Kobe Bryant conducts his final interview in front of locker
While it proceeded without a whiff of pomp and circumstance, the post-game interview Kobe Bryant conducted following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 101-88 loss to the Washington Wizards would be the last one the retiring superstar ever does in front of his locker inside Staples Center.
Bryant’s stellar 20-year NBA career of course comes to its celebrated conclusion after the Lakers play out the string of a lackluster 2015-16 campaign with nine games remaining on the schedule. Lakers spokesperson John Black indicated all of Bryant’s remaining post-game media sessions will be held in a press conference-like setting as opposed to informality afforded by locker room interviews.
Bryant briefly addressed how another chapter in his Hall of Fame career was closing with his last locker room interview while recalling one of his most memorable — and toughest — locker-front media sessions.
“Am I going to miss any of this?” Bryant asked the assembled media surrounding him, per ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. “Probably. Maybe. Yeah. I’ve done a lot of interviews here standing in front of this locker and the one that I’ll always remember is the night that I ruptured my Achilles. Yeah, I’ll miss standing here and watching you [media] elbow each other [for position] and all that fun stuff.”
Holmes notes in his write-up that the interview Bryant was referencing was after he suffered the Achilles injury during a game against the Golden State Warriors in April 2013, during which it was noticed that the superstar, on crutches, still had tears in his eyes.
From what Bryant has said throughout his season-long swan song, no tears need to be shed as he puts the finishing touches on a phenomenal career. Instead, it should be enjoyed as a celebration, not a funeral of sorts.
As it stands, Bryant has indicated he intends on playing in each of the remaining nine games on the Lakers’ schedule, barring “something drastic” occurring. But if that is indeed how it plays out, Bryant won’t be fielding questions from a throng of reporters surrounding him at his locker.