Bitter Kobe Bryant Declares World Cup is Better than NBA Finals

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By James Patrick Quizon | June 18, 2014 2:34 PM EST

It’s probably just the bitterness of getting the boot very early but Kobe Bryant has declared that watching the World Cup is better than watching the NBA Finals.

“The one thing I know about the finals in the Lakers aren’t winning,” Bryant said via the New York Daily News. “It’s the NBA Finals times 10 because you’re putting it on a global stage,” he said. “You’re seeing people from different cultural backgrounds, speaking different languages, coming together through the sport of soccer.”

REUTERS
Basketball player Kobe Bryant of the U.S. (L) plays soccer with a Brazilian youth during a promotional event in Rio de Janeiro, June 14, 2014. Picture taken June 14, 2014.

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The perspective is understandable for a player who hasn’t suited up for his team since December 17, 2013. Bryant has only played in 6 games out of the 82-game grind in the NBA because of a knee injury.

If indeed true that Kobe hasn’t watched any of the NBA Finals games then he missed how Western Conference rivals San Antonio Spurs completely dismantled the Miami Heat in five games to win the championship. Also, he probably missed the fact that Spurs star Tim Duncan has now matched his collection of five NBA rings.

The 35-year-old shooting guard, who is in the twilight of his career, is an American who grew up in Italy, which No. 1 sport is soccer.

“I am actually. I grew up in Italy. From the age from six to 14 I played soccer every day. It is actually my favourite sport,” shared Bryant to FIFA.COM when asked about his soccer passion.

“The US team has unfortunately a very tough draw. But football in the US has really been picking up. I think our team is confident and they will respond the challenge,” added Bryant who is in Brazil to support the US Soccer National Team.

Team USA won over Ghana, 2-1 in their opening match in the 2014 World Cup.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Lucas Landau)
Basketball player Kobe Bryant of the U.S. (L) plays soccer with a Brazilian youth during a promotional event in Rio de Janeiro, June 14, 2014. Picture taken June 14, 2014.
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