Kobe Bryant reminds you, “Don’t hate. Appreciate!”
If you truly wish nothing but the very worst for
Still reeling from The Infamous Snow Bunny Incident in Colorado, and after successfully urging his GM to run the Lakers’ other marquee players and coach out of town, in 2004 Kobe entered the regular season knowing full well he’d starve waiting to be fed praise. He knew he’d spend the full season getting booed everywhere outside of Tinseltown.
All signs suggest Dwight is getting his message: Nice Guys Finish Last, and some will finish with a face full of an opponent’s shorts. Trying to be Mr. Nice Guy will only get your feelings hurt when the fans turn on you. You’ve got to be cold-hearted from the start, and make sure everyone knows it, if you want to succeed in this business.
And the basketball world got the message: when Kobe Bryant wants to send a message, he will authoritatively end all Play of the Year debates before the season gets a chance to warm up.
(2008 UPDATE: Almost 4 years to the day. Dwight Howard has meta-morphed his in-game composure, from one of a Clark-Kent-nice rookie to that of a Man-of-Steel-nasty All-Star. He may lead the league in dunks every season for the next decade. He’s dedicated to leading the pack this year as DPOY, maybe even MVP. And he knows exactly who to thank for steering him onto the Ben Wallace track from infamy to mega-millionaire superstardom. Kobe knows, too. “I baptized Dwight,” he’d declare with glee to reporters eager to remind him of his filthy feat anytime the Magic and Lakers face off. “I turned him into a defensive force!”)