A Retiring Legend

Kobe Bryant

Julian Basena, Writer

    An M.V.P season, a five time NBA champion, and 19 seasons overall. These are just a few of the countless accomplishments Kobe Bryant (a.k.a the Black Mamba) has accumulated over his career. As most basketball fans know, Kobe Bryant is retired at the end of the 2015-16 season, leaving records left to be broken and an impact on everyone in the NBA world.

     While attending local Pennsylvania high school Lower Merion, Bryant became known as the best high school basketball player in the country. He was eligible for the NBA draft immediately after graduation. After being picked up by the Charlotte Hornets, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he began to make history and has remained throughout his storied career.

Despite skepticism due to Bryant’s age, he became a sensation among Laker fans, proving that with maturity and the right skillset, any player can be great in the NBA. Before Shaquille O’Neal came to play with the Lakers, Kobe, who is particularly adept at scoring from all areas of the court, recorded two scoring titles and an 81 point game. In addition, Kobe has achieved other feats, such as 15-time All-Star, 12-time Defensive Player of the Year, a League MVP on the 2007-08 season, and two Team USA Gold Medals over his tremendous career.

Bryant has also been known for his famous rivalries with the Celtics led by Kevin Garnett and even has had clashes with Tim Duncan and the Spurs.  

Many people have different opinions about Kobe Bryant as a player and social icon. Long Reach JV Basketball Point Guard Freshman, Bab Getachew says, “Kobe Bryant isn’t the greatest… Michael Jordan is obviously the G.O.A.T.” However, Getachew does not intend to make Bryant sound irrelevant. Since he plays a similar position as the NBA star, he says, “I look up to Kobe, and I love him as a player.”

Freshman Jason Davis has been a fan of Kobe Bryant as long as he has been a Los Angeles Lakers fan. “I thought Kobe was at his best in 2008 when he won the finals,” Davis says. This was Davis’ first and favorite memory of Kobe Bryant. Because of the impact that Bryant has made on Davis, he often tries to mimic Bryant’s style.

While most everyone can agree that Bryant was once a shining star of the NBA, some think that he does not shine as brightly anymore. Long Reach JV coach Coach Garrant said, “I think it is his time for him to retire. He actually should’ve [retired] one or two years ago.”

Bryant certainly had several reasons to retire, such as his rise in age and decline in athleticism, which may have led to his lowering shooting percentage and rising amount of injuries. This was apparent in his 2013-14 season in which he played only six games.

Bryant had a bittersweet ending to his career by scoring 60 points and gave fans of the Lakers and the rest of America a show to remember forever.

Bryant has left a large mark in the NBA. One thing almost everyone can agree on is that he is guaranteed to enter the Hall of Fame.