With His Time in the NBA Dwindling, Kobe Bryant Has Finally Decided to Share

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant is wiser from rushed missteps, mellowed by age and suddenly breakable amid all these major injuries.

All that is part of it, but not most of it.

We have been seeing a much more human Kobe here late in his basketball career, and the primary reason for it cannot be found in anything that has happened to him on or off the court.

It is what he has made happen, from the inside out.

Bryant decided he wanted to share.

As we pivot once again from an NBA with Kobe to one strangely without him until what looms as one last stand, let's pause to acknowledge what he has become in his final chapter.

Uncommonly well-spoken, thoughtful, engaging, funny, generous with his time.

And smart enough to maximize his exposure now in pursuit of the high bar he has set for himself in post-basketball business enterprise.

The process continued with his video for The Players' Tribune showing Bryant receiving Lakers doctor Steve Lombardo's diagnosis about his torn rotator cuff. It will ramp back up again on Feb. 28 with the premiere of Kobe Bryant's Muse on Showtime.

"A Legend Unguarded" is how Showtime is plugging the 105-minute documentary, and while one can expect plenty of meaningful introspection from Bryant in there, letting his guard down in interviews or on Twitter or at his clinics coaching kids became common practice some time ago.

No question, the process could be seen in Bryant's last two NBA championships in 2009 and '10. Those were won not while tugging for power and warring for greatness with Shaquille O'Neal, but by showing how Bryant could be led by Phil Jackson, could bond with a co-star in Pau Gasol and could be a great, longtime friend to Derek Fisher.

Those victories humanized Bryant, but that outward glory was preceded by an internal decision that Bryant wanted to have his true self representing...

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