Column: Goodbye Kobe

Column: Goodbye Kobe

By: Jason Benitez, spring reporter

The one time NBA MVP, the 6’6 shooting guard from Lower Merion High School with 5 NBA championships, two finals MVP’s, and 18 All-Star selections played his last game EVER last night! Kobe Bryant’s legacy will live on forever. Arguably one of the greatest lakers of all time, Kobe went out with a bang. Kobe went off for 60 points last night against the Utah Jazz in his final game, his sixth time scoring 60 or more points.

It is important to take time and review what Kobe has really done these past 20 years. Kobe changed the game forever and many think he is not just the greatest laker but the greatest player of all time. For the past 2 decades Kobe has inspired generations and almost everyone who watches or plays basketball. Kobe proved no matter how young he was, he belonged. Kobe has some of the most memorable games ever. He gave Toronto 81 points! This was the 2nd highest scoring game in NBA history, after former Laker Wilt Chamberlain who went off for 100. But Wilt was a 7- footer, and his shots were impossible to block. Kobe also scored 65, 62, 61, and 60 twice.

Kobe was drafted 13th overall in the 1996 draft to the Charlotte Hornets, but then traded to the Los   Angeles Lakers moments after. Kobe was one of two players in the draft to be drafted out of high school, the other being Jermaine O’Neal. From the jump Kobe was a superstar. He had a work ethic of no other. When no one was around, late nights, early mornings, Kobe was always in the gym getting better. Kobe is third on the all-time scoring list with 33,643 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 38,387 and Karl Malone with 36,928 points.

The Los Angeles Lakers are a big name organization for all the great players. Players like Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,Magic Johnson, and of course Kobe Bryant. Kobe leads all Lakers of all time in minutes with 48,637, 2nd in points with 33,643, 2nd in assist with 6,306, 3rd in rebounding with 7,047, 1st in steals with 1,944, and 5th in blocks with 640.

Bryant tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan for most All-NBA selections with 15. Kobe had four straight 50-point games and he was the only player to do it in last 50 years. Kobe is also one of five players in NBA history to play for at least 20 seasons. The other players are all big men which include Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kobe literally did it all and he will go down as one of the greatest ever, thank you Kobe!

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