NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement

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.”

Kobe Bryant Fan Letter
Image via Twitter/ArashMarkazi (ESPN Staff Writer)

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)

Kobe Bryant quote
Image via Facebook/LA Lakers

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

Kobe Bryant Moves To #5 All-time Leading NBA Scorer

Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers, added another statistic to his already impressive resume, which includes 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, 14-time NBA All Star, 4-time NBA All Star MVP, 2-time NBA Scoring Champion, etc.

This week the Black Mamba moved to the number 5 spot as the All-time NBA Leading Scorer, passing former teammate Shaquille O’Neal, with a total of 28,601 points, averaging 25.36 per game.
Kobe
The closest active player behind him is #19 Kevin Garnett with 23,659.

And those who are still ahead of him? Those would be the All Stars in the 30,000 Club:

1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387 – 24.61 per game
2) Karl Malone 36,928 – 25.02
3) Michael Jordan 32,292 – 30.12
4) Wilt Chamberlain 31,419 – 30.07

Based on his career average, it will take Kobe 111 games to catch Wilt.

If he is able to keep that per game average going, and he is currently performing above that level in this shortened 66-game year, Kobe will move to number 4 in the latter part of the 2012-13 season, not counting any games during the play-offs.

And then sometime in first 23 games of the following season, again not counting post-season, he would pass Michael Jordan.

All of which means that with a substantial number of post-season appearances, Kobe would surpass both Wilt and MJ next season.

The path to achieve #2 and passing Karl Malone seems a bit more daunting as the 4,636 point spread between #2 and #3 would take him into the 2016-2017 season (not counting any post-season games). Not impossible, but certainly a long ways off.

Congratulations to Kobe on his latest achievement.

Over For Now.

Main Street One