I became an ardent Basketball follower in the late 90s and I will always allude my love for the sport to my big brothers, Big Doz and Big Yomz because they always talked about it. I remember both these guys loved Shaquille O’Neal so much even Big Yomz had to name his football team back in High School Shaq Attackers. As I mentioned earlier, I started following the sport keenly in the late 90s and from the very first game I saw Shaquille O’Neal play in (delayed broadcast though), he became been my all-time best player of the sport, but that is story for another day. So before I get to the crux of the matter I am a Shaquille O’Neal man but much respect to Kobe Bryant.
Most of my adult life, I have been known (to friends and family) to just do stuffs that confound everyone around me, it is not that I want to be different, I usually just want to find out for myself rather than take other people’s words. I am a shy person and I have had my fair share of conversations going askew, and in those moments, to make it feel like news if I could I would puke an elephant. So it was when a good friend asked me to share a plate of pounded yam and egusi with her and such was my disappointment that I vowed to never take her words or recommendation at anything seriously ever again. It was the worst meal I have had in a while and this is coming from someone who has had to endure enough disappointing meals at a place I would not love to mention. Other people’s opinion tend to be a little too over-implied.
So is the way I feel when I hear the name Kobe Bryant but I am going to try to be as objective as possible.
Kobe Bryant might not be the best player to play the game but I know you cannot make a list of 10 greatest National Basketball Association (NBA) without throwing his name into the frame. Born Kobe Bean Bryant on the 23rd of August 1978, the Philadelphia native who is 6 feet 6 inches tall moved into the NBA straight from High School spending 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won 5 NBA titles (2000 – 2002, 2009, 2010) with the Lakers, made the NBA All-Star team 18 times (1998, 2000 – 2016), he was twice named NBA finals Most Valuable Player (2009 and 2010) and also led the NBA in scoring twice (2009 and 2010) just to mention a few.
Is Mamba as Kobe is also known as good as advertised? Yes he is, for him to be the third highest scoring player in NBA history Mamba is surely as good as portrayed. Kobe Bryant made a total of 33,663 points from 1,346 games scoring 8,378 free throws and 1,827 three pointers including 11,719 field goals. Kobe sits pretty behind legends Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Karl Malone both of whom scored 38,387 and 36,928 points respectively. This puts Kobe ahead of my all-time best player (Shaquille O’Neal) in terms points scored but on the flipside the Mamba is credited with the most field goal misses in the history of the game and Shaq is not on the list of most misses. Kobe Bryant had about 14,481 misses from over 27,000 attempts.
Kobe is arguably the best ever player to have donned the Lakers jersey and clearly one of the best to ever play the game and even the sex scandal of 2003 (the charges against him were dropped) could not steal the shine off his beautiful career. Kobe hit a career high 81 points in 2006 against the Toronto Raptors making him record the second highest points in a single game behind Wilt ‘The Stilt’ Chamberlain’s record of 100 points for Philadelphia Warriors when they came up against New York Knicks in 1962. Kobe was also part of the U.S Olympic team that beat Spain to clinch gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
He played his final game for the Lakers against Utah Jazz signing off with 60 points on the night from 50 shots and it was rumored that Shaquille O’Neal had dared him to score 50 points before the game.
Kobe Bean Bryant retires from the game he played for 20 years……….. All the best Mamba
Thanks for your time guys.