Throughout the league, players have praised Kobe Bryant for his contributions to the NBA and supported his decision to officially retire his jersey. But with all the focus on the legendary Los Angeles Laker, one fellow pro-athlete is turning the spotlight on the media.
“I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys treated him like sh*t. He’s a legend and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting, time for him to hang it up,” Kevin Durant said during a team practice. “You guys treated one of our legends like sh*t, and I didn’t really like it. Hopefully now, you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year. It was sad the way he was getting treated.”
With a critical season thus far, everyone’s eyes’ have been glued on Kobe’s every hardwood step. But for Durantula, the Black Mamba means more than his current playing state.
“I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him,” Durant said. “He had an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally, physically. Means so much to the game of basketball. Somebody I’m always going to look to for advice, for help, anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. Sad to see him go. But he put his mark on the game while he was here.”
Bryant announced his retirement in an open letter earlier this month, detailing why he feels it’s time to sit court-side and detailed his infinite love for the sport.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.