The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl on Sunday, meaning that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will (likely) retire on top of the league after a a long and memorable career. Manning played 18 years in the NFL, dominating for the majority of them, but during his final season he looked mortal, drawing inevitable comparisons to retiring Los Angeles Lakers wing Kobe Bryant, who is in the midst of the worst season of his career and has already announced that the 2015-16 season will be his final one in uniform.
The difference is that while Manning will in all likelihood end his career at the top of the sport, Bryant's will end right near the bottom. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the worst teams in the NBA, poor on both offense and defense, and former Lakers point guard Magic Johnson wishes the end of Bryant's career could be more similar to how Manning's is playing out. Johnson, an outspoken critic of the Lakers' front office in recent years, took to Twitter after the Super Bowl to voice this opinion:
The Denver Broncos team is sending Peyton Manning out as a champion and I wish the Lakers could've done the same for Kobe Bryant!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 8, 2016
Most Lakers fans likely feel the same way, but with the Lakers looking to rebuild through the draft and the constraint's of Bryant's $25 million contract, the team was unable to field a competitive roster this season. For the record, Bryant sounds like he wouldn't change anything:
Kobe on lack of continuity w/ Lakers: "I've eaten plenty well. So I can't complain there isn't any dessert left."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 7, 2016
If Bryant isn't going to complain, then he certainly doesn't need Johnson to do it for him. While Johnson probably does wish Kobe could have won a sixth NBA championship, this tweet probably has as much to do with his longstanding feud with Lakers vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss as it does with wanting the Lakers to raise a 17th banner. Magic is going to tweet how Magic is going to tweet.
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