Kobe’s New Trademark Should Make You Leery Of Being His Friend

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It’s no secret that when Kobe Bryant finally retires, he’ll likely look to fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson as an example for using his competitive acumen to build a business empire. But it seems like he’s not even waiting until he’s played his final game to start snatching up property — or at least, intellectual property.

The saying is actually Kobe paraphrasing his own quote from after the end of last season, when he said, “Friends come and go, but banners hang forever.” And you gotta admit, the new version is a lot catchier. A perfect phrase for those neon-colored, block-lettered t-shirts that Nike has made so popular in the last few years. Except you can’t have this one, Nike! Kobe’s all over this one.

And of course, the saying is very Kobe — he covets immortality like he’s in a movie about ancient Greece. Trademarking phrases — and branding them, of course — and filing patents is an easy thing for Bryant to get his lawyers to do while he’s still playing, but we can’t wait for Mogul Mamba to make some honest business moves once his career is over. Magic owns the Los Angeles Dodgers now, so Kobe’s going to have to do something huge to top him — and you know Kobe wants to top him.

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