For the past 20 years, Kobe Bryant has represented what it means to be a champion, using pure will, competitiveness, grit and a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder to become one of the top-10 best ballers in NBA history.
This is a guy who would yell at teammates during practice and games, so brashly compare himself to Michael Jordan, beef with coaches and his front office and toy with defenders as if they were fucking puppets.
For that reason, I’m still unsure how I feel about this new ad that Nike released in which they hired award-winning jazz musician Robert Glasper to record a tribute song in honor of Kobe.
Sure, the thing is presented beautifully, using a good mix of highlights from Bryant’s career—both good and bad—while showing Glasper recording it in a studio as a way to give fans a behind-the-scenes view of it all. But wouldn’t something a little more intense have done the trick?
Kobe Bryant isn’t Derek Jeter. He wasn’t graceful with a quiet competitiveness that rubbed off on his teammates, so you guys tell me; does this Nike ad do justice to The Black Mamba’s career?