Pretty much anybody mentioning the name of Kobe Bryant from the year 1996 until about 2006 was either a person defending his greatness or a hater telling you how much he’ll never be better than Jordan. For a decade straight, Kobe Bryant inspired an entire generation of basketball fans. Kids on playground everywhere wanted to be Kobe Bryant. He helped to give Adidas some much needed brand recognition in the NBA and his number 8 jersey for the Los Angeles Lakers became a flag for Laker Loyalty. Not to mention Kobe did well for Sprite as well with his historic Missy Elliot commercial. Kobe switched it up to the number 24 right before the 2006-07 season and then continued his reign of greatness through the league for another decade. 2K16 Kobe will leave the building. Whether you hate him or you love him, he did his job because he made you never took his eyes off him AND he won a lot more than he lost. The man is a legend and if you don’t have a clue, just spend 30 minutes on YouTube watching the “Kobe Bryant” videos with the most views. If you need the numbers to be impressed, go to Wiki or NBA.com. I’m just here to let you know a few creative facts, #NashFact to be exact. Thoughts of what I believe Kobe Bryant means to the game of basketball and the culture of fans that is shared through the NBA.
I plan to offer up my version of facts that will assist you with properly appreciating the living legend that is Kobe Bryant because this generation of young folks and internet addicts seems to have a hard time appreciating greatness when it’s here. Even the legacy of Michael Jordan was almost tarnished too much by his Washington Wizardry and the footage of the Iverson crossover. Kobe’s injuries and his last loss in the NBA Finals might be the way these new age NBA fans decide to remember the player known as The Black Mamba.
#NashFact Numero Uno: Kobe is the epitome of greatness for several reasons that have nothing to do with basketball specifically. For starters, he is a black man of international background and at the age of 17 went from high school into his professional career. One of the most sought after career fields in the world. He is leaving that career as arguably one of the best to ever do it. He can retire and his kids will never have to work again after 20 years on the job. Ever heard of anybody else doing that type of work after graduation?
#NashFact Number 2: Kobe had the second best scoring output in NBA History. There is video evidence to demonstrate the type of zone a person need to be in when attempting to score 81 points in a game. The Lakers were down 14 at halftime, which means they probably didn’t believe they could win that game as a team. Then Kobe Bryant decided to cement his place in the history books like a Basketball God.
#NashFact Number three: Kobe has broken many more hearts of sports fans than your favorite player ever will. Unless your favorite player is Michael Jordan, nobody has killed more dreams of glory than Kobe. Kobe has cost plenty of people money because just like Floyd Mayweather, people love to place a bet against the man. Clutch moments during important games are how Kobe Bryant built his legacy. He has caused plenty of people sorrow on their ride home from the arena and during the next morning at work the misery has continued. Places like Dallas, Phoenix, Portland and Sacramento all have sports enthusiast that barely survived Black Mamba Bites.
#NashFact Number four: Kobe Bryant gets a tremendous amount of love in a city that seems to be the player hater capital of the universe. Los Angeles finds a reason to hate on anybody. Not when it comes to Kobe Bryant. He’s repeatedly allowed to get away with questionable decisions that are grounds for dismissal for any other person. Kobe just has these blunders and they get overlooked, like that time he was a rapper. I could go on…but let’s wrap this up.
#NashFact Number five: Kobe Bryant is not only a far better player than his father, but he is one of the best players to play for one of the best franchises in the history of a professional sport. The man is good. I believe that any common person should never disrespect magnitude of his accomplishments. Kobe belongs on the NBA version of Mt. Rushmore.
Who knows if LeBron James will stand among the names of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem-Abul Jabbar, Oscar Robinson, Wilt Chamberlin, and Jerry West once his career is over and 20 years have passed. Kobe Bryant worked harder than any other player in the 90s and 2000s to become the best player in the world. For 20 years he’s proved that you will never forget what he has done for the game of basketball. Remember that next time you decide to bring up the same tired arguments about why Kobe won’t be better than Jordan. He doesn’t need to be better than Jordan. The rest of the NBA needs to figure out how to be as good as Kobe.
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