Hang Time Podcast (Episode 219) Kobe Reflections

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Kobe Bryant farewell tour has begun.

And for all of the shining moments he’s provided during his two decades in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, the end will not be pretty. Since announcing Sunday that this will be his 20th and final season, the Lakers have continued their woeful ways on the court — losing in Philadelphia Tuesday night to get the Sixers off the 0-for-everything snide.

However, remembering Kobe for who he was to the Lakers, to the game and to the world requires us to reflect not on the recent past and this season in particular, but his entire body of work. The mind-boggling numbers, the titles, the countless moments when a ferocious Kobe took your breath away. They are memories now, magical moments shrouded in an avalanche of struggles for star and a Lakers team that has no chance of competing at the championship level they had grown accustomed to throughout the years.

Yes, Kobe will take his place alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Shaq, Elgin Baylor and all-time greats to have worn the Lakers’ purple and gold. And he remains the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan since MJ.

But he will spend his final season waving to adoring crowds and doing the rocking chair routine he swore he wouldn’t. There will be no glorious walk off, no storybook ending for one of the most accomplished players to ever lace ’em up.

Father Time spares no one, not even the all-time greats. There is a price to pay for pushing yourself, your body, mind and spirit, to the outer limits.

And Kobe is paying in full right now.

That’s why we are taking the time to reflect on his past, present and future today on Episode 219 of The Hang Time Podcast.


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com, Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.


VIDEO: Kobe Bryant discusses his final game in his hometown after a loss to the 76ers


  1. bayar says:

    @Byron Scott, Please don’t waste Lakers’ time. If you are intelligent, Please give up yourself. Please Please Please
    Don’t be selfish.
    Please don’t consider not only your private life.

  2. Raptor4Life says:

    krespino writes:

    “the NBA is NOT primarily for making money…”

    Wish this were true, but the reality is that the NBA *is* a BUSINESS !!!
    And the focus of this business is making a profit on “sports entertainment”, the key word here being ENTERTAINMENT.

    Don’t worry, the Kobe hype-train is only a temporary derailment of the LaBrown hype-train.
    And of course there is the Steph Curry hype-train gaining momentum as we speak.

    Kobe didn’t “ruin” the Lakers – give Jim Buss the credit he is due for that.

  3. krespino says:

    The real problem is with the Kobe worshipper Lakers fans. These guys don’t feel bad even after losing to
    0-18 Philadelphia. These guys have disconnected themselves from everything basketball, their Kobe-loving is at the level of a religion almost, they don’t care how disgraceful, and what a laughing stock the great Lakers franchise has been turned into by owners, FO and Kobe as long the fans will continue to see their Kobe doing his show out there…
    These guys are not true basketball fans anymore. The Lakers have been turned to a circus, a Kobe show.
    And within that situation the owners are still making big money? I don’t care the least about that; a stage show at Vegas would also be making big money, or Disney would be making money, or a real estate development business or some other business somewhere would be making money; the NBA is NOT primarily for making money… I want my NBA BASKETBALL FRANCHISE LAKERS BACK… As a competetive and respectable BASKETBALL entity…
    Media people or basketball writers who contributed to this situation deserve harsh criticism, those that fed fans writing things like “Kobe being not a human… from another planet…” Irresponsible writers. Hey, you make money from basketball, just be true and respectful to basketball.. Those writers should answer honestly: In the high school bball team that the your son is playing, would you approve existence of another player that acts like Kobe Bryant, that is, as an impediment to team bball, that takes 24 shots a game, caring only for his personal stats, taking credit of wins personally but placing blame of losses on others?? Would you see such a player as a positive role model? Answer honestly.
    Enough with the ugly money-creating Kobe circus already, let’s concentrate back on true basketball..

  4. Reginald Connors says:

    No matter what anyone says, if they truly love basketball, and they live long enough to realize that it makes no sense to hate someone so great in what he chose to do with his life, and the fact that he does not know that they exsist,will cop-out to how wrong they were. And, news flash, team owners of teams like the Lakers make more money than championship teams. The Lakers will earn billions this year. I wonder why? Countries like China just want to see Kobe. Last but most important, everyone gets their first and all others that come is 90% based on what has been done, and 10% on what they hope and pray gets done.It’s a risk- always.

  5. josh says:

    Well said krespino. The guy, if he had kept onside with Shaq could of won 6 championships in a row. Yes less competitive era than today or in which MJ played but still a great feat had he not been so selfish. A great player of ability and determination but a primadonna who let himself down and caused himself to be outside of the truly great, great players who have been (MJ, Chamberlain, Magic, Bird), who are still playing (James, Duncan and probably Curry) and who are yet to come.

  6. krespino says:

    While he has been taking too many shots unnecessarily and missing an unacceptaby large part of them as he has been doing this year, and still blaming the young players for losses of the games, he has proved that he is not only a bad player but also a bad person. He is the symbol of selfishness, greed, attention-loving, money-loving. With his personality and attitude the Lakers could not truly have transformed, rebuilt and developed young talents even in the next eight years if he continued playing. Anyone with any degree of respect or love for basketball should feel bad about the negative impact he has made on the Lakers franchise the last two years. He costed the Lakers full two years. The last contract should not have been signed, while he was injured and his future health was unknown.
    HE IS responsible for the comical and shameful situation the Lakers are presently in. His money love. He had a harmful impact because he is in no way comparable in character to Nowitski and Duncan. Kobe Bryant should retire this hour… He should just leave immdtly and let the team start building a new chemistry without him taking 20 idiotic shots a game. Outside of the Kobe worshippers this whole thing so disturbing and unbearable to watch. In so many articles grandising him nobody mentions he is the player that MISSED, WASTED more shots than any other player in the whole history of the NBA… He is not the top scorer but he is the top waster. A truly shameful statistic. A basketball lover will despise that, a Kobe worshipper will opt not to remember. That makes the difference. May the Kobe-less era of the NBA please finally start and we wake up to a new world in which we will not have to see any piece about Kobe Bryant, and the media will focus on writing and reporting about so many other valuable players and young talents… May the Kobe-grandising media just disappear from the surface of the world also…