This is Kobe Bryant saying exactly what you expect Kobe Bryant to say.
Put an obstacle in front of Kobe — say, returning from a Achilles injury at age 35 next season — and you have motivated him. He wants to prove doubters wrong, haters wrong and father time wrong. He wants to prove a silly thing like a ruptured Achilles can’t stand in the way of his ultimate goal.
And what is it that motivates him, he was asked in an interview broadcast in China (where he is on his annual trip promoting his brand).
(As in a sixth ring, as if you needed me to tell you that.)
You can count me among the Lakers doubters for this upcoming season. While they will likely be within a few wins of last season’s total of 45 (and that could slide them into the seven or eight seed), I think they are going to miss the playoffs completely. I think there will be an adjustment period for Kobe, I think health (and depth) will be a key problem, and I think their defense will be their undoing.
As you would expect, Kobe is turning paragraphs like that last one into fuel.
“I’m excited about this upcoming year because there are a lot of question marks, a lot of people doubting and giving us challenges…” Kobe said.
“That’s the exciting part about it, facing those type of challenges. That’s what excites me, that’s what excites us going into the season. We know, just like in anything, it doesn’t matter how many star players you have as long as you have a group of players that play well together and are focused on getting to the common goal together. That’s really what matters the most.”
While I have my doubts, we’ve all know better than to count Kobe out. He’s a special player.