Culturists need to celebrate greatness in Western civilization. But this does not just mean celebrating “high culture. " America has geniuses in other forums as well. Yesterday, in the first game of the Western finals, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers merited his second appearance on this blog. Kobe is simply the greatest virtuoso playing basketball in a very long time. Half way through the third quarter the Lakers were down by 20. They won by 4. What happened? Kobe displayed his genius.
This was no accident. Kobe only took about three shots in the first half. This is the basketball equivalent of letting two strikes go by because you only need one pitch to hit it out of the park. Kobe's game said, “I only need a quarter and a half to beat you. " It is the equivalent of the rope-a-dope. Kobe stood up against the ropes and said, “Go ahead and hit my for 11 rounds. I won't hit you. Let's see what you've got. " Kobe is in a class with Ali.
The close score was not a coincidence. Kobe has been at this so long that he can time comebacks. And the timing in this one was amazing. First lead coming with some 2:42 left to go in the fourth. Amazing. It was the ultimate in cool. But, it really is a science.
A beautiful attribute that comes from Kobe's ingenious control and calm is his ball sharing. A few years ago, down the stretch Kobe might have tried to take over and not passed the ball. Now down the stretch Kobe is distributing just enough to take the defense off of him. He can let Sasha miss a distant three or let Turiaf fumble a pass. He knows how much we're going to win by and that dishing out the ball keeps players honest. Kobe controls the entire other team with his distributing.
Never before in the history of basketball, that I know of, has a player so obviously and blatantly shaved it just right. In Hollywood he is the King of Drama and the King of Cool. You think that his not shooting in the first half was a coincidence? You think the final score being so close was a coincidence? THINK AGAIN.
Kobe Bean Bryant is a genius. Beyond MVP, he is at a whole other level than everyone else in the league! For those of you not watching, Kobe Bean Bryant's current play is easily at the same level of greatness of Ali. He plays with the grace and assuredness of the greatest artists of all times. When Kobe plays we witness great moments in American sports history, a role model of greatness for all of us. We should take culturist pride in his achievements. But, beyond that, to watch him is to enjoy seeing genius in action.
John Press is the author of Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future. He is a an adjunct professor and doctoral student at New York University. http://www.culturism.us has more information about culturism.