No one cares about Adam Morrison and his NCAA tears. But whenever folks talks about crying in basketball, talk returns to Kobe Bryant in the 2003 playoffs.
That was the death of a dynasty and whatever you think about Kobe, good luck impugning his manhood—or pretending like he’s not a stone-cold killer out on the court.
So when he tells Max Kellerman that the Heat could cry if they wanted to, that should be reason enough to stop the discussion once and for all.
“I mean it’s . . . everybody truly responds differently,” said Bryant. “If guys are crying in the locker room, they’re crying in the locker room. It doesn’t mean they’re chumps, doesn’t mean they’re soft, doesn’t mean anything. That’s just how they respond to it.”
Then, perhaps giving us a window into his own psyche, or at least explaining why he sees crying as more than just emasculation, Kobe had this to say:
“I mean you know they have their own issues over there. Every team has issues. That’s part of the season,” said Bryant. “If you don’t have issues you know then you’re not a team. Everybody responds to adversity differently. You know what I mean. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it wrong. Everybody has their own way of dealing with things, but it’s how you come out of that, really that’s the true mark of a king.”
Ultimately, none of this is about how the public, or other players, perceive athletes who cry. It’s about what it says about their internal processes. Sure, maybe the backlash could send them into a psychological tailspin. More likely than not, though, it’s evidence of process, progress, and the evolution of a team that, let’s face it, still has no idea who or what it is.
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