Thursday, September 28, 2023

Five Disturbing Observations About Kobe Bryant.

March 28, 2014 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Like the rest of the world, I was stunned to hear Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant argue that it was somehow an unecessary burden for a black man to stand in support of the late Trayvon Martin.  If anything, the Trayvon Martin case brought black people together in ways that we haven’t seen since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The case was clear cut:  Trayvon had no weapon.  He wasn’t bothering anybody.  He was stalked out and murdered for appearing to look like a “thug.”  George Zimmerman is a free man and later showed that he is every bit as violent as the world believed him to be. Case closed.

Even NBA athletes, many of whom have been intimidated to sleep by a world that has become obsessed with empty materialism, stood in unity with Trayvon.   The biggest stars in the league, including LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, gave touching tributes to the young teen who didn’t deserve to die.  Their leadership helped to inspire a nation, and I applaud them for it.

But Kobe Bryant is a bit different.  He wants to be a replica of Michael Jordan, the man he could never quite match up to on the court.  HeKobe Bryant inherited nearly all of Jordan’s personality traits, both good and bad, as if he’d been studying him since he was a child.  Unlike LeBron James, who’s been able to win championships without becoming a clone of someone else, Kobe has become every bit as aloof, as disrespectful, as robotic, as simple-minded, as disconnected as the original Air Jordan himself.

This makes me sad, since Kobe Bryant could have been so much more than the empty, unhappy man he is today.

Here are five disturbing realizations about Kobe Bryant that we should keep in mind.  It might help put his sloppy words about Trayvon Martin into their proper context:

1) He, quite frankly, appears to be a selfish a**hole:  I won’t even go into the oddities of Kobe’s sexual assault case many years ago, where he was revealed to be the married man having unprotected sex with a woman he’d met an hour earlier just a few years after Magic Johnson announced that he had HIV.   If sleeping with random women unprotected and risking your wife’s health isn’t the root of selfishness, I don’t know what is.

We can also talk about the way Kobe Bryant’s spent his career jacking up ill-advised shots and attacking his teammates in public.  I’ve always loved Kobe’s game when he’s playing well, but I’ve never wanted to meet him.  Kobe is like the 14th century astronomers who thought that the sun revolved around the earth.  But instead, Kobe believes that the universe revolves about himself and won’t hear anything different.

2) He’s one-dimensional:  For LeBron James, life appears to be a mixture of possibilities, with as much meaning to be found off the court as on it. Dwyane Wade is every bit as committed to fatherhood as he is to dribbling and shooting.  For Kobe, there is nothing but basketball, basketball, basketball and more basketball.  He drives his teammates insane with his “win or die” mentality, and it probably makes him very difficult to play with.  While this might be what it takes for him to win NBA titles, it can also make you into a horrible person.  Once again, I ask you to take a look at Michael Jordan’s hurtful, nasty Hall of Fame speech as a great case-in-point.

3) He’s arrogant:  Kobe’s confidence has served him well throughout the years, helping him rise to some of the most significant achievements in his sport.  But arrogance can also rob you of your ability to empathize with others.   Kobe’s decision to engage in ad hoc social commentary on an issue so important to so many people is reflective of a man who simply doesn’t give a damn.  I was hurt by Kobe Bryant’s remarks, since it’s sad to see one of our most prominent black men have more commitment to making McDonald’s commercials than he has to saving the lives of young black men like himself.  Kobe could have just said, “no comment.”

4) He’s materialistic:  If a corporation were to pay Kobe to say something, he’d say it without hesitation.  Men like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan would buckdance for chicken if there is enough money involved. But the mere idea that standing up for your community is the right thing to do seems to escape them, like trying to teach a ballerina to shoot an AK-47.  Maybe black people just aren’t as profitable as the white ones.

5) He’s disconnected:   Jim Brown made compelling points about Kobe’s lack of connection to the black community during a recent interview on the Arsenio Hall Show.  Brown, like Muhammad Ali, is one of the greatest athletes of all time (as good or better than Kobe Bryant himself), and it wasn’t just because he dominated men on the field.  Brown is one of the greatest because he understood the importance of using his power to elevate the circumstances of the community that had given him so much.  Kobe’s inability to commit himself to something greater than himself makes him an extraordinary athlete, but a pathetic human being.

I hope that Kobe Bryant retracts his statements and keeps his social commentary to himself.  It’s ironic that a man who begged for sympathy after cheating on his wife with no protection can’t provide a lick of understanding for an unarmed teenager who had his future stolen by a deranged, racist, vigilante.   People didn’t support Trayvon just because he was black.  They supported him because it was the right thing to do. 

