Kobe Bryant is a villain. Every NBA fan outside of Los Angeles knows this as fact and only refrains from shouting it at the top of their lungs to avoid Temecula-based fisticuffs. But despite the mountains of anecdotal evidence, we just never had anything tangible enough to prove it. Now we do. 

Join me, won't you, on an all-out sprint through the deceptive pillars of platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station in London. You're 11 years old and have only just discovered your magical powers. You depart on the Hogwarts Express and eagerly await the judgment of the Sorting Hat. A sentient hat capable of looking deep within your soul and categorizing you based on the qualities most innate to your being. 

Perhaps you'll land in Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart. More of a bookworm? Then Ravenclaw might be more up your alley. If you value loyalty above all else, then Hufflepuff would be a great fit. It should surprise no one to learn that Kobe Bryant was sorted into none of these houses when he put on the sorting hat. No, he found himself in Slytherin. And the kicker? He's HAPPY about it! 

The charitable reading of this situation is that Bryant possesses the qualities that Slytherin house purports to prize. He was ambitious enough to chase Michael Jordan for an entire career. His cunning allowed him to depose allies/enemies like Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson when the opportunity presented itself. I am not feeling charitable. 

Slytherin houses the bad guys, and the similarities Bryant shares with the worst of the worst of the powerful wizards, and fellow male pattern baldness sufferer, Lord Voldemort, are positively staggering. Here are just a few:

  • Voldemort is the descendant of Slytherin founder Salazar Slytherin. Bryant is the (immediate) descendant of former NBA player Joe "Jellybean" Bryant. Both took on the legacies of their predecessors and pushed into bold new directions. 
  • Voldemort keeps a pet snake, Nagini. Bryant's self-bestowed nickname is the Black Mamba, a type of snake. 
  • While we're on the topic, Voldemort created his own nickname too.  
  • Albus Dumbledore once claimed that Voldemort never had a friend, nor did he want one. Bryant literally told GQ that he was incapable of high-level friendship. 
  • Both were prodigies. Bryant entered the NBA Draft as a teenager. Voldemort was already capable of controlling his magic before attending Hogwarts. 
  • Voldemort took extreme and unnatural steps towards immortality by creating Horcruxes. Bryant undertook a number of unusual treatments in the name of prolonging his career, including traveling all the way to Germany for plasma rich platelet therapy not allowed by the FDA.  

I'm not saying some sort of NBA civil war is imminent. What I am saying is that if one does come, you can bet that Kobe will be leading one of the sides and that he would do so with the same gleeful smile on his face that he wears in the video above. Bryant is a villain, and he's happy about it. Now we know for certain.