Kobe Bryant announced his retirement yesterday. When asked his thoughts on the matter, Durant opted not to share his thoughts on playing with Kobe, but on the way the media has handled the coverage of Kobe this year.
Kevin Durant says he "idolized" Kobe Bryant as a player growing up, adding that he was angry at the media for their treatment of the Los Angeles Lakers star.
"I've been disappointed this year because you guys [the media] treated him like s---. He's a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he's playing, how bad he's shooting and it's time for him to hang it up, said Durant. "You guys treated one of our legends like s---, and I didn't really like it. So hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year."
"I understand [the media] have to write about the game. Of course I understand that," Durant told ESPN.com. "Kobe hasn't played well, and his team hasn't played well, but did we expect that from them? You did say he was the 93rd-best player in the league, you did have the Lakers as the worst team in the West, but it seems like everybody is happy that he's going out like this. Every game he's played on TV is about how terrible he looks, every article the next day is about how he should retire and give it up. Just killing him."
"I never hear about the Finals MVPs, the accolades. They did it for [former New York Yankee] Derek Jeter, they will do it for Tim Duncan when he leaves even if he's playing bad. I know you gotta report the games, but you're going too in-depth about how bad he is. You're almost kicking him out the league."
The writers may not want to admit this, but Kevin Durant has a point.
Moments like this are why the players have very little respect for writers and don't want to do post-game interviews. The lack of respect for players when it comes to reporting style, having good tact is a major issue in this generations version of sports journalism. Many want to be in the players face when they are doing well, and bomb the crap out of them when they are doing poor.
To me, a lack of balance is key, but maybe I'm thinking too deep on this one.
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What to you think? Are the writers being too hard on Kobe Bryant, or is Kevin Durant just being too sensitive on this matter.