Written and Media by Alex Carie.
The time has come that many basketball fans wish never had to happen. The time has come that Kobe Bryant has decided to hang up the basketball sneakers and leave the game of basketball. After 20 years of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, he has finally decided that it is time for him to step away from the game.
Bryant may be “old” compared to many players in the NBA, but the way he left his legacy in the final game of his career proves that he is still, and will forever be, one of the best players ever to play the game. Bryant was able to score his fourth 60-point game of his career in the final night of his career.
To back track, let’s go to the 1996 draft. The 17-year-old high school senior Kobe Bryant was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets as the thirteenth overall draft pick. Bryant was quickly traded to the Lakers. He then played 20 years with the Lakers. They would end up being the only team that he would ever play for, which makes him one of only 11 players ever to play that long for one team (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL).
He not only played for one team his whole career, but he had a decorated career as well. Some would make the argument that he was the best player ever to play the game. He is second all-time with five NBA championship rings, one NBA MVP, two Olympic gold medals, 18 All-star selections, and 33,643 points, which will leave him as the fourth highest scoring player of all time.
Some people say that Michael Jordan has been the best basketball player of all time up to this point. However, according to statistics, Bryant should not be forgotten about when discussing the top player. When it comes to points scored in a career, Bryant has over a thousand points more than Jordan. Bryant and Jordan got the opportunity to play against each other eight times in their careers. Jordan averaged more than two points per game than Bryant, but Bryant had a better field goal percentage, rebounding average, and assist average, and won five of the eight head-to-head meetings.
Bryant had one of the most decorated basketball careers of all times. No one can argue that. The loyalty towards one team is unmatched, and his legacy will last forever. The question that remains in the balance, is Kobe Bryant the best basketball player of all time? His final game supports his cause.