2016 wasn’t a great year for sports fans, Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant retired with David Ortiz following.
Kobe Bryant was an NBA icon taking the Los Angeles Lakers from Magic Johnson’s shadow from years prior, and making them one of the most dominant NBA squad under his watch there are 15 things we’ll miss most about Black Mamba.
#14. Catching MJ
Though 90% of NBA fans and experts will tell you that Michael Jordan was the best basketball player ever.
Kobe surely had the opportunity to put his name above MJ’s after his fifth NBA championship in his age 31 seasons, it appeared as though he had more than enough time to match Jordan 6 he wouldn’t make another NBA Finals appearance but it was fun to see him chase it.
#13. Supremes shooting
Bryant’s best all-around skills were his slick shooting, up until his 2014-15 season the black mambas field goal percentage was always well above 400 though Stephon curry gives us something entertaining to watch, nobody put on a shooting show like Kobe.
#12. intro at the Staples Center
Few things have been as exciting to listen to as longtime Lakers PA announcer Lawrence Tantor, the man who took over the job in 1981 made a legacy for himself with his iconic introduction of Bryant sadly we won’t be hearing the thousands of fans cheer when the name is called anymore.
#11. The LeBron debate
where here’s basketball fans debated as to who was the man right behind MJ was it Kobe, or the six years young LeBron James, both men took over struggling squads and make them perennial powerhouses each is a multi-time champion but with Kobe retiring much earlier than LBJ we don’t have to debate to go off of anymore.
#10. winning titles
This is for you passionate LA Lakers fans out there he brought home five championships for you and gave you something to watch every night, your support made him legendary his championship wins were all for you basketball is not the same.
#9. The sneakers
you can make a safety case that nobody Don sneakers that figuratively spelled swagger like those of Kobe’s, whichever ones he wore became iconic and must-have for all basketball fans especially the Laker colored purple and yellow ones.
#8. Dedication to the game
Not many men who are in their mid-30s have nothing left to prove and suffer a torn Achilles tendon would work extra hard to come back.
That’s what Bryant did in the 2012-2013 season, Bryant’s horrific injury ended his season but he fought back, even though his teams were not defending for the playoffs, he did everything in his power to help later land again for three more years.
#7. Loyalty to LA
As much as we love LeBron James, a lot of people will remember his legacy as a deserter he left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 to join the Miami Heat where he won two titles. Then he decided he had enough and went back to Cleveland but Bryant went through multiple rebuilds and spent his entire career with LA, instead of jumping ship he stayed to make them better.
#6. Rivalry with San Antonio
the Lakers and Spurs were the two most dominant NBA teams from 1999 to 2010, they combined for 9 NBA championships plus 2 other Finals appearances during that timeframe they met six times in the playoffs but the Lakers taking four meetings how often you a pair of powerhouses do it out for over a decade Kobe against Tim Duncan both guys left their team two dynasties that may not happen in the NBA ever again.
#5. Insert teammate Here
It didn’t matter who Kobe played with, he dominated year in and year out he and Shaquille O’Neal formed a lethal tandem that propelled the Lakers dynasty of the early 2000s years later Kobe got it down with Pau Gasol as his right-hand man whoever his teammates were Kobe automatically made them way better and more exciting to watch.
#4. NBA all-star games
Kobe made a ridiculous 18 all-star games including 17 years in a row from 2000 to 2016 even as he aged he kept showing that he was better than most of the NBA superstars they all showed respect to him.
As the ageless wonder kept dropping points against the best of the best the all-star game of the Kobe show but it won’t be anymore.
#3. Kobe dunks
Nothing pumps about basketball fans more than seeing their favorite players make a slam dunk.
Kobe dunks were a sight to behold especially in the final few years, no one was going to stop him from scoring no matter how beaten battered and aged his body became, he was taking that straight to the kitchen.
Nobody was more clutch when it literally came down to the final shot like Bryant, he made countless buzzer-beating shots in the clutch, with many of them coming in the playoffs.
No other athlete can brace to crunch time more than Bryant who relaxed and just shot away beautiful game-winners.
#1. Legendary status
A five-time NBA champion 18 times all-star 2 times NBA Finals MVP, 4 times NBA all-star game MVP, 2 times scoring champion and 2008 most valuable player.
Kobe did everything! As the NBA needed someone to become the next MJ the guy who people paid just to see and take over shows the black mamba stepped up.