Kobe Bryant tells LeBron James’ critics to back off – NBA Update
Los Angeles Lakers super star Kobe Bryant has leapt to the defence of his Olympic teammate LeBron James. In a rather surprising move, the Black Mamba said that LeBron’s critics should “back off” and let the player be.
James, who plays for the Miami Heat, turned into one of the most hated figures if not the most hated in the American sports landscape from the very time, he decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers. “The Decision” did not endear
him to anyone and LeBron subsequently made a number of PR mistakes that have seen his stock fall to new lows with the general public.
He reached the NBA Finals last season with new super star teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, together with whom he formed the Big Three at the South Beach. However, the ultimate glory eluded him as the Dallas Mavericks, with
a veteran team and the brilliant Dirk Nowitzki, defeated the Heat to clinch the NBA World Championship.
LeBron did not perform to his potential in the Finals and that gave additional fodder to the army of critics that have since been watching his every move. Some NBA players have come out in his support before, most notably Jason
Kidd of the Mavericks immediately after the NBA Finals, but Kobe is by far the biggest name to throw his weight behind the under fire star,
“I think people need to lay off that kid, that’s what I think. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well playing on the Olympic team, and I think they just need to back up off him and just let him play and let him live his life. Let
him make his decisions, let him mature as a player” said the Lakers shooting guard. “It’s tough to be under a microscope like that all the time. So I would like everyone to just back off him and let him play.”
Kobe of course knows all about facing public ire. He has been a controversial figure throughout his career. Even his splendid talent and great success have not always been able to hide him from the glare of NBA fans and often player.
Bryant is viewed throughout the league as probably the most arrogant player at present, though LeBron is now giving him competition on that front. Kobe had a publicised feud with former teammate and future Hall of Famer Shaquille
O’Neal that lasted many years.
When O’Neal left the Lakers the majority of fans turned against Bryant, blaming him for the departure of The Diesel. Kobe also had personal problems that have spilled out into the public eye, the most damaging of which was a rape
charge against the Lakers star.
In the end LeBron can take a leaf out of Kobe’s book, who has overcome those hard times by staying away from the public eye and doing his talking on the court.