After 16 years in the league, Kobe Bryant has decided to keep a diary to document “the year he caught Jordan”. While Kobe refuses to remove the diary from a pedestal in his trophy room, he has allowed Writing Bareback the exclusive rights to post these excerpts.
November 15th – Practice Day
Ask any real basketball fan who the best player of all time is, and you’ll only get one of two answers: Michael Jeffrey Jordan or Kobe Bean Bryant. The tie that binds us is Phil “Zen Master” Jackson. Michael won all six of his rings with Phil. I won all five of my rings with Phil. Needless to say, It’s going to be weird catching number 23 this year under the eye of Mike D’Antoni, but if anyone is capable of pulling this off, it’s me.
Still, you can’t help but overhear the rumors. You hear people saying that you’re too old and too slow. You put up with pranks like the Depends waiting for you in the visitor’s locker room (no one from Utah will own that prank. I’m 90% sure that it’s Dwight’s effort at motivating the team. He’s such a child). You can’t get caught up in all that, though. You can only rep out 1,000 elbow jumpers a day in preparation for the next game. We’ve got Phoenix tomorrow night, and I’d like to give my new coach the gift of victory.
November 16th – vs Phoenix
When it comes to Phoenix, the first thing you think is how frustrating it is that we put such a low value on phonetic spelling. The second thing you think of is their team of native American witch doctors that they call a training staff. Broken veterans who have the historical durability of wet balsa wood go to Phoenix and suddenly they’re AC Green (I see you, Grant Hill). Some people think my obsession with Aaron Nelson and his band of voodoo masters is unneccessary. But unless I learn Aaron’s ways, I might actually have to keep my word to retire in a couple of years instead of playing the two more decades that Arizona magic could grant me. Today, I got to the arena an hour earlier than usual so I could try to intercept old teammate Shanon Brown for some background tips. I texted him when I got impatient.
Me: LET SHANNON DUNK! lol -Mamba
SB: MAMBA! you cray
Me: u n staples?
SB: fo sho. n LR doing #CSRRacing. you play?
Me: wtf? son, plz
SB: ur loss mamba. 1174 2nite?
Me: u didn’t CU46 any1?
SB: nah. i keep LA free for the Mamba
Me: def. can u ?^ Aaron Nelson 4 me
Me: 4Q – Mamba
You hate when an old “teammate” turns on you so quickly. Apparently Nelson includes amnesiac hypnosis as part of his rehab techniques. I went ahead and dropped a casual 31 points and picked up the big W for Coach D. Before getting into my cool-down routine, I check out CSR Racing on my iPhone. Shannon was right. It had been my loss.
November 18 – vs Houston
Professional athletics has long been a thrilling industry for facial hair, and the NBA is certainly no exception. James Harden is a young player who has done a good job of building his brand and bank account with a bearded offensive. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. I know a thing or two about building a brand, but my only technique to building my brand has been to consistently put in the grueling man hours needed to be the best basketball player that ever walked the earth. I make a possible exception for Jesus Christ because even though I’m pretty sure that Jewish men from 2,000 years ago don’t have the physicality for an 82-game season, it’s not clear how Son-of-God powers translate at the NBA level. The one thing I do know is that if Jesus Christ was a great basketball player, I would probably be more concerned about an acute connection to the Holy Spirit than his beard.
Anyway, I messed around and got a triple-double, beating Harden in every single statistic for the night. It was important for me to remind him who the best shooting guard in the game is, now and forever. The game wasn’t enough though. The people who think you’re only playing the other guy on the court don’t best-think in best-terms. I had a message delivered to him that I handwrote on the inside of a folded out Gillette box.
“I am a 5-time champion with 2 NBA Finals MVPs 14 All-Star appearances. No one with a beard like yours has ever accomplished what I have.”
He’ll receive my cover issue of Best Shave to drive the point home before our next matchup on December 4th. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were babyfaced by the playoffs.