You don’t lose what you put in the middle but you also can’t win it. Kobe Bryant now holds the record for most misses in NBA history. Kobe has missed 13,418 shots and he is not close to being done so expect that number to increase. Now is the perfect scenario for Kobe haters because it gives them ammunition to further criticize and proclaim him as a selfish ballhog who merely resembles a mediocre basketball player. And to those people I say, “keep it coming!” That’s right, keep hating on Kobe; keep creating memes that mock the amount of shots he has missed. Have at it!
But here’s the thing: they fail to understand that Kobe Bryant is in his 19th year in the league and plays “shooting guard.” The fact that Kobe has missed 13,418 field goal attempts should not be confused with selfishness. But rather, this feat is a testament to his longevity and unwavering confidence. And I’ll take it further by declaring that those 13,418 missed shots are a badge of honor and should be seen as such. I’m not arguing that missing shots is a great thing. However, in this context it speaks to Kobe’s greatness.
When someone plays on a basketball team, or any sports team for that matter, the most prevalent anxiety facing a player is the fear of failure. It is precisely this fear that stops certain players from shooting because they are afraid of the criticism and the attention their failure might garner. That philosophy applies to everyday life in which the insidious nature of such a fear mitigates any sentiments of risk taking or boldness and immediately paralyzes the person from acting.
Kobe Bryant is a different breed; that fear is nonexistent in him. Kobe doesn’t care that seemingly everyone will criticize him the next day. Kobe doesn’t care if he’s missed his last 10 shots. He will continue to shot the ball. His mentality on missing shots is just different: “You’ve got to step up and play, man,” Bryant said. “You can’t worry about criticism. You can’t worry about failure. You really can’t worry about that stuff. You’ve got to go out and figure that out and play and do the best you can, and whatever happens, happens. You can’t be held captive by the fear of failure or the fear of what people may say.”
All the shots Kobe has missed are a badge of honor that represent the countless times he has willed his team to victory. Kobe is the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan who had a great Nike commercial where Jordan says, “I’ve missed more than 9k shots in my career, Ive lost almost 300 games, 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot…and missed, I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
Yes, Kobe is a gunslinger but that is who Kobe is. He is the lone wolf. As Kobe’s career is coming to a close, I for one don’t want to see a passive Kobe, especially he if he can still put up buckets. It will be frustrating to see Kobe shoot a turnaround jump-shot against a double team while a teammate is open. But on the flip side, it will still be amazing to watch him hit the shot that only Kobe can make. That’s something we’ve been accustomed to, and I don’t want to give it up yet. I want Kobe to keep shooting because he gives the Lakers their best chance at winning. I want to see Kobe go out in a blaze of glory; Kobe deserves to go out shooting. Those missed shots are a badge of honor.
Kobe should walk around with his head held high because he joined a club that includes all-time greats such as John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Karl Malone, and of course, Michael Jordan. All of these players had one thing in common – they all missed over 12,000 shots.
So Kobe, just keep shooting!