Jersey Monday: Kobe Bryant

If you missed it, Kobe Bryant won the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Sunday in Los Angeles, scoring 37 points to lead the West to a win.

Here's the weird thing: I don't like Kobe Bryant (I won't go as far to say that I "hate" him, but in the Kobe vs LeBron debate, I'm Team LeBron, and I refuse to even acknowledge that Kobe vs MJ is a debate), but I own three different Kobe Bryant jerseys.

I chose to spotlight this one today for a couple reasons. First, it's the only one of my three that's from the "Kobe 24" era, with my other two both being old school #8 jerseys. Secondly, it's a home jersey, and Kobe was playing in Los Angeles yesterday.

I picked up this particular jersey when I was in Los Angeles for the 2008 NBA Finals, and it's got a Finals patch on the front. It was part of a nice little streak I had of buying a jersey during the Finals of the team that lost in the finals (Cleveland in '07, LA in '08, Orlando in '09), though by the time I bought this jersey, it was pretty evident the Lakers were going to lose that series. They did manage to win the game that night, Game 5, extending a weird streak of mine in which the home team wins games at which I buy a jersey, a streak that started in 1996 and is still going (to answer the obvious question about the 2007 Finals, I bought a Cavs jersey during that series, but not at a game).

By the way, I do think Kobe deserved the MVP yesterday, even though LeBron had a triple-double. In a single-game scenario, the MVP should probably go to someone on the winning team, and while LeBron had a triple-double, Kobe's scoring was a major reason the West had the cushion it did going into the final quarter.

Jersey Monday will continue every Monday until I run out of jerseys to spotlight. And since I’ve got more than 150 of them, that could be awhile.