The retirement of legendary athletes, such as Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter was inevitable, and while athletes of the past have generally faded into obscurity, these two are dead set on keeping their names in sports. Once Derek Jeter retired he created a publication that is basically an open forum for athletes to voice their opinions and beliefs directly to fans. The Player’s Tribune, gives professional athletes unlimited space to speak on whatever topic they feel is important, but as we have seen with Twitter, that is not always a great idea. So far little controversy has come from the Tribune, but since players now have their own forum to address fans, they are starting to lock out sports media. The lockout of sports writers is in effect is taking a massive toll on what we consider legitimate writing, and giving rise to sites like TMZ. What was once a case of a reporter walking up to an athlete and asking a question has now been reduced to tabloids speculating on what players do with their nightlife, and this is all due to the fact that some of these athletes have become too pompous to speak to a reporter. I am not fully on the side of reporters because they can sometimes create a story that is not there, but when athletes make a reporters job difficult, sometimes the only way to get a story is to make one up. I understand the idea behind The Player’s Tribune, and now that it is being backed by both Derek Jeter and Kobe, it will get more publicity, but I think athletes should be careful about locking out reporters. Reporters may have a reputation to uphold, but when they start losing their jobs to a player run site, they may start using some underhanded tactics to break that big story nobody should have heard about.
The NBA season has just begun, and while we are only a week in, many teams are beginning to show if they can actually be contenders in this 82 game round robin tournament of sorts. It honestly too early to begin crowning champions and MVPs, but it is never too early to point out the players that seem to have lost their touch. Kobe Bryant, the player who was once mired in off the court controversy, now has to deal with questions about his on court playmaking ability. Kobe Bryant was once a man considered by many to be “the next Michael Jordan,” and while his many accolades and championships speak for themselves, it is plain to see that Kobe is getting old. At the age of 37, Kobe seems to be far past his prime, and the fact that he is coming off of two injury ridden seasons doesn’t help him get back into the routine of playing well. This season, Kobe is shooting a woeful 30% from the floor, and he is quickly becoming an afterthought in this increasingly social media driven world. I feel bad for even thinking it, but it may be time for Kobe to retire from the game of basketball. He is not the same player he was ten years ago, and he seems to have no interest in taking a reduced role on a team. With his current level of play it will be hard to imagine seeing Kobe retire at the top of his game, but at least he will be able to keep his reputation and rest on his accolades as one of the greatest players to ever grace the basketball court.