Ok ok...he's not really diagnosed with Bipolar disorder...not officially anyway...but we here at King of Nothing are definitely not above using cheap headlines to capture your attention...we will sink to any low to gain popularity...we have no dignity...at least I don't anyways...but seriously...here is an EXCELLENT piece of writing on the highly polar Kobe Bryant...by my close buddy...Shril Bhatt. ("Langotio bhaiband" if you know Gujarati)
By Guest Blogger Shril Bhatt:
Dear Readers and Friends,
If I have to introduce to you who Kobe Bryant is, you are at the wrong place. Well hold on a second… I take it back. You might actually be at the perfect place! I’m sure majority of you already know about him being a great basketball player, his work ethics, and his interest in ‘other women’ and what have you. But I would be wasting my (and yours of course) precious time if I were to reiterate those things to you. The purpose of this blog entry is to let you all know what I have observed watching Kobe Bryant play countless times over the years. And after giving it some thought, I came to a conclusion that Kobe Bryant is suffering from Bipolar Disorder…. At least when he’s on the court! (And probably off of it...)
Let me first begin by defining Bipolar Disorder (BPD). A BPD is a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels (mania), cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes. Ok. Now take a minute and pick up the pieces of your brain off of the keyboard. Put it back together...and read it again...closely. Go take a leak even if you don’t have to. As a matter of fact fill up a zip-lock bag with ice and sit on it. Alright, now let me explain what I mean by simplifying it.
Imagine an apple and an orange. Both are fruits, both are round, and both are generally very nutritious and good for your health. However they are totally different in the way they taste, their texture, the way they feel in your mouth, their juiciness…"Juiciness"...that's a nice word...You get my point. Likewise, I want you to think of two different Kobe Bryants for a second: One wearing the gold uniform (during home games) and the other, wearing the purple (away games). Do you notice anything different? If not, let me explain to you what I see.
First let me digress a little bit for a moment. If it wasn’t for Mukesh (The King of Nothing), I would not have cared to know about Kobe and the Lakers to this day. It was the year 2001 and we were relatively new in the United States. I didn’t care much about basketball let alone the NBA. It wasn’t until we started playing ball during our high-school days that I started learning the basics about basketball in general. Right around that time, the NBA playoffs were about to begin. Since Mukesh (a fellow Gujju) lived literally across the street from us at that time, we (my brother and I) would go to his place just to hang out. I still remember that tiny apartment of his and that plastic laundry basket stacked on top of cigarette boxes (not because he was chain smoker but because they have a smoke shop) and shooting hoops inside the house. Anyway, back to the Playoffs… So Lakers were playing Portland Trail Blazers at that time. It was the old Lakers then with Ron Harper, Horry, Horace Grant, Shaw and company. Since we didn’t have cable we used to go watch the games at Mukesh’s place. It was then when my infatuation with the Lakers began.
Now back to Kobe. Gold and Purple Kobe. How I see both of them? What differences do they have and why do I think he has ‘Basketball induced BPD’? First let me talk about ‘Gold Kobe’. Whenever I see him play at home, he plays a very relaxed game. He reminds me of Sachin Tendulkar. Usually calm, strictly business like attitude. Go on the court, play your game, make some plays, and call it a night with a win. In addition, he tends to be more of a team player at home. He usually gets more assists at home. His shots selections are much more ‘high-percentage’. He hardly shows any anger. He lets his game do the talking. When he gets substituted, he slowly walks to the bench, fist-bumps the bench warmers, takes his seat, puts a towel around his neck and sits back and observes.
Come to think of it I only remember a couple of incidences where I have seen him have emotional outbursts during/after the game at home. First when he outscored the entire Dallas team by himself, he pumped his chest several times at the end of third quarter. Second, beating the buzzer against Phoenix in the playoffs and lastly, against Miami couple years back. Even if you actually get a chance to re-watch his 81 point game, watch how he exits the court, he simply acknowledges the crowd as he walks and just raises his index finger in the air. You get my point here; Kobe tends to be low-key, much more serene and somber, straight business when he plays at the Staples Center.
In contrast, now imagine Kobe wearing the purple uniform. One word that comes to my mind right at that moment – ASSASSIN! Whenever I have watched him on the opponent’s court, he’s like a wild animal unleashed into the city. (And it's not always a good thing.)You can see him during the pregame shoot around; he’s ready to go crazy on someone. He’s outspoken from the get-go, he’s shouting plays. He’s directing traffic. He’s shouting at the referees, demanding foul-calls, throwing tantrums. Plus, we have all come to known his ‘Angry Beaver’ look whenever he’s ‘in the zone!’ There’s not much that his opponent can do to get him out of it. Heck, not even his own teammates or his own coaches can do anything to get him out of it. However, granting the fact that he’s unstoppable at those times, this nature of his sometimes lands him into a ‘freak-frenzy’ mode as well. He tends to attempt highly contested shots to silence the crowd. (Most of which he misses.) He tends to sway away from the designed plays. He plays one-on-five basketball, at times frustrating teammates, coaches, and of course us fans. In many occasions this has cost the Lakers the outcome of the games as well. Once again, you get my point here as well; Kobe tends to have “Manic Episodes” (due to “Basketball Reasons” – Fuck You, David Stern!) when he plays during away games.
Regardless of his BPD on the court, he’s still something special to watch night in and night out. I wasn’t around to watch much of Michael Jordan’s career. So when people ask me to compare Kobe to MJ, I can’t back up my arguments with facts. And for that reason, I tend stay away from that argument. Perhaps MJ was better than Kobe in his days. But most of us Laker fans (and haters) will agree that Kobe is the next best thing... and not that far away from him. (Or maybe he is...who the hell really knows?)
Written by Special Guest Blogger: Shril Bhatt
Edited by The King of Nothing