“They had the champagne bottles after,” Young continued, with his signature smile. “But yeah, it was great. The confetti, the five-minute intro he had, Kobe signing autographs. We were all in line like we were fans, you know, in the locker room.”
Still smiling, Young then got to the interesting part. “The fact that [Bryant] threw my Adidas and didn’t sign my Adidas, I was a little disappointed in that,” he said. “But he could not end without something like that, so I think he threw my shoes in the trash — but yeah, that’s Kobe for you.”
Perhaps Bryant tossed Young’s sneakers out of reflex, given his bad memories of the “Kobe Two,” a widely panned signature Adidas shoe that led to the Laker’s defection to Nike in 2003. Or maybe Bryant was taking advantage of one last opportunity to show his distaste for Young, who, apart from being signed to Adidas, has a goofy personality that is said to have often rubbed the uber-intense Mamba the wrong way.
However, Bryant did sign some of his signature Nikes for Young, which he has been doing for other players all season long. He also took a photo with the latter’s son — “I thought that was cool,” said Young — and signed a box score that Young posted on Instagram.
It’s been a rough season for everyone on the 17-65 Lakers, but for none more than Young, who was essentially benched for the final month and also had to deal with the fallout from teammate D’Angelo Russell’s secretly shot video. Then, after it was all over, he got his shoes thrown in the trash by the franchise’s superstar. But at least it was all over at that point, so that had to help.