I am unable to wrap my head around this being Kobe’s last season. He has brought so much not only to the NBA but has touched millions upon millions around the world with his displays at work ethic and unmatched drive to succeed. His personality has impacted me from an early age, from his 6 month, 6 days a week, 6 hour workout plan during the off season to his in game dominance beating out Laker records time after time, it will be looked at in history as the epitome of an illustrious career.
For me Kobe has confirmed in my mind what we all intuitively know internally on a lower, subconscious, reptilian level that if we persist and are stringent enough to push on something long enough we will inevitability come up with a result of our liking. On a core level I cannot say we know of anyone who loves the game like Kobe loves the game. We look at Michael as a competitor and Lebron as a freak of nature, but when it comes to truly love of the leather and the adaptation of his game from wear and tear on the body, no one comes close. As I write this blog it really bothers me that at a moment like this people can really critique his game after all he has done. This also goes to show that no matter how much you do, you cannot convert keyboard heroes who live in their mom’s basement into believing in your bigger picture purpose.
Kobe’s game for me is not and was not just about putting the ball in the basket it was truly about being different. Let me explain. Every year 60 players are drafted into the league as well as around 20-30 floating free agents from overseas or players who have formerly played in the NBA. To get into the league in the first place is an awesome feat, less than one tenth of 1% of all american have made it that far, just to put it into perspective. Ok, cool from there. From there the average NBA player only can stay there for around 5 years for a number of reasons. Off court issues, the style of play that got them there is obsolete in the fast changing trends in the game of basketball, as well as younger legs have more potential. Despite all of these things going against the 37 year old, people still expect superman from a man who has played over thousands of minutes giving us highlight real after highlight real in an ever changing environment.
Can we not forget about him not going to college, being an 17 time all-star, winning an NBA MVP, 2 gold medals, countless first team nominations as well as fighting injuries since he got in the league and still found time to win championships in dynasties in two different points in his career.
I’ve seen meme’s left and right before he officially announced his retirement about how good Curry’s shooting percentage is and how he could miss X number of shots and still have a better shooting percentage. I understand that it is all fun and games, but do not forget what he has done. Remember this and then compare his career to your favorite of today’s game. Only love can take you how far he has pushed his beyond natural abilities. I believe no one will do it like he did it and if they do it will not be in the game of basketball but a different field of life.
This being Kobe’s last season, I hope to see him play at least once this season because I have not seen him play live ever in my life. That is one regret I have not being able to watch him on his battle field in his prime of his career, but better now than ever. A game in Washington D.C. or Charlotte is ideal, maybe even Cleveland. We will see how things play out and if he can remain healthy going forward.
My wish for Kobe is to finish his career out the with surpassing everything he has left on his list of goals that he wants to accomplish basketball wise, keep his family and friends close and really enjoy the process. It sounds easy for a 22 year old to say but he really deserves to finish off strongly and gloriously. I also wish the same for you, to go forward with your career with good health, love and passion so that as the years go by you do not even notice how fast it all happened. That you dominate all of your goals so that you keep leveling up and advancing as if it could go on forever, then to realize you have given your all and done more than what you set out to do, then and only then will your body will stop you not be able go any longer.