Goodbye, Kobe Bryant. We hardly knew ye.

Before we get to today’s topic, we first have to tie up some loose ends on a few rather large news stories that have surfaced recently.

Remember the anticlimactic Apple/FBI battle? Remember the discriminatory North Carolina law that angered everybody? Remember that privileged teenager from Texas who got away with murder because his attorney claimed he suffers from “Affluenza?”

Well, there’s updates in all three of these stories, and they involve suspicious hackers, a governor’s about-face, and well deserved jail time.

First, the Washington Post exclusively reported yesterday that it was professional hackers who received a one-time fee from the FBI to crack the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, after they contacted the bureau with knowledge of a flaw in Apple’s software.

Apple FBI2.jpgWe don’t know who these hackers are — I’m sure they’re so proficient at hacking that they can actually make a living off of it — but it’s pretty cool to know that anybody could just contact the U.S. government and help them solve a problem.

Yo, FBI, if you need blogs tips, I’m here. Just sayin’.

Secondly, Goveror Pat McCrory of North Carolina, facing intense ridicule following his “religious liberty” ordinance last week, and the threat of two major companies in PayPal and Deutsche Bank to call off proposed expansions within the state because of it, issued an executive order on Wednesday that will attempt to scale back the law so it does not encourage discrimination.

But most analysts say it’s smoke and mirrors, or too little too late, mainly because McCrory said nothing about retracting the most controversial part of the law, which disallows transgenders from using the bathroom of the gender that they now align with.

And finally, that Affluenza bitch, Ethan Couch? Yeah, he’s going to jail for two years. Thankfully.

But enough about the news.

Let me talk about Kobe Bryant. One of the most prolific athletes athletes of the last 20 years, the Kobester will call it quits after his team’s last regular season game on Wednesday night.

And yes, it took the final day of his NBA career for someone to finally call him “the Kobester.” I take full credit and I could not be more proud.

In truth, it’s been pretty upsetting to watch Kobe play this year. We’re used to his Kobe Bryant.jpgdominance. His ability to take a game over. But this year, it’s been like watching your beloved 19-year-old cat clinging to life.

You know it’s over, but you refuse to admit it.

However, at some point, you just got to put it down. And that’s why, after tonight’s game versus the Utah Jazz, the Lakers ownership will take him out back and shoot him like he’s Lenny from Of Mice and Men.

Oh wait, that’s not how it’s going to happen? He’s just going to ceremoniously retire and spend the rest of his life in his Newport Beach mansion? How … sad.

In all seriousness, for sports fans, Kobe Bryant has been synonymous with the game of basketball. Almost all people under the age of 30 never even watched basketball without Kobe Bryant.

He’s won five NBA titles, thrilled us with an astounding 81 point game 10 years ago, is the league’s third highest leading scorer of all time, and probably raped a women.

That last one is obviously not a career accomplishment, quite the opposite, but it is indeed something he’ll always be remembered for.

So it’s an and of an era, no doubt, even if he’s going out with a whimper on a team that will finish the season with no more than 17 wins, good for second-to-last in the entire NBA.

Peace, Kobe, I’ve already sort of forgotten you.

But thanks for the memories, I guess?

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