Connect with us


Kobe Bryant : An end of an era

Kobe Bryant (

Kobe Bryant (

One game.

That was all that remained of the Hall of Fame career of Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers guard played his final game of his historic 20-year NBA career last night. This comes after winning five championship rings and tallying over 33,583 total points.

Over the course of 20 seasons, Bryant has provided us with an endless amount of highlights, game-winners, and jaw-dropping scoring feats. Having a career filled with memorable moments inevitably means that some impressive acts will go unnoticed or under-appreciated.

The Black Mamba and the Lakers faced off against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center to end the season. He definitely made an impression, scoring 60 points(!) for one final victory. He announced his retirement in a poem last November in The Players Tribune. Part of it stated:

“My heart can take the pounding / My mind can handle the grind / But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”

Bryant leaves a big mark on the NBA, and basketball in general. Beyond his two Finals MVPs and 33,583 points, he’s also a two-time Olympic gold medal winner for the United States. Magic Johnson, another Lakers legend, stated on The Playbook that Bryant changed the game of basketball along with other greats like Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant’s departure from the game means an end to a certain type of  era.

Kobe Bryant vs Micheal Jordan Debate

Kobe may not be Jordan, but he is the closest one to be associated with “His Airness” and that in itself is a legacy achievement. While Jordan was great, I want you to think about this stat:

In Jordan’s 13th year with the Bulls (he would play 2 more years with the Wizards that people try to forget) he averaged 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.

In Kobe’s 17th year with the Lakers (that is an additional 4 years of regular season and playoff games on his body), he averaged 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. He did that while literally sacrificing his body, as he blew out his Achilles getting the Lakers to the playoffs. Look at what Kobe did in the last 7 games before the Achilles injury essentially ended his career.

When someone tears their Achilles no matter how tough or great they are, they go down and they normally don’t get back up. Kobe tried to reattach his on the floor, got back under his own power, hit two free throws and walked back to the locker without assistance. Kobe was a different type of player.

Sometimes we as fans just remember the end and forget the greatness. There was no shooting guard in the history of the NBA that sustained his greatness longer than Kobe Bryant. Eventually, he pushed himself to the point his body just gave up on him, but I believe Kobe wouldn’t have it any other way. He went out a warrior!

Lakers After Kobe

The last few seasons have been rocky for Bryant and the Lakers. Los Angeles is missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, something that seemed unheard of during the Phil Jackson coaching years from 1999 to 2004 and from 2005 to 2011. In the team’s 68-year history, the Lakers have only missed the playoffs eight times. With D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle on board, the Lakers potentially have a foundation in place, although the passing of the torch won’t come easily. Fortunately, when the summer of 2016 rolls around, the Lakers will have a mountain of cap space to work with and a roster consisting of just Russell, Randle, Young, Anthony Brown, Larry Nance Jr. and Lou Williams. With money to burn and plenty of roster space available, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak will have some enormous decisions to make about how the team will attempt to return from the abyss.

The history books will serve Kobe Bryant well. From the 81 point game in Toronto, his first playoff game-winning shot in Pheonix and his five championships, Kobe did it all in purple and gold. A legend has officially left the NBA. Thank you Kobe for all that you have done!

Mamba Out!


Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Basketball