TSJSports.com | Breaking Sports News and Analysis | @TSJ_Sports

Farewell Kobe, Farewell King of LA

NBA

Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles, CA – For 20 long and prosperous seasons, Kobe Bryant (the “Black Mamba“, the “King of LA“) has dominated, demolished and posterized competition all over the NBA while defending the purple and gold colors of the Los Angeles Lakers. Winning five NBA Championships, two NBA Finals MVP, One NBA Most Valuable Player, and 18 NBA All-Star selections while earning four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards in those appearances.

It’s been a magnificent ride, watching the man that has captivated the eyes of fans all over the world with his intensity, clutch and killer-instinct performances. While in a league filled with the most competitive basketball players on the earth, Kobe has represented the most fearless competitor individual personalities we have ever seen, next to Michael Jordan. Jordan, the man he idolized as a young boy. You can say that Jordan and Kobe’s careers have been a mere image of each other, Jordan sets the mold of greatness and competitiveness, while Kobe comes along to fill and expand as best he can.

The LA Forum was Kobe’s initial playground while the Staples Center became his backyard. Anointed the second coming of Mike in 1996, but started his reign until the year 2000.

Perhaps one of the greatest representors of Kobe’s personality is how he relishes being vilify by fans of other teams. “Kobe Sucks” was heard in 29 other arenas across the states. Not a single time did Kobe ever let that chant get to him. Not even being booed in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during an All-Star game got to him. Why would they love him anywhere? He demolished the Toronto Raptors by dropping 81 points on them in 2006. Just a year prior, he scored 62 points against the Dallas Mavericks, and few years later scored 61 on the New York Knicks.

People love hating Kobe for being great, for his intensity, for posterizing players like Steve Nash, Tyronn Lue, and Dwight Howard, among others. For simply having the courage and leadership to take over a Shaq-less team and taking it to the promise land. Maybe because he hit a running floater with :00.7 seconds left in regulation to force overtime before stunning the Suns at the buzzer with a off-the-dribble 3-pointer? Or maybe because he scored 22 in the second half and overtime to help make up for Shaq’s disqualification on fouls to give the Lakers a 3-1 in the series en route to their first championship? I say, people just love hating Kobe because they knew any giving night copy could do any of these things to their team, and there was nothing that was going to stop him from doing so.

Kobe will finish his NBA career having played in more than 1,340 regular-season games and 220 playoff games. The rest will be history.

Kobe’s relentlessness, tenacious, killer-instinct attitude will live forever in our lives and will be known for being one of the greatest to ever to have played the game, Hall of Famer on and off the courts.

The greatest thing about the universe is that all stars in it know that today, the largest of them all is the King of LA.

Thank you, Kobe!

Photo credit to Joweezy1984 via Flickr

Kobe Bryantcropped-Tha-Sports-Junkies-101-Logo-Sports-News.jpg