Kobe Bryant was the sole reason why I started watching basketball. After witnessing Kobe hit a clutch shot to force overtime in Game 2 of the 2004 NBA Finals (Lakers vs Pistons), I immediately fell in love with the game. Though the Lakers ended up losing that series, the intensity and passion Kobe brought out to every game I’ve watched from that point on was truly inspiring.
After a remarkable career of 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe has announced that this will be his last season in the NBA. Words cannot describe how deeply saddened I am that this is the end for not only my favorite player, but the one who started it all for me. Though I know that it’s part of nature for athletes to move on at a certain age, the legacy and footprints that Kobe is leaving behind won’t ever be fulfilled. To me, Kobe Bryant was basketball.
Thank you #24, for all that you’ve done for the game.
This is not just a farewell to a retiring legend, but a farewell to one of the greatest influences the game has ever witnessed.