The summer of 2010 was the most dramatic off season in the history of the NBA. Lebron James took his talents down to South Beach (along with free agent Chris Bosh), Kevin Durant showed the world he's ready for league domination, Joe Johnson and Amar'e Stoudemire got embarrassing overpaid, and Carmelo Anthony asked to be traded. With so many newsworthy stories and subplots it's easy to see how some things were overlooked. Lost in the shuffle is the quest for immortality by one Kobe Bryant. This is the year Kobe Bryant takes his rightful place alongside Michael Jordan as the greatest player of the modern era. 6 titles and 2 three peats is the bar set by his Airness. Kobe Bryant is one chip away from standing on equal ground.
Don't think for one minute Kobe isn't completely aware of the magnitude of this accomplishment. He's heard all summer how the Miami Heat are the new darlings of the NBA, but I guarantee he will not let them stand in his way. You think a guy like that comes this close to realizing all his hopes and dreams just to let some upstart crew steal his glory at the last second? Kobe's an angry, bitter, unforgiving, arrogant man who fancies himself basketball royalty. The concept drives and motivates him to greatness like no other player since.... Kobe's concentration and focus won't allow him to get distracted by outside forces. It's all about him and this is his time to shine. Awards and accolades don't mean anything to him anymore, it's all about joining Mike in the 6 chip club. Once he's accomplished that the conversation really begins.
Basketball purists will never say Kobe Bryant is equal to Michael Jordan because they live in the past. Kobe Bryant is the here and now and is every bit the champion Michael was (after he wins the sixth). It's time for fans to acknowledge the fact that Michael will have company atop Mt. Olympus when this season is over. You don't have to pay tribute with a bronze statue in front of the Staples Center, but 6 chips is 6 chips no matter how you slice it. Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in the same breath. King Kobe and his Airness. Get used to it.