We know. Three rings. A perennial MVP candidate. But let's not forget that he chased off the game's best center to Miami with his desire to prove he was the engine behind the Lakers' most recent championship run. Let's not forget that Bryant also helped chase off a coach with nine title rings, earning an eye-raising amount of scorn in Phil Jackson's book following his last season as the Lakers' coach. Let's not forget that the clear-out-for-Kobe offense the Lakers ran at the beginning of last season was so ineffective that Bryant himself requested the team revert back to Jackson's triangle approach. Kobe missed the playoffs for the first time in his career last spring, but it appears he remembers enough to have not objected to Jackson's return to the bench.
Text: Paul Forrester/SI.com Photo: John W. McDonough/SI