With End Almost Here, Kobe Bryant’s Humane Side Finally Revealing Itself

April 12th, 2016 by Kevin Ding Leave a reply »

OKLAHOMA CITY — It was the last time for me.

Of the 1,397 games Kobe Bryant has started in his career, I've been there in person for maybe 1,250.

Too many to count.

Way too many highlights to remember, frankly.

For that, just like his fans, I give thanks.

All that everyone really needs to give, though, is respect.

To see someone work so hard, with such passion to succeed over such a long period of time at his chosen craft, is a rare pleasure.

People ask all the time (though less often than before, when he was more widely despised and I covered every Lakers game as a beat reporter): "Do you like Kobe?" And the easy way to skirt the question from a journalistic perspective has always been to say unwaveringly: "I have the utmost respect for Kobe."

Bryant played the penultimate game of his 20-year career Monday night, his last one on the road.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook presented a precious gift book on behalf of the Thunder to Bryant before the game—then crushed him on the court just as relentlessly as he has always schooled those ...

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