Black Mamba will slither away after this season
The year of 1996 presented the 50th draft class of the National Basketball Association. It would be that year in which Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, and Kobe Bryant were drafted. Originally drafted by the Charlotte Hornets at the 13th overall pick, Kobe would end up being traded to The Los Angeles Lakers. That trade became the start of additional Lakers history. At the age of 18, Bryant was already seeing the success story unfold for himself during his rookie season. He eventually transitioned from playing limited minutes behind Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones, to starting and averaging a little over 15 minutes per game of playing time. The earlier stages of his career were the mark of franchised super-star, who was often compared to the worlds greatest player wearing number 23.
The comparisons to Michael Jordan met their match during the 3 back-to-back-to-back championships won by Kobe and the Lakers during 1999-2002. You can gain a sense of how and why the comparisons ranged in from every direction. It wasn’t about the championships won, it was more of so how Bryant worked around the court. The fade away shots, the composure during an offensive set, the mindset – almost all signals flash green in similarity to MJ. “Even though he stole all my moves, but that’s OK. I still love him like a brother,” Jordan said about Kobe.
While it wasn’t confirmed that the 2015-2016 season would be the last season that Kobe Bryant would play, it was sensed heavily by fans. The mind and body of Kobe have come to reach separate agreements on how to move forward in the present and Future.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers entered The Oracle Arena on November 24th of this year where they would be defeated by the undefeated Golden State Warriors. You could see the frustration gush out on Kobe’s perspiring face, enough to make you feel bad for him. The young soul of Stephen Curry was once the stamina-driven Kobe Bryant.
What is next for Kobe Bryant? Could it be sports analysis with Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Ernie Johnson? Or perhaps coaching? Imagine being the league’s newest prospect and Kobe Bryant is your mentor and basketball coach.
As the Lakers continue to struggle through their season, each and every game becomes a farewell to the player that has been cheered, booed, loved, and hated. Overall one of the greatest with five rings underneath his belt, the 17 time all-star will call it quits after the 2015-2016 NBA season.
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