On Sunday, November 29, Kobe Bryant formally announced his retirement, to take place at the end of the 2015-2016 season. This was done via a written poem simply titled “Dear Basketball,” published on The Players’ Tribune website.
As the Los Angeles Lakers were playing that evening, all attendees received a letter from their star titled, “When we first met, I was just a kid.”
Regardless of anyone’s personal love or hate opinion, future NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant is a bonafide legend. Many of today’s younger players have looked up to him, as he had looked up to Michael Jordan.
Reaction to his announcement was as it should be. Following are but a few from the hoops world, which are pretty typical of those found around the web:
“It’s time for u to take it all in… sit back, relax & enjoy all that u have built. Love u lil bro @kobebryant” — Shaquille O’Neal (@Shaq)
“We have lived incredible moments together on and off the court. Thanks for everything brother! @kobebryant #ThankYouKobe” — Pau Gasol (@paugasol)
“Hard to believe @kobebryant is finally going to hang it up. One of the NBA’s great champions. Enjoy the rest of this season my friend.” — Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen)
“Cherished every second out there with you @kobebryant !” — Paul George (@Yg_Trece)
“You loved the game @kobebryant and the game loved you back! Proud to know you and honored to have represented the #PurpleandGold together!” — Rick Fox (@RickFox)
Following three injury-plagued years, The Black Mamba’s numbers this season are definitely off from his 25+ point career average. But, there is no denying that there are very few players who have amassed the scope of accomplishments he has been able to achieve over his years with the Lakers. Following are a few of the more significant highlights of his storied career:
* 20 years with the same team (NBA record)
* 17-time All Star (16 as a starter)
* All Star MVP Award four times
* Five-time NBA Champion
* NBA Finals MVP twice
* 3rd on the all-time NBA regular season and post-season scoring lists
* NBA scoring leader twice
* Two-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner
And, in 2006, Bryant set the second highest single-game scoring record by a player with 81 points vs the Toronto Raptors. Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors still holds on to the #1 spot with 100 points in a 1962 game against the New York Knicks.
Enjoy you farewell tour, Kobe, as we have enjoyed your play and absolute dedication to the sport.
Over For Now.
Main Street One