When Kobe Bryant announced his retirement by poem this past Sunday night, the reception was generally one of reverence and maybe even relief from an NBA fan base who probably knew this was long overdue. Nobody really went at Kobe, at least not on our feed, which is mostly filled with sports writers, news feeds, and sports fans.
Chris Hardwick is none of those things. And on Monday night, the host of Comedy Central’s @Midnight went in on Kobe. With guests Michelle Beadle, comedians Rick Glassman and Brent Morin, Hardwick opened the first 2:45 of the show by slow roasting Kobe.
Hardwick kicks it off light by comparing reading Kobe’s poem to watching Maya Angelou try to dunk.
Then he recites the following passage from the poem:
I never saw the end of the tunnel. I only saw myself running out of one.
From here they pulled no punches. After playing a clip of Kobe rapping on a Brian McKnight track, Hardwick followed it by saying, “Oh, so he is a rap-pist. Okay, wait, wait, I’m sorry, alleged rap-pist.”
Hardwick: Now that Kobe has put it all on the line with a love letter to basketball. What will basketball write back to Kobe?
Michelle Beadle: Dearest Kobe we broke up almost three years ago. Please stop contacting me, you’re making this awkward.
Rick Glassman: Dear Kobe, you may be leaving me but relax, there are a lot other tunnels you can go through. But make sure they’re consensual.
Savage. Pretty sure Kobe and the Kobestans weren’t watching.
Click here for the full episode at ComedyCentral.com.