Now, I will never concede that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA–everyone who knows anything (namely: Me) will tell you it’s LeBron James. But after reading stuff like this, I have a hard time believing he’s not the most interesting. Deadspin posted this excerpt earlier today from Sports Illustrated’s The Art of a Beautiful Game, a book that gives you, amongst many NBA-related things, an anecdotal look at the hyper-competitive world of Kobe Bryant, complete with stories that illustrate his borderline homicidal need to win from Tex Winter, Roy Williams, and Brian Shaw, just to name a few.
An excerpt of the excerpt:
“Call it what you will: killer instinct, competitive fire, hatred of losing or, as Sam Cassell once said, “that Jordan thing.” No one in the NBA embodies it like Bryant. It is at once one of the most valuable skills and the hardest to teach. Sports psychologist Jim McGee, quoted in Michael Clarkson’s book Competitive Fire, describes elite athletes such as Bryant as “neurological freaks,” positing that they have a different hormonal and neurological makeup than the rest of us.”