Kobe Bryant’s Legacy
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It’s official, at the end of the season Kobe Bryant will hang up the jersey for the last time and retire for good. This is not a surprise for many, as Bryant currently has career lows in just about every statistical category and just can’t seem to stay healthy. However, going to a Lakers game and not seeing him on the court will take some getting used to.
Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia and was the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant. When Bryant was young the family moved to Italy so that his father could play in an Italian basketball league. While he was in Italy, the younger Bryant played soccer as well as basketball. After the family moved back to Philadelphia, Bryant joined Lower Merion High School and brought them four straight state championships. After the fourth year, Bryant declared that he would enter his name into the 1996 NBA draft. He was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets, but he was quickly traded to the Lakers,where the 17 year old would be spending the next 19 years of his life playing. Bryant got off to a hot start as it only took one and a half seasons for him to become a star; he was selected as the youngest All Star starter in NBA history.
Over the next 17 seasons, Bryant won five NBA championships, one league MVP award, and two scoring titles. Over his career he also made a record 17 All Star game appearances. After winning his second Olympic gold medal in 2012, the injuries began to come in bunches. First came the torn Achilles tendon that caused him to sit out a year. This was followed by a fractured bone in his leg. Despite this, Bryant never quit and returned six weeks later, only to tear his rotator cuff in his shoulder and miss the rest of the season.
Despite his recent struggles, Bryant will undoubtedly be remembered for the game winning shots, massive dunks, and his once-in-a-generation work ethic. There are many moments in his career that one may look at and compare Bryant to players like Michael Jordan, something every basketball player dreams of. Here’s to the player, man, and legend, who will be in the hearts of basketball fans forever.