The title in itself is very cliche because every Kobe fan is using it right about now, and that’s alright with me, because I think we all feel the same way about this.
You’ve been in my life for the past 20 years. I’m only 22. You’re all that I know of the Lakers, but I’ve got to tell you what you mean to me.
You were the inspiration for my first screen name and email back in the day on AIM., Kobelover369. The 369 honestly were just random numbers on the keyboard because everything else was taken, but none the less, you were the reason.
You were selected for 18 All Star games. You hold the record for most all star game selections among active players.
You’re the reason people yell “KOOOOBEEE” when throwing away a piece of trash in the garbage from a far distance or shooting a ball on the court.
You brought the Lakers 5 championships. I wore my 3-peat shirt as much as possible in elementary school. I was so proud of you and the Lakers.
You’re the reason people my age played the game of basketball. You pushed yourself and everyone around you to be the best.
January 22, 2006, you had another monumental moment. 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. History made before my eyes.
January 12, 2016 was the last time I had the chance to see you play in person. My best friend and I went to the game to celebrate her birthday. You only played the first half, but I was extremely happy to see the Mamba back on the court for one of the last times. We made the jumbotron at the Staples Center. I was secretly in hope that you saw me up there. The Lakers also won that game AND the fans got tacos!! It was a beautiful memory.
The last few years of your career was challenging for you health wise. It broke every Laker fans’ heart to not see you play in every game of these past few seasons. But we always had hope for you once you were on the court.
It’s now your 20th season of your career. November 29, 2016 you announced your retirement, my heart broke. The poem you wrote was beautiful and extremely touching. I cry every time you say you’re “at peace” with your decision, because I’m not. The constant videos and letters to you that are flooding social media, bring tears to my eyes.
April 13, 2016 is officially Mamba day. Your last game of your career. All I can say is Thank you Kobe, for the history that you made with the Lakers and in the NBA. I hope you know the impact that you made on this generation. You’re a Laker for life.
So, to #33, #8, #24, #10, The Black Mamba, Kobe Bean Bryant, I love you and we’ll miss you!
Till Next Time,