Kobe Bryant was in the mood to talk about evil, for some reason, after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to Charlotte Hornets on Monday night. Bryant detailed to reporters how hugs and praise were his Kryptonite in his postgame availablity, but also decided to describe his playing style over the years in the most Kobe way possible.
"Just mean. Mean. Just very aggressive and very combative and confrontational and cutthroat. And I took a lot of pride in competing that way," Bryant told Baxter Holmes of ESPN of how he used to play. But he admits that stance has softened with age. "Now, it's different. I just sit back a little bit more and I take what comes."
Bryant may be right if he is describing his mindset, but he did go 5-20 against the Hornets, including shooting just 1-7 when returning to the game in the fourth quarter in a game the Lakers lost down the stretch. Bryant also had a usage rate of 36.7 in his final game in Charlotte, so "taking what comes" is not necessarily the best way to describe his play on this night.
However, Bryant has seemed notably happier since announcing his retirement at the end of the season (a statistic NBA.com unfortunately does not measure), and it's good to see him not literally raging his way into the sunset.
All stats from NBA.com