Bryant Proving He Loves Big Moments
Ball in his hands, season on the line, and failure promised Kobe Bryant a summer of scorn. For everything that comes with the responsibility of greatness, Bryant can live with the cutting criticism, the besmirching of his legacy, the volume rising on those determined to diminish him in the context of his contemporaries. In losing, he could live with it all – except allowing that barrage to barricade him behind a wall of hesitancy and reluctance.
“I don’t give a [expletive] what you say,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports late Friday. “If I go out there and miss game winners, and people say, ‘Kobe choked, or Kobe is seven for whatever in pressure situations.’ Well, [expletive] you.
“Because I don’t play for your [expletive] approval. I play for my own love and enjoyment of the game. And to win. That’s what I play for. Most of the time, when guys feel the pressure, they’re worried about what people might say about them. I don’t have that fear, and it enables me to forget bad plays and to take shots and play my game.”