|Kobe's reaction to getting benched would be much, much worse. (Getty Images|
This is completely unrealistic because Brown knows he wouldn't make it home if he did, but let's say that Jamison drilled a game-tying bucket and as Bryant sat and watched in overtime, Jamison then drilled a game-winner.
That's basically what happened Wednesday when Raul Ibanez stepped in for the struggling Alex Rodriguez and tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run and then won it in the 12th with a moonshot.
Bryant, a Yankees fan, didn't like it. Why? Because he didn't like that his struggling pal Rodriguez was replaced.
"I don't like that," Bryant said, according to ESPN LA. "That's not good for the chemistry of the team. I'm going to have to call A-Rod."
I wonder what Bryant is going to say to A-Rod in that phone call. Tell him he should've been mad? Tell him to never let that happen again? Essentially tell him to be a bad teammate?
It's pretty clear that Bryant isn't having a hard time relating to A-Rod's situation. Both are aging superstars that don't possess the same otherwordly skills they used to. And while Rodriguez said after the game he was completely fine with it and visibly was as excited as anyone, you know Bryant's reaction would've been the opposite. He'd probably have Brown's head on a stick outside of Staples Center right out of an episode of Game of Thrones, as a reminder to any new Laker coach to never do that.
But it's interesting that Bryant says that Joe Girardi's move wasn't good for team chemistry. Because really, you'd think the exact opposite. Instead of relying on superstars to do the job, the Yankees looked to their bench and the next guy stepped up. No playing favorites, no special treatment. One in the same and Ibanez delivered. I see that as outstanding for team chemistry.
Unless of course A-Rod wanted to be a baby about it, which he wasn't. The only way the move could backfire is if Rodriguez threw a fit. Kobe has one of the biggest egos of all time and wouldn't have stood for that, even if the Lakers won. A-Rod, saying Wednesday he's "grown up" a lot, had no issues with it, likely because it worked out.
Kobe's No. 1 goal is always to win. It just needs to be on his terms. That's what makes Kobe, Kobe though. And he's never going to grow out of that.