Tha Sports Junkies 101

Kobe Bryant has No. 8 and 24 retired Monday night at the Staples Center

Black Mamba Jason Namdos via Flickr


Black Mamba Out!

Last night the Los Angeles Lakers welcomed home Kobe Bryant “aka” the Black Mamba as they retired his number 8 and 24 Jersey.

The night was full of emotion, excitement, and reminiscing. President of basketball operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson embraced Bryant with love.

Passing the touch

“We’re here to celebrate the greatest whose ever worn the purple and gold, for 20 years, he thrilled us, he made us scratch our heads, what did we just see, what did we just witness and he gave us five NBA championships,” Magic said.

Monday night the Staples Center was filled with fans, former teammates, players, Lakers management, and family. Both Jerseys were raised high in front of an electric crowd chanting the five-time champion’s name.

Bill Russell, Jeanie Buss, Allen Iverson, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Rob Pelinka, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and many more attended the ceremony.

Each speaker from Johnson, Buss and Bryant delivered a heartfelt speech. After Buss passed the mic both number 8 and 24 were retired, and to no one’s surprise the future Hall of Famer made it about the city of Los Angeles. (Much respect)

The Future

“It’s also about the next generation, it’s about this current Laker roster that we have here. It’s about embodying the spirit that exists in those jersey’s up there and carrying this organization forward so that the next 20 years are better than the past 20 years and that’s what it’s about,” Bryant said.

Bryant showed gratitude and appreciation for the greats that came before him and gave him a chance. Afterward, Bryant explained the importance of the fans and his family.

Whether you like the Black Mamba or not one thing is for sure he is loyal. (insert Kendrick Lamaar) The Philadelphia native could have left the Lakers, but decided to own up to his mistakes and work.

The Black Mamba went through the highs and lows. Bryant experienced what it was like to go through a partial rebuild. People said he couldn’t win without Shaq, but he did.

Critics said that he was selfish, but he learned how to be a mentor to former and current players today and willed a few to championships.  (Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and Ron Artest to name a few).

The 18-time all-star helped this organization add five more titles to the trophy case. The two-time finals MVP won three championships in number 8 and two in 24.

This was a perfect night, well except for Kevin Durant sending the Lakers home via game-winning dagger. However, it was a close game throughout the night with Golden State winning it 116-114 in OT.

Thank you for 20-years #KobeBryant, #BlackMamba.