Like most of us, Kobe Bryant was tuned in to the 2015 NBA Finals, where he watched the Golden State Warriors finish off the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games on Tuesday night. It also sounds like at age 36 the shooting guard is beginning to feel his age, if this tweet congratulating the Warriors is any indication:
When the players you've known since they were preteens beat the vet you've known since he was a teen #vetsvet #CongratsWarriors #ThisIsNOW— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 17, 2015
"Preteens" may even be being generous. When Bryant began his career 19 years ago, Klay Thompson was six-years old. His dad is former Laker Mychal Thompson, and it is entirely possible Kobe even met a very young Klay at some type of team event (Kobe took Klay under his wing at a young age, notably in the aftermath of the 2004 NBA Finals, and works out with him during summers at UCI). The only way this tweet could be more of an acknowledgement of Bryant's age would be if he posted a selfie of himself in a rocking chair to go with it.
Kobe did post one picture Wednesday morning, taking to Instagram to reminisce about his younger days:
Kobe's not wrong about being a #DominantDuo with Shaq. Their run in 2001 was one of the most dominant in the history of the sport, with only an Allen Iverson Game 1 Finals explosion (RIP Tyronn Lue) preventing that team from going undefeated.
Stephen Curry would have been 13-years old when the Lakers made that run, and I don't think Kobe posting both his congratulations of the Warriors and a reminder of his own former dominance is a coincidence. Without the Mamba and Shaq's run to the title, would Curry have known how to be a different animal, and the same beast?