Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
With age comes wisdom. At least that’s the theory. Maybe that’s why we’ve seen a much different Kobe Bryant in interviews in recently.
Perhaps sensing the end is near for his legendary hoops career Kobe has been keeping it real…a little too real at times.
Bryant used to give very generic and guarded answers when he was probed by curious reporters. These days Bryant just lets it rip without much care or concern for the fallout. Whether it’s calling Lakers fans dumb or calling his team “old as s@*#” Bryant isn’t holding anything back.
So maybe it’s this new clarity in Kobe’s hoops life that has led him to sing the praises of the rival Los Angeles Clippers.
"“They’re very spectacular. They’re fun to watch. There’s no question about it.”"
But that is just Kobe’s take on the product the Clippers are putting on the court. When asked what the expectations most have for tonight’s installment of the Battle for Staples Bryant didn’t dance around the obvious public sentiment.
"“I think they’re expected to blow us out. [Fans] expect the Clippers to come out there and just run all over us.”"
Maybe it is the maturity of Bryant that has led him to these open and honest sound bites that are becoming so routine ESPN might have to dedicate a daily crawl filled with Kobe quotes. Of course it could also be the inescapable reality of the Lakers being 9 games behind the Clippers and completely out of the playoff picture all together that has brought on all this praise for L.A.’s other team.
Maybe I’m not one for letting people grow and blossom in their years but I miss the days of Kobe showing no love at all for the opponent. Now you don’t get to be where Kobe is by not showing respect for the opponent. Behind closed doors you know Bryant might be saying some nice things about the competition but never in public.
Now at days Bryant is very reverent when talking about rival teams and their players. Again, I can respect and admire his willingness to take the high road. But given the current state of the Lakers Kobe’s comments have a certain waving-the-white-flag quality to them that might not have been intended.