Kobe Bryant is in the midst of his 20th and final season in the NBA, and his "farewell tour" has received a tremendous amount of attention. Opposing teams have given Bryant tribute videos, special introductions, and even gifts on the road as the legendary Los Angeles Lakers wing makes his final stops around the NBA.
Beyond other organizations, fans in home and road arenas alike have showered Bryant with cheers, even in places like Boston where he traditionally played the villain role. Kobe earned enough respect and admiration over his career to be voted in as an All-Star starter despite his struggles on the court, earning the most votes of any player in order to be named an All-Star for the 18th time. Metta World Peace memorably described the atmosphere as"amazing. It's like they're horny for it. Horny fans... Make sure you word that right."
In addition to all the attention he has received in arenas, it seems that some fans are even gathering outside the Lakers' hotels in order to try and catch a glimpse of Bryant, or attempt to get an autograph or selfie with him. As captured by Casey Holdahl, the digital reporter for the Portland Trail Blazers, Jordan Clarkson found this out the hard way in Portland, and didn't seem to love the extra attention:
Saw a crowd near Pioneer Courthouse, thought it was the Bernie rally. Turns out they're Lakers fans waiting in front of the hotel for Kobe.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) January 23, 2016
"Oh. They are just waiting for Kobe or Bernie Sanders," Clarkson probably thought to himself. "I'll be fine." It wasn't fine:
Now the more knowledgable of them are chasing after Jordan Clarkson, who just ducked into the Macy's to escape— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) January 23, 2016
Now we can't rule out the always fashion-forward Clarkson heading into Macy's to pick out some new clothing, but the visual of a terrified, deer-in-the-headlights looking Clarkson running away from crazed, autograph seeking fans was funny enough in my head that I decided to (badly) photoshop it:
So much for Kobe's farewell tour taking the spotlight off of the Lakers young players. Hopefully Clarkson found a nice, warm coat rack to hide in for a few hours before the game tonight.
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