By Ellen Chlumecky
On Tuesday in Memphis, Kobe Bryant made history by setting the NBA record for missed field goals. The Los Angeles Lakers played the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday and Bryant set the mark with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter of a 107-102 loss. He missed a 14-foot fade away jumper from the left side. This miss gave him his 13, 418 career missed field goal. He made history by becoming the player with the most missed field goals by beating Boston Celtics John Havlicek by one shot. Also, in this same game, Bryant scored a game high of 28 points on 10-of-26 shooting.
After the game, Bryant was asked if he knew about the record. Kobe Bryant let it roll off his shoulders and commented on how he did not follow records or statistics like that. When asked how he managed to make the mark, he laughed and said, “Well, I’m a shooting guard that’s played 19 years – ‘shooting’ guard, 19th year.” Bryant said, “I don’t care about it, to be honest with you. It is what it is. I remember when I was a kid and I watched Michael shoot 49 times in an NBA Finals game. Can you imagine if I did that and lost? Puts thing in perspective.”
Kobe Bryant did not seem to be concerned about the major milestone in his career. He is among the ranks of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Elvin Hayes, Karl Malone, and other greats of the NBA. All of these players worked their butts off every game to become greats.
ESPN, The New York Daily News, and NBC Sports all seemed to press on Bryant, asking him if he knew about the record and what he thought and if it bothered him. Even after all these people kept pushing to get some sort of anger or regret from him, Kobe Bryant chose to rise above it. He said, “You’ve got to step up and play, man. You can’t worry about criticism. You can’t worry about failure. You really can’t worry about that stuff.”
“You can’t worry about failure.” While I am not the biggest fan of Kobe Bryant, I have utter respect for him for understanding that this landmark in NBA history isn’t a failure. It is just a moment showing that Kobe Bryant has been working his butt off every game this season and every game of previous seasons as well. While most reporters are looking for a reason to tear him down, Bryant consistently tries to improve himself by working harder every day in every game.