We have found ourselves at the end of the road. April 13th is the last day we will ever see the legendary player Kobe Bryant play on an NBA court. The majority of sports fans said that they were ready for him to retire, but that was a lie. Tears will be shed, noses will run, and millions will cheer as we celebrate the end of an illustrious career. Many great players have put on that Laker uniform however, there is no doubt that Kobe has cemented himself as a top 3 Laker of all time. His ranks amongst all Lakers can speak to this alone:
- Points 33,583 (1st All-Time)
- 3-pt FG 1,821(1st All-Time)
- Steals 1,943(1st All-Time)
- Games 1,345(1st All-Time)
Kobe has undoubtedly gained the respect of other Laker greats such as Magic Johnson who has written a heartfelt farewell/welcoming letter depending on how you look at it. Magic posted this letter to his website:
For 20 years, I’ve watched you dominate the game of basketball. From the Great Western Forum to the world famous Staples Center, you have dedicated your life to becoming one of the greatest players this game has ever seen. Through your commitment to success, outstanding work ethic, and winning attitude, each year you perfected your abilities beyond expectation.
You are an example to your teammates and fans all over the world through your extraordinary achievements on the court and extensive philanthropic efforts off the court. As a 5-time NBA champion, 18-time NBA All-Star, NBA MVP and 2-time Finals MVP, you led your team by example and showed them how to achieve greatness. As a 15-time member of the All-NBA Teams and a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Teams you continued to over-deliver, but it didn’t stop there. You earned the 2nd greatest scoring performance in the NBA with 81 points in a single game and became 3rd on the NBA All-Time scoring list, forever etching your name in NBA History.
Every night you played, I couldn’t wait to watch knowing that I would witness an unbelievable shot or move that I had never seen on the court. I marveled at the skills and loved the energy you brought to the game wearing that purple and gold uniform. You never disappointed the city, Laker fans, and basketball fans worldwide. All you cared about was winning games and championships and that’s why so many people love you.
You will join a legendary list of Laker greats and Hall of Famers. Their jerseys hang proudly from the rafters in Staples Center and soon yours will shine next to them; from Gail Goodrich, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes, James Worthy and Shaquille O’Neal.
Very few people have changed the game of basketball but you will be recognized as one of them alongside my “Dream Team” teammates, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of your career. Thanks for all the fantastic memories. There will never be another Kobe Bryant!
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Magic Johnson Enterprises”
So the question is: Who do I watch tonight? The Warriors quest for 73, or Kobe Bryant’s final game? Tonight will be a spectacle and there is no way anyone should miss the sending off of Kobe Bryant. POINT, BLANK, PERIOD!