I want to say I like Kobe’s sendoff, much like Mariano Rivera’s the year prior. Everywhere he went there was a memento a team gave him, photo opps, and plenty of memorabilia to sign for fans and players alike.
Much more of the same is going on with Kobe, and will be with David Ortiz as baseball season is right around the corner. And I must say, I’m not a fan. Personally, I’m very nostalgic. All about the connection between past and present and savoring moments. These farewell tours are a great chance to show that these sports are just games and that there is life after them. That relationships matter and no matter what’s happened between a star player and another player or team, they’re respected. Too often this can all be lost in the shuffle of trying to win championships and of leaving a legacy.
And this is where I say again, I’m not a fan. We’ll have all of the time in the world to talk about how great Kobe is after he retires. In fact, it will happen ALL OF THE TIME. If ESPN posts one more time about the 95-96 Bulls and Michael Jordan, I may very well kill myself. You heard it here first, ESPN. Blogger lives matter.
Not to mention I’m not a fan of the whole announcing your retirement before the season’s over thing. To be honest, that’s the bigger problem I have. Derek Jeter’s last season was a huge distraction, much like Kobe’s is this year. It’s as if once a superstar realizes they have nothing left to offer athletically, they choose to have their retirement and career be the story instead of their current play. This is exactly what’s happening with Kobe and the Lakers after suffering a 48-point defeat to the Utah Jazz. They’re a 15-win team and Kobe is a shell of his former self, but criticism has been muted in favor of celebrating the Mamba’s career.
So, I guess I’m just going to leave this here. Here lies the reason for my scorn. If you’re lazy as shit, Kobe said he would “never do anything like that” as far as a farewell tour. But hey, we’re all allowed to change our minds. Also doesn’t hurt to have a farewell tour when on a 15-win team you’re averaging 16.9 ppg which while still respectable is a far cry from the scoring champion of yesteryear.