kobe bryant

It Pays To Be Provocative, If You’re Talented

Floyd Mayweather, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Alex Rodriguez. What do they have in common?

They are all divisive personalities. In fact, if you look at that list, you could literally think it’s a list of the most hated athletes on the planet today.

Well, ironically, that isn’t where I got this list of names. It happens that these are also currently 5 of the 6 richest athletes, as compiled by SI. The ironic part is that it isn’t their salary that puts them atop this list — it’s the endorsement deals.

I’d think that endorsement deals go to the affable, likable athletes. And, for the most part, they do. There is often some connection there. However, it seems there is a give and take between likability and pure talent. Really, when it comes to compensation, talent can replace likability, based on the income of these 5 athletes. if you are talented enough, likability almost goes out the window.

Maybe the top-tier of athlete can only achieve so much likability anyway. This could potentially be related to the “killer instinct” cliche we hear.

I think about it as some version of a production possibility frontier. Example:

Work with me here. Maybe in this example the green dot on the blue line could be Kobe Bryant. His likability to talent ratio leans a bit to the talent side, for example. The green dot on the red line could be Dwight Howard. He has achieved less total likability and has less talent. However, Howard falls more towards the likability side, rather than talent.


King James’ Happy Place

LeBron James can finally breathe easy. The man has been in the spotlight since he was in middle school. He has been the chosen one since high school. While we were in the midst of watching Kobe win and win, LBJ was the one who was the next MJ.

The problem is James has never been the same players as Michael Jordan, or more recently, Kobe Bryant. And we’ve actually known that, well, forever. In fact, here are LeBron’s pre-2003 NBA Draft strengths according to NBA.com:

Strengths: Best attribute is his ability to make the correct pass with flair. Excellent strength and body control. His size and versatility allow him to play multiple positions. Coaches and teammates praise his unselfishness.

Why do we refuse to acknowledge that James is a uniquely different talent? While the conversation of Kobe being “selfish” was fleeting, the James isn’t a leader thing just wouldn’t go away.


Welcome To The Weekend!

Every Friday RDM welcomes you to the weekend with a weekly rap-up post. View the “Welcome To The Weekend” post archive here.

Is it sacrilege that I am relieved that there is no football this weekend? Maybe it was the heartbreaking Super Bowl loss by the Patriots, but I think I just need a break regardless.

If you can’t tell what you are looking at above, then you’ve never looked Peyton Manning straight in the face. Those are NFL logo’s with Manning’s face worked in. A frightening concept, I know. But these make me smile at a time when not much else “NFL” would.