One of the greatest players to ever play the game steps onto the floor at Sleep Train Arena one last time and it only seem fitting to pay tribute to a player who has been a thorn in the side of Kings fans since the early 2000’s. Over Kobe Bryant’s 20 year career he has broken nearly every record while displaying a competitive drive that we may never see again. He truly embodies the meaning of a true warrior on and off the court.
This article was not written to display my disdain for Kobe but actually do the complete opposite. I want to encourage Kings fans’ either watching the game on TV or sitting in the stands to appreciate what the black mamba has done for the game.
Whether you like Kobe or not no one would argue his competitive spirit. Every night he took the floor he wanted to do everything in his power to outwork you and win. I know fans wish this Kings team had even half of his drive and effort on a nightly basis.
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I could write an entire article listing his career achievements but to put it into perspective what he has done I’ve included a list of major accomplishments:
- 5 x NBA Champion
- 2 x NBA Scoring Leader
- 2 x Finals MVP
- 16 x All-NBA Teams (11 of those are 1st team)
- 12 x All-Defensive Teams (9 of those are 1st team)
- 17 x All-Star (About to be 18)
- As of December 2015, he has 1 eighty-point game, 5 sixty-point games, 25 fifty-point games, and 112 forty-point games.
- 5 of those 112 forty-point games have come against the Kings including a 48 point and 16 rebound game in the 2001 playoff series.
- 3rd all-time in points with 32,982.
- Currently holds NBA records in: Most seasons played for a single franchise (20); Only player in NBA history with more than 30,000 points and 6,000 assists; The youngest player to start an NBA game: 18 years, 158 days; Youngest player to start an NBA All-Star game: 19 years, 169 days; Most career regular-season games played for the Lakers at 1,309.
The purpose of showcasing those career accomplishments was to take a step back from our fanhood and appreciate a hell of a basketball player.
I can guarantee one thing about tonight’s game. That being Kobe will lace up his Nike’s and step onto the court with the intention of killing the Kings one last time.
My hope is that Kings fans stand and give Kobe a well deserved ovation to pay homage to an all-time great. I also hope that once he steps in between the lines and the ball is tossed into the air that Kings fans rain down with boos and cowbells because Kobe wouldn’t have it any other way.