Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Written By: Kendall Garriss
On Monday night, Kobe Bryant will become the first player in NBA history to have two different jerseys – the No. 8 that he wore for the first half of his two-decade NBA career and the No. 24 that he wore for the second half – retired by a franchise as the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors. Bryant will become just the 10th Laker to have his jersey retired by the historic franchise that owes five of their 16 championships to the Black Mamba’s efforts.
Let’s take a brief look at some of Kobe’s major accomplishments:
Five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. 33,570 points, third all time in NBA history. Eighteen All-Star selections. Fifteen All-NBA selections. Four All-Star MVPs. Two Finals MVPs. The 2007-08 regular season MVP.
While this is just a snapshot of Bryant’s 20-year career, it still won’t do a justice to accurately describe the impact left by his legacy in the NBA and the basketball world at large. Bryant had a competitive drive that was unmatched by any player and has served as an inspiration for young players everywhere to strive for greatness.
“He took every game like it was his last,” Ingram told Lakers’ reporter Mike Trudell. “He took advantage of any game or any aspect of the game. He wanted to master everything and was definitely an inspiration of our generation and, of course, many generations [before] me.”
“If you mention the Lakers, you think about Kobe,” Ball added. “Just watching Kobe, I love his mentality. Not scared of nobody, always wants to win, very competitive, so I think that’s the biggest thing to take away from his game. Like I said, I’m glad he’s getting both jerseys retired. I think that’s fitting for him. Hopefully we’ll put on a good show for him.”
Monday night will be Kobe’s first Lakers game since his epic 60-point walk-off performance against the Utah Jazz last year. It will also be an emotional but joyous opportunity for the NBA community, fans, players, and coaches to share stories and reflect on the transcendent career of one the greatest to ever do it.
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