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This is like that time Faulkner told his daughter, “Nobody remembers Shakespeare’s child.”

Hulton Archive/Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant is trademarking a phrase he coined, “Friends Hang Sometimes Banners Hang Forever,” which is the athlete’s version of the artist’s conceit that art is everything, life nothing. True, Bryant’s legend will live on, in the form of banners, championship rings, and highlight clips, while his friends’ less remarkable lives, leaving no imprint on humanity’s collective consciousness, will quickly slip into oblivion, and as time marches on it will be as if they never existed at all. But at least they won’t be remembered as pathological freaks.