Last night was one of the most epic sports night in recent memory with the Golden State Warriors chasing history and Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game in his illustrious twenty-year career. For the first time in the better part of two years the Warriors were overshadowed by something else that happened on the hardwood. Kobe gave us one more performance to remember he scored 60 points on 22 of 50 shooting. A performance that sent the sports world into a frenzy! It’s one of those moments where fans will always remember where they were Kobe laced it up for the final time.
A Look Back
When Kobe Bryant said he would forgo college and take his talents to the NBA the journey to greatness began. I think this is the only thing I didn’t enjoy about Kobe Bryant’s career when he was drafted 13th overall to the Charlotte Hornets then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. One can only imagine what would’ve happened to the legend of Hornets basketball if that move was never made, but I digress it’s fun to dream.
He quickly became a Hollywood star transforming the Lakers organization once again. He helped the NBA transition from the tail end of Michael Jordan’s career to the Kobe era and realize they would be just fine. Bryant made basketball look effortless for the bulk of his career breaking countless records and breaking so many opponents hearts in the process. His career has given the new generation of NBA superstars’ goals to work towards and to remember what a champion’s mentality looked like.
Legendary Career by the Numbers
• 5-Time Champion
• 2-time Finals MVP
• 3rd in the NBA in Points scored 33,643
• 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist
• 2nd most points scored in a single game 81
Another aspect of Bryant’s career that I love is he spent all 20 seasons in Los Angeles and never wavered. That is a rare feat in sports today because of the money and contracts being signed nowadays. I consider loyalty one of the best qualities in any athlete showing compassion and helping that organization reach the mountaintop; additionally helping lead when the team is not performing at its best. A trend that I hope continues in sports because they are just cool storylines to follow.
The Black Mamba might’ve bid farewell to the game basketball, but his impact will be felt forever. Everybody that watched Bryant throughout his career basketball or not can learn something from him. From his tenacious attitude when faced with adversity or his work ethic he brought every single day. Basketball will never be the same without the Black Mamba releasing his venom on opponents, but it was awesome to watch. Thank you for everything you did for the game of basketball and beyond.