On the surface, the adoring crowds, endless gifts and infinite farewell videos suggested Kobe Bryant became this revered figure that smiled, laughed and shook everyone’s hands in sight.
Throughout Bryant’s 20-year NBA career with the Lakers, he often played the villain. He clashed with teammates over their work ethic. He butted heads with coaches at time over his role. He once grew impatient with the Lakers over their rebuilding plan. Yet, Bryant maintained he behaved that way amid his endless desire to win.
Hence, the theme around Bryant’s latest Nike commercial involves the juxtaposition between the Lakers’ star both being loved and hated. It sounds like Bryant would not want it any other way.