Let's start with the fact that Vince Carter is right: it set a bad example for the kids.
"The only bad thing about it is that younger kids, whose minds are easily warped, are going to think, 'Ohhh! I am going to go out there and do it instead of (honoring) the team concept first,'" Carter said yesterday. "That is what is missing in the game, guys understanding how to play as a team.
"I think it is great for (the NBA): They want scoring, they want ratings, and you are going to get that. You are definitely going to get them now with the amount of 50-point games, 60-plus games. I just hope that kids and young guys understand that (only) special guys can do that. Yeah, the (other Lakers) were trying to get Kobe the ball, they wanted to see a special night. But they all know their roles.
"Guys understanding their roles is probably the hardest thing to accept in the NBA right now. Everybody wants to prove they are a professional, wants to be a star in this league. You can still become a star in your own right if you just play your role."
But what does Kobe care.
Thanks to Shaquille O'Neal leading the way to the Lakers 3 recent NBA championships, practically speaking, no one can call Kobe Bryant a "loser" anymore. But that still doesn't diminish the fact that like Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant is nothing but a selfish ball hog who cares more about winning scoring titles than winning championships. That's another reason why the hype around Bryant's 81-point game the other night doesn't deserve the hype it's gotten.
I mean, let's back up and put things in the proper perspective.
First, Kobe put up 46 shots plus had 20 free throws. So that's 60-some odd shots in the game! For all the talent that warrants them being in The League in the first place, give any NBA player 60=-us shots in a game and I guarantee that at least half of them would put up 80. Secondly, there's the fact that the closest Laker to take the most shots, Lamar Odom, had 11 total. Or 35 LESS than Bryant did. That's called being a BALL HOG. Lastly, and most importantly (unless your Kobe, of course), there's the Lakers record, which currently stands at 3 games above .500, good for 7th place in their own conference, which would have them barely making the playoffs this year if the season were to end today. This after not making the playoffs for the first time in eons last year. Their first year without Shaq (who coincidentally made it to the Eastern Conference finals with his new team, the Miami Heat).
Now we all know that Kobe maneuvered to get Shaq out of L.A. a couple of years back in order to make the Lakers into the "Kobe Bryant and the Lakers Show", but what Laker fans need to understand is that Kobe's "Me, Myself and I" court antics will not lead them to another NBA championship. And Iverson, who has never won anything team-oriented in his life is living proof of that.
The last time I checked, basketball was a TEAM sport. Don't believe me than check the standings and you'll see that the team with the best record in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons have built up a 34-5 won-loss record without the benefit of having a single "superstar" on their roster. Thus, not only is Bryant's "81" overrated, but it also goes to show you that he's neither an MVP or a leader. After all, MVP's care most about winning, while leaders make their teammates better.Then too, TEAMS win championships, while INDIVIDUALS win awards.