Probably easy to say this now, but Kobe Bryant’s time to retire from the NBA has been here for a while. And it was really just about him finally seeing that and deciding to give up what has been one of the great NBA careers of all-time. As far as what he’s personally accomplished and what the Los Angeles Lakers have accomplished with him. At least arguably the team of the 2000s winning four NBA Finals and six Western Conference Finals. The player of the 2000s at least if not post-Michael Jordan. 2008 MVP, 11 times All-NBA First team. But the Lakers haven’t made the NBA Playoffs since 2012 and have been pretty bad since. Actually being the second best team not just in Los Angeles, but at Staples Center with the Clippers becoming a real force in the NBA. Yes the Clippers and you’re not seeing that, because you’re high right now. Either on Red Bull, or something illegal.
Kobe, has been beat up the last few seasons, because of age and so many miles that he’s piled up on the NBA court which takes a toll on anyone’s body even great players who accomplish superhuman feats. So Kobe I believe is late on this and the Lakers still aren’t very good and again looking like one of the worst teams in the NBA at 2-13 right now. Headed to their fourth straight non-playoff season in a league where 8-15 teams make the playoffs in each conference. All you have to do is be mediocre to make the NBA Playoffs and the Lakers aren’t even that right now. So as great of a career that Kobe has had and I at least believe the best player post-Michael Jordan, at least in the 2000s. But not the greatest Los Angeles Laker ever. Both Kareem and Magic are better, but it has been time for Kobe to call it a career.
I grew up watching NBA basketball in the 1980s just outside of Washington with the Lakers being my second team behind the Wizards, who were called the Bullets back then. And fell out of love with the Lakers when they signed Shaquille O’Neal and went to a more ball control half court style of offense. Which was common for most NBA teams in the 1990s. But I’ve always have a lot of respect for Kobe Bryant, because he was truly a great player and not just a great talent. He was a gentlemen and professional basketball player in an era of realty TV and pop culture celebrity wannabes who played basketball really just to get on ESPN Sportscenter, be celebrated online and further their NBA careers. Kobe, is very similar to Tim Duncan in how he presents himself as the constant professional who lets his game speak for itself. He was a great player who would have thrived in the NBA hey day of the 1980s just like Big Tim and will be surely missed.