Kobe Bryant: 'Friends come and go but banners hang forever'
Lakers star Kobe Bryant is at the BET awards, and he is being very Kobe-y.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant appeared at the BET Awards on Saturday for an interview with ESPN's Jemele Hill. During the conversation, he dropped what I would consider one of the Kobiest -- yes, that's totally a word -- quotes of all-time.
Kobe is asked about not being a great friend all the time. His response: "Friends come and go but banners hang forever."— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 28, 2015
Rings > friends, everybody. Got it?
If you recall, this is not the first time Bryant has spoken about the sacrifices he's made, friendship-wise, to be the best player he can be. In an interview with Chuck Klosterman for GQ earlier this year, Bryant spoke candidly on the subject, admitting that his inability to be a great friend is a weakness.
So how much are you willing to give up? Have you given up the possibility of having friends? Do you have any friends?
I have "like minds." You know, I've been fortunate to play in Los Angeles, where there are a lot of people like me. Actors. Musicians. Businessmen. Obsessives. People who feel like God put them on earth to do whatever it is that they do. Now, do we have time to build great relationships? Do we have time to build great friendships? No. Do we have time to socialize and to hangout aimlessly? No. Do we want to do that? No.We want to work. I enjoy working.
So is this a choice? Are you actively choosing not to have friends?
Well, yes and no. I have friends. But being a "great friend" is something I will never be. I can be a good friend. But not a great friend. A great friend will call you every day and remember your birthday. I'll get so wrapped up in my shit, I'll never remember that stuff. And the people who are my friends understand this, and they're usually the same way. You gravitate toward people who are like you. But the kind of relationships you see in movies—that's impossible for me. I have good relationships with players around the league. LeBron and I will text every now and then. KG and I will text every now and then. But in terms of having one of those great, bonding friendships—that's something I will probably never have. And it's not some smug thing. It's a weakness. It's a weakness.
Do you miss the idea of having a great friendship?
Of course. It's not like I'm saying, 'I don't need friends because I'm so strong.' It's a weakness. When I was growing up in Italy, I grew up in isolation. It was not an environment suited to me. I was the only black kid. I didn't speak the language. I'd be in one city, but then we'd move to a different city and I'd have to do everything again. I'd make friends, but I'd never be part of the group, because the other kids were already growing up together. So this is how I grew up, and these are the weaknesses that I have.
What he said on BET is funny because it's so on-brand that it feels almost like self-parody. "Friends come and go but banners hang forever" could go on a T-shirt. For me, though, what he said to GQ was far more illuminating. Reflective Kobe is the best Kobe, even if One-Liner Kobe gets more attention.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
A Chris Paul trade could still come, but it will depend on how the season starts for the Thunder...
The Clippers might be in need of a defensive-minded center and the free agent could be a fit
Anthony is probably still good enough to play in the NBA, but he's not so good that the question...
The Magic are getting creative in order to maximize the return on their No. 16 overall pick
The Nets are creatively combining their minimalist color sensibilities with an innovative design...
If Team USA had access to every American star, this is the roster that it would build