There’s no looking back now – Kobe Bryant’s career has finally come to an end. After announcing his retirement in late November of last year, the Black Mamba embarked on a Farewell Tour of sorts, leaving behind autographed shoes and inspirational messages to seasoned veterans and promising rookies alike. Over the last few weeks, Kobe has been given steady rest over the last month, perhaps to prepare his body for the hefty minutes he powered through on the eventful farewell game known as #MambaDay. Kobe put forth a vintage display of basketball prowess, scoring an astounding 60 points thanks to an unlimited clip of field goal attempts including the go-ahead jumper to secure a Lakers victory.
Did Kobe need to tire himself out and hoist up all those shots? Of course not. He has nothing left to prove and by the early part of the second quarter, he already surpassed Michael Jordan’s scoring mark on his own final game (MJ had 15 points as part of his final bow). But Kobe’s competitive nature doesn’t wear away like his physical body does, and he wanted to show the world one last time that he’s still capable of getting buckets and his lasting legacy is one of greatness.
It’s incredibly surreal to see him retire. We’ve watched him get drafted, get booed as a rookie, start All-Star games undeservedly. We’ve also witnessed him rise to MJ-level greatness, win championships with and without a fellow superstar, and dominate the game like few have ever done in history. Farewell, Kobe. It’s been an insane run. Thanks for the memories.