LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock made some very egregious statements regarding Kobe Bryant’s 20-year NBA career when he spoke Friday on “The Herd.”
After Bryant’s unforgettable 60-point finale, Whitlock had the audacity to call Bryant the “most fraudulent superstar celebrity athlete we have ever seen.”
He accused Bryant of imitating Michael Jordan over his 20 years in the NBA and went on to say that the longtime Laker’s “narcissism and selfishness destroyed the franchise.”
He called Bryant’s final game “hot garbage,” and went on to make many other outlandish and completely unfounded claims.
Where have you been the past 20 years, Jason?
Here’s my favorite quote from his three-minute rant, where he can be heard spewing his own “hot garbage” to everyone watching “the Herd.”
“America used to be about — and what we used to celebrate — are the people that strayed from the path and did their own thing,” Whitlock said.
Anyone who has watched a single game of Bryant’s career knows that there isn’t an athlete in all of professional sports who does his own thing moreso than Kobe.
The man refused to have friends throughout his 20-year career and instead choose to devote his entire life to the game of basketball.
The man had more determination to be the best than any player this sport, or any sport, has ever seen.
Bryant was not trying to imitate Michael Jordan, he was aspiring to surpass Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time.
Yes, Bryant had his immature moments along the way.
Bryant has admitted to all of that, and now even jokes about his prior immaturity.
Right after his final game, Bryant joked with reporters, saying how his whole career people would get angry at him not for passing the ball, except for tonight, when all anyone could do was encourage him to shoot.
But that’s fine. I will concede the fact that Bryant was certainly childish at many points in his career, but how can a sane man ignore his production during that period?
How is it that an “immature fraud” like Bryant was able to win five championships in 20 seasons with the Lakers, while also being selected to 18 All-Star games?
In the world of political correctness, Bryant chose to ignore the tiresome standard for athletes’ behavior and created a unique NBA personality who we now know as “Kobe”.
The goal of the NBA is to win titles, which is exactly what Bryant did.
The Lakers won the NBA championship 25 percent of the time when Bryant was a member of the team.
So, go ahead, Mr. Whitlock, trash this legend all you want, but I can personally guarentee you he does not care what you say.
I am bewildered at the fact that you can sit on TV with a straight face making the argument that Kobe Bryant “ruined the Lakers franchise.”
Bryant revitalized the Lakers, who before he came along, had not won a championship since 1988.
Think what you want of Bryant as a man, but the fact that he is a basketball legend is indisputable.
Before Bryant’s injuries in 2013-2014, he had strung together 14 consecutive seasons averaging at least 22.5 points per game, while also shooting over 43 percent from the field.
To rail on Bryant for taking an NBA-record 50 shots in the final game of his career is ludicrous.
The Lakers were the second-worst team in the league, and his 60-point game in the season finale was without a doubt the highlight of the season for most Lakers fans.
Whitlock took the contrarian opinion to Bryant’s finale, and now is trending because of it.
So, congratulations Jason, your completely misguided and bombastic opinion of Bryant is now making headlines across the country.
It’s a shame you had to put down one of the greatest athletes of the last generation in order to get the attention you were so sorely seeking.
David Rosenthal is a web producer for CBS Los Angeles. David is a Dodgers, Kings, Lakers, and Rams fan. If you have any questions or comments for him, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @TheReal_D_Rose