Vanessa Bryant Says Only Champions Need Apply
Vanessa Bryant, wife of basketball player Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, wants everyone to know that if you can’t win championships then you need to keep stepping. In an interview with New York magazine about the lives of basketball wives, Ms. Bryant revealed that any man she calls husband must be a champion. In an interview with New York magazine’s Vanessa Grigoriadis, Ms. Bryant said that she certainly would not want to be married to somebody that can’t win championships. She went on to explain that if a man is sacrificing time away from his family and his wife for the benefit of winning championships, then winning a championship should happen every single year. It’s just that simple. This comes from a woman whose greatest gift to humanity is dancing in a video.
To be fair, Ms. Bryant is busy spending her days raising two daughters, nine years old Natalia Diamante and six years old Gianna Maria-Onore. But really, how hard could that job be when you and your husband are worth a trazillion dollars? If Ms. Bryant was married to the average joe with the average income from an average job I’d be more willing to give her a lot more credit for her job of mother. But when you’re husband is earning a paycheck with more zeroes than the Japanese fleet during World War II it’s pretty hard to claim hard work at home.
That is not to say that Ms. Bryant isn’t a good mother or doesn’t have hardship in her life. Being married to one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet is bound to have its ups and downs. Especially when you take into consideration that Ms. Bryant has had to deal with infidelity from her superstar husband and all kinds of violations into her privacy by the paparazzi and the rest of us with a voyeuristic interest in her life. Her life is far from a walk in the park. Whose life is? But like a good wife, Ms. Bryant chose to stay in her marriage and work things out. To that she deserves credit.
But Kobe deserves a little credit as well. He, like hundreds of other players who play for one of the thirty teams in the NBA, works hard every year to bring home a championship. The Los Angeles Lakers have a record of championships that’s the envy of just about every other team in the league. They have won more than their fair share of championship titles. But not even the mighty Lakers can win them all. And Kobe Bryant has never won a title on his own. It’s a team effort that requires sacrifices from every player and a lot of people who work in the Lakers organization and all the other organizations that comprise the NBA.
It also takes a lot of sacrifice from the people who are the loved ones of these people. The players and staff have to spend a lot of time away from their families in order to win games so that they can win a championship. But only one team can win any given game. Only one team will win the championship. That harsh reality means that there are going to be a lot of people disappointed at the end of the season because their team wasn’t the single winner. But those people are hardly losers. Just being in the NBA is an achievement that needs to be recognized and celebrated. Hundreds of men try. Only a relative handful succeeds.
Because of Ms. Bryant’s statement, the focus is on basketball players spending their time away from home in order to win championships. Her statement that she only wants a winner is an indication of her priorities. She wants to be married to the winner each and every year. She feels that she deserves that much because of her sacrifice of being without her husband.
But the reality is that a lot of people have to sacrifice time with their family to go to work each day. A lot of people have to earn a living doing things a lot harder and a lot more complex than winning basketball games. A lot of people have to spend time away from home to keep the electricity flowing into our homes and businesses so that we can watch basketball games. A lot of people spend a lot of time building roads so that people can go to the basketball game and all the other places they drive their vehicles made by other people. A lot of people spend their days catering to the whims of basketball wives and making sure they have their lavish lifestyles. A lot of people have to spend their lives dancing in videos because they weren’t so fortunate to have some superstar NBA player sweep them off their feet and give them a lifestyle where they can say that the only thing that matters is whether or not hubbie is coming home at the end of the season with a championship.
A lot of people understand that their significant other isn’t going to be coming home at the end of the year with a championship ring on their finger. But that’s okay because these people know that there is a bigger picture out there and many, many things that are far more important than who won the title. For a lot of people, the fact that they have somebody in their life who is willing to go to work every day, the fact that they have somebody who works hard despite the fact that nobody is paying hard money to watch them make widgets, who spend their valuable time doing their best to provide, makes that person a champion in their life. Millions of adoring fans and a trophy at the end of the season might be nice. But in the grand scheme of things, that’s hardly a priority.
If Ms. Bryant wants to hold the man in her life to the high standard of actually being world champion year after year then she really can do a lot worse than Kobe Bryant. But on the flipside of that coin, what happens when Mr. Bryant decides that he wants to apply a similar standard to his wife? Is she prepared to reciprocate and work to do everything she can to be the champion that Mr. Bryant wants in his life? If high standards are good for the goose are they just as good for the gander?