Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez


Alex Rodriguez

      Alex Rodriguez and Kobe Bryant dominate the games of baseball and basketball. Rodriguez is on his way to breaking baseball’s home run record set by the disparaged Barry Bonds. Kobe Bryant has won his fourth NBA championship and is widely considered to be the second best at his position. What these two have accomplished is remarkable, but what is more fascinating is how much they differ from their peers. Kobe is one of the great enigmas in sports, once touted as the next Michael Jordan, he has been one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports, he put the opinions of him best in 2006, “ Hate my swagger, hate my jumper, hate that I’m a veteran, hate that, hate it with all your heart, hate that I’m loved for the exact same reasons”. Alex was baseball’s great white hope when baseball was trying to bring back the alienated fans after the 1994 strike. Alex has become vilified and misunderstood but revered for his play, something that he has tried to move past by beginning to ignore the media’s perception of him,   “In Seattle, when I played there, I acted perfect and everyone loved me, now I’m not perfect and I love it”[1]. Kobe has clashed with teammates, coaches, and his front office. Alex has moved to two different teams leaving both times in an ugly separation. These two have captivated audiences around the country; there is only a short list of players that can compete with either of them athletically. Yet there is an even shorter list who we can compare these two on a personal level. They are the products of unusual upbringings. But they are always examined and held far away from the team. They have both been the most marketable and most hated stars of the game.
      It is possible that the media is completely to blame for their image. If these two were stars in the 1920s, Grantland Rice would have ensured that these two would become mythical, looking at Kobe as the ultimate competitor, Rice would write about...