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Apple shows how Kobe Bryant is struggling with old age

Technically Incorrect: In an amusing new ad for Apple TV, the retiring Lakers star tries to coach actor Michael B. Jordan in playing him in a movie. And then reality strikes.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


kobeapple.jpg

That look of recognition says that the wrinkles have won. And I don't mean the wrinkles on defense.

Apple/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Kobe Bryant and Apple have a history.

Once, the Lakers star was seen on Apple's Cupertino campus. He was supposedly meeting with Apple design chief Jony Ive. Perhaps he was advising him on bald hairdos.

These days, though, all Bryant has is history. He's retiring this year. His growl has turned into a yearning gurn for affection.

So here he is in a new ad for Apple TV.

He's seated with actor Michael B. Jordan. The shtick is that Jordan will play Bryant in a movie.

The young Bryant, that is.

There are those who believe that Bryant always strove to be another Jordan and failed, so why would a Jordan ever want to be a Bryant -- even a young one?

But actors are fickle beings, always wanting to play someone younger than they are. So Bryant opens the NBA app on Apple TV to show Jordan the finer points of the younger Bryant.

But Jordan explains that he's playing the Bryant who also endured a steep decline. The so-called Black Mamba claims there was no decline.

Jordan finds an artistic way to break it to Bryant that he's done. Bryant is in denial, as he often was about his own greatness.

Without a supporting cast, he was always less than met the eye, but never less than met his ego.

It's therefore extremely hard for the Lakers star to confront the artistic truth -- even though Bryant fancies himself to be a truly interesting writer.

This Apple TV ad follows on from one launched a couple of weeks ago, in which "Game of Thrones" actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau tries to perfect the art of kissing in movies.

It's highly amusing in a pleasantly meta way.

Bryant is now taking the path traveled by many vast egos who, once that act is done, realize that a wonderful next step is to chuckle a little about that past.

Indeed, Apple hasn't been immune to that practice itself.