Kobe Bryant: Thank You For The Memories
The feeling is like a break-up you saw coming but never wanted to happen. You still have feelings for that person but you know it’s best if you let them go. Time goes on but then you realize a special event is approaching and old feelings start to mount, what do you do? The 2017-18 NBA season is underway and while we know, we still are in denial that Kobe Bryant will no longer step on a court again. The Mamba is gone, gone for good, now we must find another, another player to root for, to hate, to love, but is anyone in the NBA worthy of that type of attention?
Maybe, maybe not, so the only thing left to do is reminisce, think about the good times, the bad times and try to figure out our next move. To see you go was painful but it was for the best. Not just for the fans, but for the league and the Los Angeles Lakers. They needed you gone so they could grow. But I had no idea it would be this hard.
Mamba, we miss you, bro.
We miss No. 8 shooting air balls in playoff games. We miss the youthful dunks, the crossovers, the Jordan-like facial expressions. We’ll miss you looking up to Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan. But, as the years went on, you changed. Now we’ll miss those clutch shots, the unguardable fadeaways, the Mamba expressions and how you wanted to be better than Shaq and Mike. Those are the traits that are lacking in today’s game. Everyone wants to be friends and teammates, and all Kobe Byrant wanted to do was destroy everyone on the court, sometimes even your own players according to UPROXX.com.
Bryant told us when he entered the league, “I will win the Dunk Contest”, and as a rookie, he did that. You wanted championships, did that, five times in seven trips. You wanted to be an All-Star, mission accomplished, 18 times. Wilt Chamberlain had the record for most points scored in a game and you wanted to top that. You came close with 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
The Greatest Los Angeles Laker Ever
They said the Lakers were Shaq’s team and without him, it was too much for you to carry if something ever happened to him. Well in Game 4 of the 2000 NBA Finals against the Indiana Pacers you silenced the world as Kobe Bryant took over in overtime while Shaq watched from the bench. At that point everyone started to believe, they knew we just witnessed the heir apparent.
— ESPNLosAngeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) December 17, 2017
But there was that one hurdle to clear before your legacy could be cemented. No matter how many points or titles you won, you were still a Laker and no championship could ever amount to you beating the Boston Celtics. Your last three seasons were painful to watch as I couldn’t help but picture you going out like Jordan, just being greedy and taking the spotlight from younger teammates. But you set that record straight from the beginning when it was announced that 2015 would be your last season.
I know you didn’t expect the love that was shown your way but you still took heat for it. No one knew who to blame for that, they didn’t know whether to blame Kobe, the media, the Lakers or what, but every city you played in, in 2015 gave you the utmost respect. This was not supposed to happen for Kobe Bryant. This was reserved for Jordan, but not you. Everyone hated you, right?
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) December 17, 2017
Goodbye Kobe Bryant
As your jersey retirement honor grows near in just a few hours and we get ready to finally say goodbye, it hits us, Kobe Bryant is gone. We sit for a moment to let it sink in, then we look around the league to find that person that reminds us of you only to be disappointed that he doesn’t exist. I admit, For the last two seasons I still held out hope that your competitive nature would kick in and there would be rumors about you suiting up for a playoff team somewhere. However, you made sure to stay away unlike others, and for that, we thank you.
As you celebrate your official retirement with the fans who have had your back for 20 years, please do so knowing that true Kobe Bryant fans will always remember what you brought to this game.