Harry Potter and the Los Angeles Laker (and Darth Vader, Too!)

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Is Kobe the new Vader?

Is Kobe the new Vader?

Editor’s note: Kobe is back! And with him is a new branding strategy. Apparently the man who once gave himself the nickname Black Mamba is determined to now brand himself as some sort of Darth Vader contemporary. One possible reason for this is that he knows his basketball days are numbered, and since there are three more Star Wars flicks in the making, he is making an audition tape. Just kidding, Kobe will never accept that his days are numbered. There’s no way of knowing for sure why Kobe wants us to think he’s Darth Vader. The point is Kobe is trying to brand himself as Darth Vader, but he’s forgetting that he is already an epic villain of the big screen (One so evil, I won’t even say his name). To remind you who Kobe’s true comp is, we’re reposting an article that first appeared on the Van Gundy back in 2011. Enjoy … 

The similarities are uncanny!

As the NFL and NBA are both at present in what could be a very long intermission, and as the Harry Potter series is taking its final bow, I find myself—a fan of all three institutes—staring into a very boring abyss. But recent news about Kobe Bryant has given me something to think about to distract me from the dirth of entertainment ahead.

ESPN.com reported on Friday that Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has apparently gone to Germany this offseason to undergo a new (and some say radical) form of therapy on his knees. This therapy, among other things, involves “centrifuging the patient’s blood to isolate platelets and growth factors.” I don’t have a clue what that means, but it is safe to assume that Kobe is now desperate to mend his body, desperate to keep Father Time at bay, and desperate to prevent his body from breaking down as all other athletes’ bodies before him have done. Or, another way to put it: Kobe is trying to conquer death.

If you are familiar with the Harry Potter story you can see the obvious comparison between Kobe and Voldemort here: Both have tried desperately to conquer death. But by digging a little deeper you can see that the comparisons between these two characters are many, and in some cases eerie. So much so that I am officially declaring Kobe Bryant to be the Voldmemort of the NBA (ironic considering he once compared himself to Harry Potter and the Celtics to Voldemort). Below is a list of comparisons that came to my mind while I watched the Women’s World Cup today (see, boring abyss).

  • Both Kobe and The Dark Lord came from a rich lineage. Voldemort was the Heir of Slytherin and Bryant is the son of an NBA basketball player. While Kobe didn’t exactly kill his dad like Tom Riddle did, he certainly doesn’t have a very good relationship with his pops.
  • Both of them notoriously had troubled youth which involved incidents of scandal. They were both selfish and hungry for power. However, both managed to overcome those blemishes because of their “talents.” To go even further, both of them managed in their youth to get giants kicked off the “team” because of their selfishness (Kobe got Shaq ousted, and Tom Riddle got Hagrid expelled).
  • Both Kobe and Voldy managed to get eerily loyal—albeit somewhat deranged—fans. These followers site their reasons for their subservience with such lines as “He is just such a killer.” Oh, well good for you guys. Can’t wait to hear your comments …
  • As already covered, both Kobe Bryant and Voldemort were known to have traveled to Eastern Europe seeking ways to cheat death. The one additional item I can point out here is that both men were willing to mess with blood in their schemes to conquer death.
  • Despite obvious showings of talent (for good or bad), both killers rely on their followers to do the dirty work. Voldemort has his Death Eaters; you probably guessed that. So who does Kobe have? Well, think of all the clutch playoffs shots Kobe has made. No, seriously, go ahead. Still thinking? Yeah, not many, right? Here’s some “Death Eaters” who have made multiple clutch “kills” which Kobe has to thank for his many rings (or should we call them horcruxes): Robert Horry, Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, and of course, Bellatrix Lestrange herself in NBA form: Ron Artest.
  • Snakes. Voldemort loved snakes so much he began to take on a snake-like appearance, and he even shared a part of his soul with a snake. Kobe gave himself the nickname of Black Mamba, a long venomous snake. To clarify, yes, Kobe gave himself the nickname. And yes, a man who once made a settlement in a rape case, chose a particular nickname that …you know what, never mind. Let’s just say I think he chose poorly. He chose poorly or I’m not the White Scorpion.

So there you have it. Are you convinced yet? There is a strong case to make that Kobe Bryant is the Voldemort of the NBA. And his recent desperation gives us every indication that he is likely going to be in the league until he is either dead or until somebody steps in to end his reign. Just don’t be surprised if ten years from now Kobe is running on eerily unnatural legs and snake-like slit nostrils for a nose. And if he makes the transformation complete and learns to fly, we’re all doomed.

There is but one question left to answer now. If Kobe is Voldemort, then who is Harry Potter? One could make the case that it is Dirk Nowitzki, but Dirk seems way too old. You could say it is Kevin Durant, or perhaps Derrick Rose. Or perhaps it is the one they call Jimmer. I’m not sure. But I’ve got plenty of time to figure this out. The Women’s World Cup goes on for a couple more weeks.


Bryson Kearl is the author of this post and the editor of this site. Most people in the blogging community know him simply as White Scorpion. He would also like to credit and thank ilovedistractions.tumblr.com for the picture above.


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