Farewell to The Mamba
December 10, 2015
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On November 29, 2015, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant announced his retirement on the ‘Player’s Tribune.’ After twenty years in the league, five NBA titles, and a MVP award; the Mamba, as many had suspected, explained in his letter to basketball that it was time to call it quits. Although everyone was expecting the news sooner or later, no one was truly prepared for the loss of the greatest basketball player.
It is clear that over the last four seasons the Lakers have really struggled to play like the All-Star team so many of us are accustomed to see. The Lakers’ last playoff appearance was in 2013 with Mike Brown as their head coach. As many hardships continued to plow into the Lakers office and bench, a single person was always in the equation to the solution, Kobe. Lakers’ fans and coaching staff believed that Kobe would be a cure to many of the Lakers mishaps but with Kobe growing older and facing countless injuries, it was evident that Kobe could not be the savoir this time. Following his devastating injury during the 2012-2013 season, the fans expected Kobe to return a year later with more fire in his game than ever. When Kobe returned, players, fans, and the entire world realized his game would never be the same.
After being drafted straight out of high school in 1996, Kobe was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers by the Charlotte Hornets where he played phenomenally for 20 years and added five more NBA Championship banners to the Lakers arena. He dedicated himself to the game and played through blood, sweat, and tears. Despite the scandals and accusations Kobe Bryant always prevailed, he was the most dedicated athlete some of us have ever seen. Kobe Bryant has taught many of us plenty of life lessons, such as giving up is never a problem, pressure and negativity is only an opportunity to rise, and you can only be you.
The Mamba has become the best at what he does and his everlasting dedication to the game of basketball earns him more respect. As senior, Megan Sinclair said, “Kobe has made his mark.” We should all thank Kobe for the memories he has brought us all, the success, and motivation. Lakers fan or not, we all love Kobe Bryant and we are truly grateful for everything he has done for the game of basketball and our own dreams. Farewell Mamba.