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The Greyhound

For Kobe Bean

For Kobe Bean

Photo courtesy of Charis Tsevis of

Sunday, Feb. 14 marked the last NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant will ever play in. This is Kobe Bryant, a man who may be the greatest Laker of all time. A player who holds All-Star Game records in points per game, steals and field goals made. The 18-time All-Star has accumulated 30 million votes in his career, by far the most of all time, and he has won four All-Star Game MVPs. And what’s even more impressive: all of these statistics are just from All-Star

Kobe, as he is simply known, or “the Black Mamba,” is, in this writer’s opinion, the best player since Michael Jordan. This week Jordan showed his respect for Kobe by giving him every shoe from the Jordan collection. Magic Johnson, another basketball legend, introduced him at the game in Toronto showing nothing but grace. And Stephen Curry — arguably the best player right now in the NBA — waited for Kobe to sign his jersey after the game. Players will forever respect Kobe’s greatness.

A first-ballot hall of famer, Kobe once scored 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. And Sunday Kobe left his last mark in Toronto at the All-Star Game , so now all that’s left is to say goodbye to the sport he loves, a game he has done so much for.

A humbled Kobe said on Sunday, “It feels like I’m passing on all the knowledge that I’ve gained in this game.” Kobe doesn’t see the end quite yet, although he knows it’s coming “It hasn’t hit home yet, I’m not going through this and thinking, ‘Oh, it’s coming to an end.’ I’m enjoying it moment by moment. And it feels damn good to be able to experience it.”

Black Mamba will never be forgotten. His career averages include: 25 points per game, 4.7 assists per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 1.5 steals per game. He has won five NBA Championships, and if it were not for Steve Nash stealing two MVP awards, Kobe would have been a three-time MVP. He is a nine-time defensive first-team member, Slam Dunk winner, and a life-long LA Laker.

As a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, this man has meant so much to basketball. The post fade away, clutch moments, and his signature fist pump. We even shout “Kobe!” when we crumple up a piece of paper to throw in the garbage can. The grit and toughness of a champion is not seen in every player, but Kobe defines it all.

Kobe doesn’t have to strive for another ring or scoring title. He can now just sit back and embrace his legacy.

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