I also find it ironic that a man like Bryant will remain completely silent when it comes to speaking up for black America, but becomes bold and vocal when given an incentive to trash us.  Sitting on the bench in the fight for racial justice is bad enough, but it’s even worse when you work with our enemies to deliberately sabotage progress that is being made.  This turns us into Django and turns Kobe Bryant into Samuel L. Jackson’s character, who got shot in his a** at the end of the movie.   It’s a myth to believe that a racist has to be white…there are black racists all around us.

Kobe Bryant, grow up brother, it’s not always about you.  This one is about the black community.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit



20 Responses to “Five Disturbing Observations About Kobe Bryant.”
  1. Rick says:

    This is a very poor article. You just sound like your a Celtics fan.

  2. Broke Black Guy says:

    I think we should stop bashing other people….. Celebrities included……. Also Kobe is the best to ever shoot a basketball so the author’s opinion is irrelevant… broke black guy out!!!!!

  3. To all you haters of Trayvon Martin, let’s flip the script. Let Trayvon be white and Zimmerman be Black. Would you still feel the same way about the case? The fact of the matter is there’s no justice for the Blackman in this country. It’s been that way since we were brought here in chains. The proof is all around you, but you fail or refuse to see it. Just as we’ve been programmed from slavery to not support and work together with each other, you’ve been programmed to think you’re superior to us and even the world.

    Both groups have been brainwashed, and until we acknowledge it on both sides, nothing will change in our communities. As far as Kobe Bryant, I didn’t read the original article, but based on what I’ve read, technically he’s right, but as Elder Jim Brown said, he hasn’t lived in a hostile environment, where you’re guilty for looking a certain way, or happen to live in the wrong neighborhood.

    It’s just like Brother jdgwisd said, young people today have no clue about their history and the sacrifices our ancestors went through, for them to have the life they live now. You rarely see them giving back to the community or at least to those heroes in our community who sacrificed their careers, so that the young people after them could have one. Based on these comments, you can tell whose programmed and whose trying to free themselves. The bottom line here is we still live in a divided society. On the surface everything looks great, but below, we show our true colors. I’m not afraid to show mine.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  4. jdgwisd says:

    Milennials scare me. They do not have the sting of segregation, the blight of poverty(for the most part) or lack of access to education that some blacks of other generations had a knowledge of. I too was taught to be successful. However, I didn’t need to hit a baseball(like my friend Vince Coleman) or play football like a plethora of my college and high school friends in order to be successful. And what’s more, most of my friends centered education as a great part of their lives, not the last part. Richard, being great is not how well I can dribble a basketball, it’s whether or not I take the time to cheer someone up when stage 4 cancer hangs over their being(LBJ-Ebony). It’s not championships…..It’s how many people I helped become a EBONY SCHOLAR. Acquisition of money is not equate success. But Albert Einstein was correct when he said about Adolph Hitler “Mediocre minds are violently opposed to great spirits.” Kobe is a mediocre mind who’s psuedo wealth has blinded and binded him to his guilded cage.

  5. richard coleman says:

    I soooo agree with Kobe Bryant, You should ALWAYS look at all of the facts before making a rational decision. The color of ones skin has Absolutely nothing to do with it. Just like Dr. Martin Luther King said: You should judge a man by the content of his character not the color of his skin. WOW! It’s sad how many people have forgotten that. That’s all he was saying. And just because Mr. Bryant is a successful Black man, doesn’t mean that he is disconnected from black issues, there are sooooo many Positive black issues that are concerning to the black community. I’m sure a lot of people do not realize that they are sooooo many successful black men that are not from the Hood and who have NEVER lived in the HOOD and NEVER will, and NEVER will know anything about the HOOD. And that’s a Great thing. There are sooooo many educated black men in all diverse fields and occupations. You must STOP associating black life to the HOOD and negativity…..There are sooooo many black men, like Kobe Bryant who are Great men and Great role models, and who see life through very DIFFERENT outlooks from others.

    So Stop taking Mr. Bryant to task for just trying to speak the truth and trying to move forward with his life. There are sooooo many of US successful black men who see life just as Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant, and we are proud of that, and wouldn’t have it any other way. I thank God every day for my Parents who taught me, that you CAN be ANYTHING you want to be, it’s all up to you. And that’s there is NO one or NOTHING that can keep you from a life that you really deserve and want!!!!!!!

