Kobe can thank LeBron James for taking some of the heat off of him. No pun intended. Bryant didn't get the respect he deserved until LeBron failed and failed again in the playoffs. He came into the league straight out of high school, declared for the draft with sunglasses on his head, and took Brandy to the prom. And if those weren't enough things to hate, Kobe also practices MJ's signature every night before bed. OK, maybe not that last part.
Many hate him because he's arrogant and bit Jordan's game, but who better to emulate? As a rookie, Shaquille O'Neal gave him the nickname, "Showboat," because of his selfish style of play. The incident in Colorado didn't help either. These days, Bean Bryant has changed his image after winning two titles without O'Neal and less people hate him thanks to LBJ. He's still top-five dead or alive though.