PIC: Kobe Bryant 2001 NBA Finals Jacket

PIC: Kobe Bryant 2001 NBA Finals Jacket

Pictures can speak a thousand words. We’ve all heard that old adage, and to be honest, it really is true. Sometimes just staring at a picture brings so many memories and emotions, that it really is more descriptive than words ever could be.

Then there comes a picture that, to some, speaks well more than a thousand words. Kobe Bryant, after his second championship in 2001. From his face, to the direction he’s gazing off into, to the trophy, to the jacket, to the champagne on the ground – it’s all a symbol of hard work.
For this write-up, I’ll focus on just the jacket. Just look at it – it has all the previous LAL championships embroidered on it. Wearing it is not just saying that I belong with those other champs, but it’s more. It’s accepting the responsibility of being a Laker star. It’s understanding that the only that matters is that Larry O’Brien trophy. The city, for decades, has known only one thing: winning. And to be accepted in such a city, you must stand out. And to stand out is to be different, right?

 

Well, not in LA. To stand out, Kobe had to do what those before him already did. Whereas in almost every other situation in life you must do something different to be noticed, Kobe simply had to follow a tradition. A winning tradition. The best part is that following such a precedence is so, so much harder than setting one.

 

That jacket symbolizes expectations. And having the guts to put on said jacket symbolizes confidence. And while Kobe would go on to have many more iconic moments in his career, it was this picture, this symbol of courage that will always stand out to me. Kids don’t always understand the magnitude of what’s going on, because, well, they have no perspective. Kobe was a kid, but a kid far beyond his time.