Friends don't let other friends head into the unknown unprepared.
As Kobe Bryant, now firmly in the waning twilight of his career, approaches the final threshold into retirement, some of his most notable rivals and basketball brethren resolved to see him off appropriately.
During an exclusive All-Star weekend dinner, dubbed the Gentlemen's Supper Club, the group exchanged words of admiration and respect for one of the NBA's all-time best while also providing him tokens of their esteem and affection.
For Dwyane Wade, that meant gifting the Black Mamba a hobby of sorts. The Miami Heat legend provided No. 24 a year-long Netflix subscription as a wink to the extra hours he'd have to himself.
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was even less subtle about his allusions to Bryant's elder status; he bestowed upon the fellow California icon a cane, compression socks, reading glasses and dental adhesive.
Fortunately, Carmelo Anthony's offering considerably softens the blow. As a tribute to his Italian ties, the New York Knicks star presented the 37-year-old with a magnum of Gaja Barbaresco wine.
Suddenly, Bryant's seemingly weekly autographed sneaker distributions seem all the more generous. Hopefully for the remainder of his opponents, these humorous handouts won't spur some alternative ideas.
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