Kobe Bryant's 1996 Lower Merion High School graduating class is celebrating its 15-year class reunion this weekend, but the longtime NBA player says he won't be attending.
"At the 5-year and 10-year reunion, I was the life of the party — the coolest guy in the room. The guy everyone wanted to see and say hello to," said Bryant. "But, man, a lot has changed since then. I went from the highest of highs to not even having a job. It's humiliating."
Bryant says he knows a lot of the people at the reunion will want to revel in his misfortune.
"You know how high school people are," he said. "They're happy to know you when you're riding high, but they'll stab you in the back if things go south. Everyone is going to want to see jobless Kobe Bryant so they can feel better about themselves and gossip about how I peaked too early in my life. Well, I'm not going to give them that opportunity."
Instead of going to the reunion, scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Friday at Smithwick's Pub, Bryant said he is just going to bunker down at his mom's house and watch TV.
"I just want to eat ice cream and get fat," said Bryant. "My life sucks."
While Bryant was the star of the 5 and 10-year reunions, Andy Wardon is expected to be the most popular Lower Merion grad at the 15-year reunion. Wardon recently made partner at his suburban Philadelphia law firm and is reportedly making "almost $300,000 a year," according to Becky Thompson, 1996 class president.
"He brought Brandy to our prom, but how have things turned out for him now," said Wardon. "He doesn't have a job and I'm looking into getting a timeshare at the Jersey Shore and I'm only 33 years-old. Hell, I'm leasing a BMW."
Bryant admits he is jealous of Wardon.
"He's making almost $300,000?" said Bryant. "Wow. Must be nice. I haven't had a paycheck for months. Well, a basketball paycheck. I think I made about $2 million this month in endorsements. It's tough to keep track. I leave that stuff to my financial team."