Let the Games Begin: Kobe Starved for a Title

He must feed the beast of his addiction to b-ball dominance
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2008 6:11 PM CDT
Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
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(Newser) The Wire's pitiable junkie Bubbles and Kobe Bryant wouldn't seem to have much, if anything, in common. But not so, Scoop Jackson writes on ESPN.com, arguing that the Los Angeles Lakers star has an addiction of his own—a fiendish thirst to win a championship "no athlete in any other sport possesses," and to do so without playing second fiddle to Shaquille O'Neal. The finals start tonight.

"To everyone else, this is about basketball. To him, this is about survival," Jackson writes. Validation junkie Bryant needs to prove he's the closest thing to Michael Jordan we're likely to see for a long time by steamrolling through a Boston Celtics team lacking anyone with his singular drive. The Celtics' season-long mission simply has nothing on Kobe's compulsion.