  6. Thomas J. Stratford says:

    ” Trayvon had no weapon. He wasn’t bothering anybody. He was stalked out and murdered for appearing to look like a “thug.” George Zimmerman is a free man and later showed that he is every bit as violent as the world believed him to be. Case closed.”..gee another ignorant race pimp gets it wrong, how unique!

  7. Starbuck says:

    Dr. Boyce Watkins, your description of Trayvon is a lie and not based in reality. You, and others, need to come to terms and accept the real Trayvon. Trayvon, and some other Urban youth, are monsters waiting to explode like an IED.

  8. Pervis T. Washington says:

    It be da CULTURE. Alphonso Stevenson is George Zimmerman neutered by the terms and conditions of his employer. There is no desire to learn. Or to better one’s self, and community. WORLDSTAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!

  9. Donald Joy says:

    I’ve read some utter falsehood crap drivel in my time, but this about takes the cake.

    Bryant merely took the honorable position that character is what matters, NOT color. The inferior fraud who wrote this garbage article is as mentally and morally depraved as Trayvon Martin, Benjamin Crump, Al Sharpton, and the rest of the race-hustling liars involved.

    Trayvon would be alive if not for the politically-correct school police policy of suspending black criminals and covering up their felonies(such as the burglary Trayvon was involved in) instead of sending them to hail, in order to falsely reduce the statistical disparity with white kids who commit far less offenses. Freedom of Information Act research revealed that is exactly what happened. The Miami-Dade school police and administration didn’t want the numbers to look even worse, so they merely suspended the violent criminal thug Trayvon instead of charging him with vandalism, assault, battery, burglary, etc. Then Trayvon stalked and almost murdered Zimmerman for daring to interrupt his casing of his next burglary target.

    The police were called to the Retreat at Twin Lakes over 400 times in the 13 months leading up to the night Zimmerman interrupted Trayvon, and the community was under seige from YOUNG BLACK CRIMINALS.

    Zimmerman is innocent, and has also been completely exonerated despite the ensuing hysterics and lies of female shrews in domestic situations afterward. He saved a family from a burning, overturned vehicle.

    The hysterics and lies of the “Dr.” who wrote this pile of crap article should be assigned the same status as those of Zimmerman’s other screeching shrew accusers.

  10. Apollo Dogg says:

    The problem has been the focus on irrelevant arguments – some of which are actually unsupported by the evidence.

    1. ‘George Zimmerman (GZ) racially profiled Trayvon Martin (TM)’ There is no evidence of this.

    2. ‘GZ disobeyed an order by the police’ * The civilian dispatcher, Sean Noffke, testified that he did not give GZ an order and, in fact, he, like his fellow dispatchers, are trained not make comments that sound like commands. * Noffke also testified under cross that, as a result of his asking GZ which way TM was going, GZ could have reasonably interpreted this as being asked to follow Martin. * It is also not a crime in Florida to disregard a comment made by a civilian dispatcher.

    3. ‘GZ got out of his car’ Not a crime on public property and not negligent either.

    4. ‘GZ followed TM’ Again, anyone can follow anyone on a public street unless the followee has obtained a restraining order against the follower and even there, the RS only places time, place, and manner restrictions on the person enjoined.

    5. ‘GZ wasn’t really injured’ * Under Florida’s self-defense laws, one doesn’t have to be injured AT ALL to use deadly force * No one is required to refrain from defending himself while another is engaged in or attempting to commit a felony.

    6. ‘TM is dead through no fault of his own’ * If you believe that TM assaulted GZ, then he IS dead as a result of his own actions.

    7. ‘GZ could have left’ * Under Florida law, there is not a duty to withdraw rather than use deadly force * TM was straddling GZ so how the latter was supposed to leave the scene is unanswered.

    8. ‘GZ was armed and TM wasn’t’ * One’s fists can be considered weapons and can result in severe bodily harm or death. * GZ was legally carrying a weapon * There is no requirement under the law that the same weapon be used by the assailant * A homeowner can kill an intruder whether or not he has been threatened * Those that attack cannot feign surprise if they are met with superior firepower.

    9. ‘Stand Your Ground!’ * SYG is NOT at issue in this trial. * The defense is a classic self-defense case.

    10. ‘Black men NEVER get to use SYG!’ * Wrong

    11. ‘GZ is a man and TM was a boy!’ * As if ‘boys’ don’t commit murder, rape, and assault everyday in this country.

  11. Moe says:

    Seems like you are jealous of his success.

