So Kobe Bryant’s last game was hilariously over-the-top in every way imaginable: He scored 60 points on 50 shots, was showered with applause all night, and seemed to have a grand old time. Yet none of that remotely approaches the excess that was the Buss family’s gifts to Kobe and his wife Vanessa: one each of that “retirement ring” you see above.
For all he’s done for the Lakers’ organization, Kobe was always going to receive a lavish gift from the owners. Heck, all retirements deserve gifts. Yet there’s something very off about giving Kobe a knockoff championship ring for the accomplishment of finally ceasing to play basketball. Get him a box of cigars or something, jeez.
In general, rings as big as the ones they give out for titles these days are outrageous monstrosities that fly in the face of any sort of style — and they have to be, considering the unspoken-but-very-real arms race between owners who don’t want to look like the punk-ass cheapskates who finally gave their organization rings smaller than the last winners. I mean, when the Charlotte Hornets miraculously win the NBA title, do you think Michael Jordan is going to go with understated, chic bands? No, he’s going to have a giant pile of diamonds bigger and badder than the Warriors got last year. And that’s okay, because those rings are just bejeweled bragging rights anyway.
But retirement gifts are always meant to be enjoyed, as a symbol of the new, relaxed life the retiree gets to lead without work getting in the way. Unless Kobe spends free time staring at his rings as they rotate slowly on a QVC display carousel that he ordered from QVC (which wouldn’t surprise us that much), get him a new set of golf clubs or something, Busses.
(H/t Bleacher Report)