It’s been more than a month since Kevin Durant’s last rant against the media. Then it was ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that had Durant pissed. Today, Durant didn’t isolate a single reporter but grouped them into one collective group as he held them accountable for their treatment of Kobe Bryant in his 20th year.
“I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him. He was our Michael Jordan. I watched Michael toward the end of his career with the Wizards and I seen that’s what Kobe emerged, as the guy for us.
I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys treated him like sh*t. He’s a legend and all I hear is how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting, time for him to hang it up. 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’s decided to retire after this year. It was sad the way he was getting treated.
He had an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically. Means so much to the game of basketball, someone I’m always gonna look to advice for anything. Just a brilliant, intelligent man. Sad to see him go. He put his mark on the game
In my era (Kobe) is the greatest player to play the game. There are countless moments of his greatness. It’s going to be different not competing against him. It’s going to be different going into Staples Center and not seeing 24. We just have to enjoy him while he has the rest of the season. Respect him knowing he did all he could do for the game of basketball. As long as he is going out peaceful and on his terms, you couldn’t ask for a better ending
I loved his approach. He was constantly thinking about the game. I remember one time (at the Olympics) we went to the women’s gold medal game and he just talked about leadership and how he approached playing with guys older than him. I was in that position. I was looked at as a leader and playing with guys older than me. At 23, I didn’t really know how to approach that. He taught me some things. It showed me, even in our down time, he’s thinking about basketball and willing to help.
There were many a time I called him at 3 or 4 in the morning just to talk about basketball and he was right there. A lot of people don’t know that side of Kobe. Sort of like me, he just wants respect from his peers and teammates and could care less about everyone else
(The difference between #8 and #24). Still relentless. Still athletic. Can shoot the ball. Overall flawless player. Defensively he brought the intensity and demanded a lot from everybody on the court. You had to up your play when you played the Lakers.
I remember his shooting 44 times in my rookie year on a back-to-back and him scoring 48 points on us. The look in his eyes never changed from the beginning to the game to the end, always locked in and focused. We definitely going to miss him. I hate that we talk good about him when he’s going to be gone.”
photo via llananba