  12. Ray says:

    Dr Watkins, As to Kobe’s sexual selfishness, I sense no forgiveness. As to his one-dimension, I sense your disregard for his charities. As to his arrogance, I sense no understanding. As to his materialism, I sense your cynicism. As to his disconnection, I sense your lack of respect for his right to opine, even though you disagree. He spoke up for black America, an America that believes Trayvon may have been a killer, an America that believes in the right of self-defense, one that believes in the jury system and one that believes in forgiveness.

  13. James Davis says:

    For those of you who don’t get it when it comes to Trayvon Martin:

    The killing of Trayvon Martin on a rainy Sunday night on February 26 of 2012 was tragic. The investigation by the Sanford Police Department made his death even more tragic. The chief of police over ruled his lead investigator who wanted George Zimmerman charged with manslaughter. To have had a youngster lose his life for nothing more than being a youngster, that is carrying out the act of going to the store to get a bag of candy and drink of tea, did not set well with the black community of Sanford and indeed people of justice around the world.

    To have a police chief tell a nation that the killer should go free because it was the unarmed dead youngster’s fault sent a shocking message through the Sanford black community and around the world. That message was that you could be innocent of committing a crime, walking in your neighborhood and still end up dead, and the killer goes free, as long as the killer said you put his life in danger, even though the killer pursued you with a gun and shot you. It did not make any sense then and does not make any sense now.

    The sentiments of those who protested for Mr. Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution for the murder of Trayvon Martin appear to be as strong today as it was when they gathered in Sanford, Florida on March 22, 2012, in numbers exceeding by some estimates as many as 30,000.

    It is beyond sad when any black people anywhere in this country, and that means high profile athletes, do not understand that we as black Americans are in danger of being completely annihilated when our justice system is used in this manner. You cannot allow racially hypocritical whites to take control of our law enforcement agencies and hand out this type of “justice,” without calling them out on it and doing in such a way that the whole world sees it. (

  14. Brian says:

    It seems more like a Miami heat fan ranting after a loss. Why is Kobe required to do what you as an individual feel is right? All this author wants to do is make waves by bashing celebrities (Lil Wayne, Kobe Bryant, BET, etc.) and get an audience to push his own agenda. How would he know anything about Kobe Bryant as a father? He sees dwyane wade on a Dove commercial and he is the role model dad for the community?? Give me a break with this garbage.

  15. Realman2 says:

    Once a black person makes it, becomes wealthy, they run as fast as they can away from other black people. To a degree I don’t blame them, but they should at least reach back to the rest and offer a hand once in a while.

  16. Jay Wilson says:

    People are so quick to jump down another black man’s case when he doesn’t agree with the black community on things. He wasn’t saying Zimmerman was right. All he said was black ppl are so quick to come to another black persons defense without even knowing the facts. The Miami heat an everyone else would of looked dumb as Fuck if trayvon Martin was in fact the guilty party, because they came to the defense without listening to facts first. So yall need to listen to what an where he was comming from first before ppl comment on it

  17. toomanygrandkids says:

    Since you seem to be writing articles about people mentioning the name Trayvon Martin, why don’t you write an article about “the lack of leadership/community coming together to rid the daily gun violence?”

    From what I’ve seen and heard, the majority of Trayvon’s supporters are thuggish and corrupt. Doesn’t matter what color they are. On this website and news reports, it was said that Trayvon was out of line and had he responded differently toward Zimmerman, he’d be alive today.

    I have yet to read an article from you or any other writer about the black on black crime occurring in Chicago.

  18. 247allday says:

    This Article is misleading. Black people have always come together when politicians emotionally charge us through race baiting. Not a Kobe fan but he’s right on this. Let’s get emotionally charged about cleaning up these depressed communities we occupy.

  19. jdgwisd says:


    I think it is sad that African Americans continue to elevate athletes and entertainers as an social and economic culture above the norms of African America. As you have stated, Kobe is a clone of Michael Jordan, with all of the foibles. I feel that economists, such as yourself, businessmen, and educators are the true leaders of African America. Many of you continue to invest economically, socially, educationally, and spiritually in your people. Whether we agree or disagree with some of the positions you may take. I could give less than a rambling damn about Kobe, Michael, Beyonce, etc. What I despise more in a person is when they stand for nothing…….Socially,intellectually, economically…………………..What is even sadder is how blacks continue to buy into these fields that they are so tenderly guided towards. Why is it there is so much hatred of a black woman or man in a position of political or economic power???????? They represent a person whose independence is not in question. Kobe is the latest version of a American slave: ” Massa, I has money, so I aint like the other Negroes.”


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