When Kobe Bryant officially announced his retirement, it made an impact that started a wave of reactions of all sorts, from jokes to heartfelt tributes. The latter far outweight the former, but the jokes have been coming all season as Kobe’s struggled badly, becoming another in the storied line of players who stuck around too long.
Kevin Durant, who idolizes Kobe and doesn’t have much love for the media, was confronted with those two conflicting emotions when that very same media asked for his reaction over that very same Kobe. So, he took the opportunity to settle a score:
It’s easy to see where KD is coming from here. He loves Kobe, who has been roundly mocked for his awful play in the media. Anyone would have hard feelings over a group that taunts a loved one, and from his side, it’s understandable to feel that the media has “treated him like sh*t.” But even Kobe knows that he’s a public figure, and when he embarrasses himself, he’s going to hear about it. To see one of the legends rendered mortal, like the proverbial lion in winter, is always going to be compelling stuff. It’s inspired people for generations. This generation, unfortunately, turns that inspiration into memes.
Kevin is entitled to his opinion, and to a degree, he’s right. Now that it’s officially Kobe’s last season, media coverage will get a little softer and more nostalgic, because the finish line is finally in sight. It happened to Derek Jeter, even as he was a shell of his former self. But none of this will happen because anyone feels bad about making fun of Kobe, or because Durant convinced them to do it. It’s simply the natural way of things, just like laughing at hideous airballs.
A true legend, that Kobe.