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?

Meet Ethan Couch. You’re going to absolutely love hating this guy.

In my youth, I used to hate being called spoiled.

One of the reasons I resented it so much is because, deep down, I knew it was true. My parents usually bought me things when I asked. They never pushed me to get a job or to make my own money as a teenager.

But there’s different degrees of spoiled.

There’s people like me, whose occasional pampering by his parents allowed him to become an apathetic homebody throughout his adolescence.

Then there’s those who expect money and gifts at every beckoning call.

Then there’s the girls you see on the show “My Super Sweet 16.”

And then there’s Ethan Couch. No relation to an actual couch.

Ethan CouchThe now 18-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas first made headlines in 2013, when, after stealing beer from a Walmart to bring to his friend’s party, drove a pick-up truck later that night crammed with six other people inside, and, with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, swerved off the road and killed four people.

He never saw jail time. Instead, he was sentenced to 10 years probation. And it was in large part because his defense claimed he suffers from “Affluenza,” a behavioral disorder that affects children of privilege.

If your anger has already begun, then good, it means you’re human. But it’s worth noting that most attorneys defending any 16-year-old of a crime would claim that their client should be granted leniency because they are not old enough to fully understand the consequences of their actions. They’d probably just use different verbiage.

Established science does tell us, after all, that the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 18.

But the whole concept of Affluenza underscores why their is so much racial tension in this country. Would a black boy from a poor family be given equal treatment if his lawyers claimed Affluenza?

Nonetheless, what should have been apparent in the case of Ethan Couch is that this kid was destined to be a screw-up. And if he’s so spoiled, wouldn’t letting him off easy only serve to reaffirm his feeling of privilege and immortality?

Shockingly, two years later, Ethan Couch is in trouble again. After facing a hearing for possibly violating his parole, him and his mother fled to Mexico in early December, inciting a police manhunt.

Sporting new hairdos, they were discovered by authorities last week. The mom, Tonya Couch, has been extradited back to the U.S., and faces two to 10 years in prison for hindering apprehension.

Ethan Couch, meanwhile, may not be returned for months because high-profile attorneys supplied by his rich parents have found ways to stall his deportation.

This kid is just an absolute winner.

But at the end of the day, it makes me feel that much better for how unbelievably not spoiled I was in comparison.

The best part is since his probation is being supervised by a juvenile court, he faces, at worst, 120 days in prison.

Prosecutors reportedly will request that Couch’s case be transferred to an adult court, which means any further violation of his probation could result in a 10-year prison sentence.

I’d say I hope that this happens, but given this kid’s track record, it’s pretty much inevitable. It’s what screw-ups do.

But that’s America for you, folks. It’s the only place where being rich and spoiled will not only keep you out of jail, but will make you a sympathetic figure inside of a courtroom.

I’m just sad because until I read about this, I assumed every court case in America was won by an attorney screaming “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

Shows what I know.