Kobe Bryant. Whether you love or hate him, you can’t deny he’s an incredible athlete and one of the best basketball players of all time. The conclusion of the 2015-2016 NBA season marks the end of a truly remarkable career but Kobe had one last farewell at the Staples Center on April 13th. He scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz and officially ended his great NBA career.
Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996-2016 and in that time won 5 NBA championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010). He was named to the All-Star game 18 times, to the All-NBA first team 11 times and to the second and third teams twice each. He sits 3rd on the All-time points list with 33,643 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone (Michael Jordan is 4th on the list). Bryant has also had success on the international level. He represented Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, bringing home Gold at both events.
After it was all over, Kobe addressed the fans one last time: “This has been absolutely beautiful, I can’t believe it’s come to an end. You guys will always be in my heart and I sincerely appreciate it. No words can describe how I feel about you guys, and thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys!” I think it’s pretty clear, they love you too!
When asked what he will have left on the court, he responded “My heart and soul.” Happy retirement Kobe!