This has gotta be a joke, right?
Listen, I’ll readily admit that I am not biased when it comes to Kobe Bryant. He is my least favorite athlete ever, the full reasoning of which will be its own 1500 word post at a later date. Probably the day that he get shut down for the season in February.
With most of the greats who are rivals of Boston sports teams — Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, even PK Subban someday — I want to see the players to at least go out well. I don’t want them to be considered better than their Boston counterpart (Brady, Garciaparra back in the good old days when he was good,
Dougie Hamil — dammit, screw Don Sweeney), but I don’t want to see the greats go out as a shell of themselves. If I respect the player, I want his career to end respectively.
Not Kobe. I don’t respect him as a person. Of course, I respect his drive and competitiveness. Honestly, I wish I had the drive that he does to succeed every day of his life. But I can’t bring myself to respect who Kobe is as a man.
Because of that, I’m thrilled that he’s going out this horribly. And given that the Lakers are my least favorite team, maybe even more than the Yankees, it’s great to see Kobe bring down his team of the past 20 seasons. For a guy who says he’s “All about Ring #6,” he never should have taken a contract that has crippled the Lakers’ salary cap sheet from 2014 through 2016. Kobe isn’t worth greater than 1/3 of a team’s cap space anymore. More like 1/13.
Unless the US Olympic team makes the total marketing choice, which I wouldn’t put past them, there is no reason whatsoever that Kobe should be on the Olympic roster next Summer. This isn’t 1992 when America can dominate anyone by showing up. The Olympic games are now a real challenge against the good teams, and Kobe can’t do anything to help that challenge. He’s not Kobe Bryant anymore, and he hasn’t been for 4 years. He should go gracefully without taking the US Olympic team down with him.