Kobe Bryant Offers Encouragement to Slumping Alex Rodriguez

Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez became friends a few years ago when they met on the set of a commercial, two of their respective sports’ most majestic stars. While Bryant has remained a supernova with the Los Angeles Lakers, Rodriguez’ star has fallen in the playoffs with the New York Yankees, a fact that does not sit well with Bryant.

And so, the two supreme athletes spoke recently, with Bryant offering advice to Rodriguez that no one would ever have to offer him. But with A-Rod battin just .130 in the playoffs with no RBIs, Bryant could not resist.

“I just say to him, ‘You’re Alex Rodriguez. You’re A-Rod. You’re one of the best to ever do it,'” Bryant said. “I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, ‘Hell with it’ and just do your thing.

“Hopefully the next game they’ll kind of give him a chance, maybe put him back at third and let him respond to the pressure, which I think he’ll do.”

The Yankees now face an 0-3 deficit in the ALCS to the Detroit Tigers. Rodriguez was pulled from the starting lineup in Game 3 and faces an interminable offseason if he does not provide a spark in helping the Yankees make a comeback.

Although megastars, Bryant and Rodriguez seem to have different attitudes about how to approach the game.

“We’re different,” Bryant said. “But you’re talking about, ‘He’s one of the best to ever play.’ I think really the difference is, sometimes he forgets he’s the best. Where, I don’t.”

Bryant laughed at the self-deprecating comment, then continued on to explain how the two men are in some ways the same.

“We know what it takes to get to that level,” he said. “The consistency, the sacrifice, the work ethic, the constant scrutiny, that’s something we all have in common — from golf to cycling to swimming to basketball to baseball.”


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