J.R. Smith: Reaction to Kobe’s retirement announcement is hypocritical

J.R. Smith wanted to see Kobe praised more during his career.
Ron Schwane/Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant announced that this season will be his last on Sunday, and as the praise for one of the game’s all-time greats began to roll in, J.R. Smith was quick to point out the hypocritical nature of the majority of the responses.

 

Bryant is possibly the most polarizing player in the game’s history, and has been criticized mercilessly in recent seasons for his style of play and possessing a personality that allegedly made it impossible for the Lakers to sign marquee free agents.

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Smith is right to a certain extent. But if Kobe continues to put up shooting performances like he did against the Pacers (4-of-20 while leading his team in attempts on Sunday), the criticism will return, even in what is now officially his final NBA season.