Following the current 2015-2016 NBA season, Kobe Bryant will be retiring due to old age and continuous injury. Bryant, the future hall of fame player and fan favorite in Los Angeles, is leaving behind a legacy in his 20th season in the NBA.
Kobe broke the news of his upcoming retirement by posting a poem reflecting on his career through the players tribune website in late November. Father time and the snake bite of injury have caught up to Kobe Bryant, and Kobe is much aware of this. In his players tribune announcement, he was quoted saying, “my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
Once Kobe’s announcement was made, players, fans, and coaches reaction’s spread like wildfire, fueling discussion and inspiring nostalgic looks into Kobe’s long, great career.
According to basketballreference.com, Kobe’s accolades consist of five NBA titles with two finals MVP trophies, one league MVP award, four all-star game MVP awards and the rank of #3 on the NBA all-time scoring list. Many would agree that this is quite the resume for a kid who came directly to the NBA after high school.
Former NBA player Shane Battier was quoted via twitter saying, “Kobe pushed me harder than any opponent I’ve faced. He has my hoops respect.” Jessie Gonzalez, a 25-year-old fan of Kobe, was quoted by the LA Times when he claimed to have dropped everything he was doing when he heard of Kobe’s retirement so he could buy a Lakers ticket.
Many consider Kobe Bryant to be an icon on the court. Boys’ Latin’s very own MJ Black commented on the matter at hand by reflecting on Kobe’s greatness. MJ shared his appreciation of Kobe by saying, “Kobe is Michael Jordan junior.” MJ also called Kobe a go-getter who isn’t afraid to cut throats if it means getting a win.
MJ Black seems to be one of many avid supporters of Kobe, seeing the hero side of Kobe vs. the villain side that some opponents may see.
While faced with the question of what his post-retirement plans were, Kobe went on to explain how he is interested in the concept of a story. “I’ve always been interested in the hero vs. villain movement”, Kobe explained in an ABC news interview. Kobe said he wants to frame a story around the darker emotions that freeze athletes so he can teach them to be better.
Kobe Bryant, considered by many to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time, will go down in basketball history as a passionate leader who focused on one thing: winning.