…Oh, and Adam Levine was there too.
Before taking center court at Staples postgame Wednesday and treating #Lakernation to a third-person nickname reference and a (literal) mic drop, Kobe Bryant turned in a final performance that can most aptly be described as subpar for the ages.
In the context of his final three seasons, the finale was actually a decent outing for Kobe. More importantly, the farewell performance (a breakdown of it below) was emblematic of how much Kobe’s game failed to progress in time with the rest of the league over the last decade.
In 1999, the N.B.A. eliminated contact by a defender with his hands and forearms both in the back- and frontcourt. This freed up top scorers to move around unfettered and ushered in the ISO era.
That was Kobe’s third year in the N.B.A.
In the decade to follow, stripping defenders…
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