Kobe Bryant Compares His Shooting Skills to Super Heroes

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24, Darius Morris #1, and Jodie Meeks #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers walk up the court past Shaun Livingston #14 of the Washington Wizards during the second half at Verizon Center on December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

We know that Kobe Bryant has, and always will have a high opinion of himself. But did you ever think he'd be going around throwing himself and Superman in the same sentence?

Actually, that sounds exactly like something Kobe would do.

This tells me that Kobe adopting the "Black Mamba" nickname back in 2008 wasn't him just nicknaming himself. Instead he was telling us that he was bitten by a genetically engineered snake that somehow gave him the ability to be a great basketball player.

Now, Kobe isn't running around yelling about how he can jump over dudes or fly around the court like Superman, but the fact that he's willing to compare himself to super heroes is such a "Kobe" thing to do.

Recently, Bryant was going on about his ability to score, even after playing for 16 seasons in the NBA, and he whipped out a classic Kobe line:

It's like the super heroes. Superman could fly. Spiderman has his webs. Steve can pass. And I can shoot.

I'm not going to go against Kobe here. As far as super heroes go, if there was one who's super power was the ability to score a lot of points, he would probably play a lot like Kobe.

He's got the confidence that he can score well enough to be considered a superhero, so he's not going to sit by and let somebody without super powers try to score all the points. That would be a disservice to his powers.

It's not like Superman is going to pass up trying to stop an airplane from falling out of the sky because there's a guy with a huge net running around Metropolis.

A lot of people look at this as Kobe denying the idea that he's a ball hog—which he kind of does in the interview. 

However, it's a lot more than that. It shows that after years in the league, his confidence in his ability to score has yet to waver, no matter what obstacles he's got in his way.

At least we all now know why Kobe is always going to be gunning to put up as many shots as possible. It's not because he's a ball hog, he's just a basketball player of heroic proportions.

In the end, however, it seems like Kobe is using his age to prove to himself that he can still be one of the league's best players. That's the reason he continues to play how he's always played, rather than taking on a different role:

My competitive spirit comes from like every little inch, your body is slowing down, the younger guys are passing you up. It really keeps me on edge.

Best of all, I think this finally settles the battle between Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal.

Shaq had to adopt a superhero's nickname with his "Superman" moniker, whereas Kobe sees himself as an actual superhero.

How does that taste, Shaq?