Kobe Bryant isn’t exactly riding out of the NBA in a blaze of glory. He’s barely shooting over 30 percent from the field and his Los Angeles Lakers are 2-14. He’s arguably been the worst rotation player in the league this season, but Kevin Durant doesn’t want to hear the criticism.
Durant gave his thoughts on Bryant’s impending retirement, and the Oklahoma City Thunder star is upset with the media for criticizing Kobe’s poor play:
Kevin Durant on the criticism of Kobe: "You guys treated one of our legends like sh** and I didn't really like it" pic.twitter.com/Nza1C0ey0E
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 30, 2015
Durant has every right to stick up for Bryant, but the jabs at the media are a bit uncalled for (although interestingly becoming a bit more common from the 2013-14 MVP). The majority of the media (there are always exceptions) have been simply calling it like they see it with Kobe this year, and what they see is a player at the end of his career who doesn’t have it anymore trying to play the same way he always has. The hope was that he’d adapt, but instead he’s just firing away while shooting at a historically low clip and not giving much defensively.
Perhaps it was foolish to expect Bryant to change based on how he’s wired, but what else is the media going to say when they watch his nightly brickfests while head coach Byron Scott enables him? Most (again, MOST) of the criticism has been nothing but fair, and now that Bryant is officially retiring after this year, there will be countless tributes to his greatness.