After 18 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant is heading into potentially the last two seasons of his incredible NBA career. Most of us Lakers fans don’t know our team without Kobe leading the way or willing the purple and gold to victory on a nightly basis.
The superstar is unique in so many ways staying true to his style and swagger with no apologies or mercy along the way. Many view Kobe as cocky, arrogant, an awful teammate, downright unlikable, but those five rings speak louder than his critics.
Although many of Kobe’s fiercest rivals have come and gone, unable to stand the test of time or retired for whatever reasons, the future Hall of Famer is still kicking — motivated to continue defying the odds with everyone counting him out at 36-years-old.
How much time does the face of the Lakers franchise have left?
Two years. Maybe more. Maybe less.
Kobe is intent on continuing to add to his legacy as he tries to hold off the inevitability of father time getting the best of him.
Once Kobe officially decides to walk away from the game and announce his retirement, the NBA will never be the same. The league will lose the last of a dying breed of superstars that simply do not care about what anyone thinks or being politically correct.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Both stars considered to be the two players in the league and that likely won’t change anytime soon. Unfortunately, neither player can hold a candle to Kobe in terms of attitude or court presence.
No other stars in the league today possess the kind of individuality that Kobe exudes. Kobe isn’t the most-liked player and never will be nor would he want to be, but it works for him and it has worked for players in the past.
Back in the ’80s, Magic Johnson’s Lakers created a bitter rivalry with Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics that endured of more than decade. The Showtime era in Los Angeles led to the Bad Boy Pistons in Detroit and evolved into the dynasty built by Michael Jordan in Chicago.
Some of the NBA’s best players emerged in and were inspired by this era of basketball played during the ’80s and ’90s. Kobe is one of them.
Unforgiving. Determined. Unapologetic. Champion. All words that describe arguably the greatest Laker of all-time.
So although the league is in good shape with stars like LeBron and Durant leading the way, it simply won’t be the same without the old school swagger that Kobe brings to the table. A new era will begin once the Black Mamba sees his jersey retired and lifted into the rafters at the Staples Center.
Hopefully, we’ve got a few more years before the Lakers star decides he’s got nothing left to give. In these final years, we need to appreciate what he’s brought to the game and what he’ll be taking with him once the sand finally falls out the hourglass.
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