Kobe and Shaq were dominant. Three titles and every reason to believe more on the horizon.
But Shaq likes to have fun while Kobe wants to kill. They didn’t get along. Kobe wanted to win, but not as much as he wanted to win his way. Kobe didn’t fight to keep Shaq around. He let one of the greatest duos in basketball break up. LA fans hated Kobe for it. Everyone mocked him. He didn’t care.
Winning was almost everything for Kobe. Winning his way was everything.
He cared not what anyone else thought. He was willing to risk several more titles to be able to build and lead a team his way. They sucked after Shaq left. People jeered. Kobe didn’t listen. Instead, he climbed the mountain without the big man and willed LA to two more titles, Shaqless, and no question of who’s team it was and how it happened.
Selfish? Maybe. Short-sighted? Perhaps. Kobe doesn’t worry about that. He focuses on what he wants. The great ones don’t just get the results. They live life on their terms, even when those terms decrease the odds of success. They force success anyway. They squeeze blood out of a stone.
That’s why I love Kobe. I’d rather work the night shift at Wendy’s than have success on someone else’s terms.