Professional basketball player of the NBA, Kobe Bryant announced his retirement over the weekend. Bryant has been a member of the Los Angeles Lakers since 1996 and is a five time NBA Champion.
In my opinion Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever play in the NBA, and for a long time fans hoped for the next Jordan to emerge. Kobe's career was often in comparison to Jordan. Kobe may have nearly as many titles as Michael Jordan, but his style of play is very different from Jordan which for me eliminates his comparison to Jordan.
I may not have always been the biggest Kobe Bryant fan, and a lot of that has to do with that I am not a Los Angeles Laker fan. I regress, I cannot deny Kobe Bryant's greatness, longevity, and overall impact on the game of basketball. It has been noted that Bryant like many of the greats, puts in countless hours during the off-season and during the season getting his body ready physically for another season. Ensuring that he will be mentally and physically able to compete at the highest level. Bryant has been known to push his teammates with his no non-sense approach. Some players do not find Kobe to be the best teammate, but do not question his work ethic or his will to win. That's what has made him last this long.
Whether or not you like Kobe Bryant, now that he has announced that this season is his last... it is time for even me to recognize his greatness and celebrate a career of outstanding play and memorable performances. One memorable performance that will stand out to many was when Bryant scored a career high of 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.
In his prime Kobe Bryant showed on the court that he could score at will, and that when there was a game winning shot he was going to take it. If a teammate was not playing hard he would in his own way tell them, and get them to perform at a high level in order for his teams to compete.
I would like to end by simply saying Thank You Kobe.