

    Fowl is right. Back when Bill Russell was playing there was no social media, no tabloid media, and not even half the fans of today watch the game back then. Russell was a HUGE CONTRIBUTOR to the game. At one small point he was a player/coach for that team. He and his fellow talented teammates who weren’t even superstars in THEIR own right won 8 rings in a row. Who DOES that??? yah, uh, NOT KOBE. I consider Russell tied for the G.O.A.T. label along with MJ in my personal opinion. Kobe is only in the top ten now but it’s only a matter of time until LeBron and KD kick him out of it.

    And it doesn’t matter how many rings Kobe has. It’s common knowledge that he’s an a-hole. No amount of rings as a player should or will ever justify the fact that as a MAN he’s an A-HOLE, period.

  25. blakspartan - Oct 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Kobe will be remembered as a great player, not as a person, personality doesn’t get you in the hall of fame alone, your play making ability does. Obviously there was some people who was able to play with Kobe and win a title, hell Derek fisher put up with him

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