Bleacher Report has a long article about Kobe Bryant and his love affair with New York (even though he’s never played there) in light of a recent Lakers visit to Madison Square Garden. Bryant is a legend in the NBA, love him or hate him. And while this season is his 20th in the NBA, we are still not sure whether or not it will be his last.
However, buried in this feature about Bryant’s career is something a bit telling. Bryant hired a film crew to follow him around this season:
Truth be told, Bryant has always preferred to play the villain—the Black Mamba, destroyer of hopes and dreams. And he has done his share of destroying, from Sacramento to Portland to San Antonio to Indiana. He relishes the boos and taunts, the pleasure of silencing a hostile crowd.
It’s why, he said, he does not want a formal farewell tour—no sappy video tributes or rocking chairs or kitschy mementos.
It is perhaps part of the reason Bryant refuses to rule out a 21st season: That vague possibility helps keep the nostalgia at bay, ensuring that Bryant will not have to endure nightly lovefests from the crowds he spent so much time tormenting.
“I’d rather enjoy the hostility,” he said.
Yet Bryant will also admit to moments of reminiscence as he makes his way through the league once more, a chance to appreciate what has been, the road traveled.
“Is it a little different this time around?” Bryant said. “Yeah, yeah.”
No, Bryant will not say this is it. But he did hire a film crew to track him all season, filming every move and collecting sound bites in quiet moments. No documentary is planned, Bryant told me. But don’t be surprised if we see one if this truly is the end.
This confuses me slightly. Bryant doesn’t want a formal farewell tour, but hired a film crew. He doesn’t want sappy video tributes but hired a film crew. There is no planned documentary, but there IS a hired film crew.
It seems fairly suspicious that Bryant hired a crew to follow him around this season, his 20th. Maybe he won’t retire this year and is just trying to jump start his future 30 for 30 documentary. You know. Without the hostility. Regardless of what happens this season, we know there is more to come. And we can only hope it does not involve a Kardashian.