The final game of Kobe Bryant’s legendary 20-year career couldn’t have turned out any better for his fans, the NBA, and the future Hall of Famer’s corporate partners.
Young said Kobe wouldn’t sign his Adidas shoes, that he threw them in the trash. (But he did sign some Nikes and took a pic w/Lil’ Swaggy!)
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 14, 2016
— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) April 14, 2016
Other players around the L have had better success than Swaggy P convincing Bryant to spill some precious ink on their shoes prior to his retirement.
It has become such a ritual, in fact, that Bryant estimates he has signed and given away at least 30 pairs of shoes to opposing players — and even players from other professional sports — this season. […] In fact, on average Bryant brings about five pairs to each road game — and as many as seven in at least one instance — because he knows the demand is especially high.
So what are the requirements for receiving an autographed pair? […] “Why? You want some?” Bryant joked when he was asked this week. “Nah, generally guys that got the cojones to ask, I give it to them. I’ve got plenty of them back there, so I’m not going to run out, so it’s all good.”
Bryant recently recalled his first autographs — Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Penny Hardaway and even future Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal. […] “How funny is that, though? Shaq was really nice to me when I met him,” Bryant said. “I remember I was like 15 years old. He was really, really nice to me. Penny, not so much. I kind of carried that with me for the rest of my career.”