Monday, March 5, 2007

SuperStar Be: Kobe Bryant Be an Orange, not a Peach

So this week, instead of jamming all my Kobe analysis into one post and forcing you to go for the eye drops before you reach the end, I'm splitting it into three or four. By the way, I just amusedly thought that as Kobe ages, he should ask to be referred to as "Kobias", in the spirit of "Toby/Tobias". We have the -y or -ey endings for junior people; why not the -ias for senior editions? Oh, ok, it was just a transparent space-filler move. Still, the -ias ending is very under-rated...not that I'm (MC)bIAS'ed or anything...

Anyway, for a long time I've been following coverage of Kobe. Even long-time Kobe watchers like Slam Magazine say that it's very hard to get a read on what Kobe's personality really is and who he is at heart. I'm not going to argue with them; I haven't done 3-4 feature-length interviews with the man. But I think that Kobe's much more of an orange than a peach. When you break open a peach or chew through a peach, you go from a soft outer layer to a harder inner skin to finally a nut, that is hidden from view by the peach skin. (Insert your own "Kobe" and "nut" joke here!). There's a true center of the peach, and if you can open it up, you'll find a solid core. In other words, if Kobe is a peach, we don't understand him because he's hiding the core so well. But if we could get him to open up, we could find the basis of who he is and what he thinks.

However, when you open an orange, there is no solid core. Instead, the outside is hard, but the inside itself is empty. There may be a thin filament, or some juice, or even air at the center. That's how I think Kobe is. There's no true enigma at the center of Kobe's personality. Instead, the core of who Kobe is has been constantly changing over time as he's grown up in the limelight. If he had not spent most of his formative years in the limelight, I might buy tales of Kobe as a great enigma. Instead, I think he's more of a black mamba, in that he's constantly growing and shedding new skins. Wait, do black mambas shed skin too? Eh, no way I'm looking that up now. :-)

Next up: Kobe Bryant be...the Revenge of Joe Bryant and the City on the Country Game. I get to delicately dance through matters of race while trying to avoid text that makes me the subject matter of the next NOIS or LTMA post; should be fun.

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