First, let me say RIP to the late great Kobe Bean Bryant. Your death was something I couldn't believe, didn't believe still wouldn't believe. But let's face it, since you've been gone basketball hasn't been the same since, heck the world hasn't been the same since. But my purpose of this blog, isn't to talk about your death or any conspiracies I tend to lean on, but to talk about your growth as a player, man, and father.
Growing up, we always had this conversation, who is the greatest basketball player ever. Some said Jordan, some said Kareem, magic, bird, etc. But growing up in the streets of Brooklyn in the early 2000s. The conversation was Kobe, AI, T-mac, Vince. Some would mention Duncan or even Garnett. By the way all we're great in their own right, but they weren't KOBE. Kobe came into the NBA as the 13th pick in a draft of the 96. The draft that had future Hall of Famers such Players like Iverson, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Stephon Marbury, Marcus camby etc. Like I said Kobe was picked and in that same draft some had seen potential and others seen him as being a good role player. But not Kobe, Kobe wanted to be great and I seen that. We all seen that, some just didn't want to believe it. Not to mention Iverson was taking the NBA by Storm with his killer crossover and jump shot. But nobody wasn't thinking about Kobe. Kobe recognition at the time was when he took the Rnb singer Brandy to his prom. But again nobody was checking for Kobe. What threw Kobe to grab my be attention, was his cockiness, his swag in the dunk contest and his will to be great. Even though he was on the bench for 3yrs that never stopped him from wanting to be great. When the opportunity came for him to start, Kobe took full advantage of it. Being part of one of the greatest duos ever, him and Shaq was a force to be reckon with and the NBA wasn't ready. Being a part of the only duos to win 3peets spoke for itself. Let me remind you that Kobe was the number 2 option when he played with Shaq and yet his numbers was amazing. Kobe will to be great started conflict between him and Shaq. Shaq was fine where he was at and Kobe wanted him to be better. Now when 2 alpha males start beefing it never ends well. Kobe made it be known to the Lakers organization that it was either him or Shaq. The Lakers did the right move by trading Shaq to the heats for players that could help Kobe. Kobe spent the next few years having to carry the Lakers and also prove to NBA critics that he was great; that the Lakers picking him over shaq was the best move. The world realize he was the best when on January 22nd 2006, Kobe Bean Bryant, scored 81 points in a game. Something no one have ever seen outside of those that seen Wilt Chamberlain score 100 points. This was televised and the world was able see. Till this day it's one of the greatest scoring displayed by any basketball player ever. That was the same year shaq won his 4th and final ring with the Miami heat. That fuel Kobe to be more then a lethal score. For Kobe to win he would have to be the ultimate leader. He would also need the Lakers organization to surround him with a all star type player and in the 07-08 the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol. This trade was the best thing that ever happen to Kobe. Kobe was able to show his NBA greatness all across the board. He was the complete player. Reaching the finals 3yrs in a row, winning 2 out of 3. Bryant was able to finish his career with five championships averaging 25 points per game for his career. He would of had more but his 3yrs off the bench and his role as the number 2 option is the reason. But no NBA player have ever win a chip as the number 2 option and then the number 1 option, NEVER!!
We watch Kobe grow up right before our eyes, from this 18 year old to retiring at 38 years old. We seen it all from Kobe. But what we fell to realize what he had to overcome when these rape charges was placed upon him. That was the most difficult time in his life. And some people would have crumbled if they went through what Kobe went through. I remember games, in places like Utah where they would shout out Kobe is a rapist, even had weird pictures of Kobe. What you think Kobe did? Coming from court to the basketball court by plane to then play and then drop 40 and better. Back to back Drake voice. Kobe used basketball to express his anger , frustration, and mistake made. The stain he put on his name, his family and wife. Was alot. Yet Kobe had faith and trust in himself his game, plus the support from his family and true friends. Over the years Kobe made it work with his wife and in the process had 3 beautiful girls. When it was set and done Kobe had a total of 4 girls. Kobe loved his family and his wife. The raped case really humble Kobe. Kobe made the court as his place to display that grittiness, fearless, cold heart assassin everyone grew to love. But off the court he was a quit soul. Becoming more friendly with players, reporters, etc. For me in didn't like it because I loved Kobe for being cocky. I'm the begining of his trial Kobe lost a lot of money, endorsement deals. Nobody wanted to take that chance with him because they didn't know the outcome. But Kobe knew the outcome. He knew they would be back, he knew he would be back and be back stronger then ever. That is exactly what he did. As a fan I was I happy for him. Kobe was able to show the world his growth as a boy to a wise man.
Like I said before Kobe had 4 girls, and he loved them. From the time they was babies Kobe always had them at the games courtside, back stage, every where. But out of all his children Gigi was his basketball processor. To his greatness and she had that same killer instinct that her father had and Kobe seen that. Kobe spent countless times with Gigi, teaching her the game. Spening time with them all. His children was his everything. Kobe was the spokesman for GIRL DAD. Kobe loved it. Even on his last days Kobe was doing his job as a great. Girl dad.
I took this time to give you guys a brief run down on Kobe. What he went through to be great. The trials and tribulations but do it all Kobe manage to be a great man a great player and a great father. For that I'll always have love for you Kobe. Your legacy lives on through your three remaining daughters and every young boy or girl, who grabs a basketball, shoot and yell KOBE. You are missed loved and be remembered as the greatest who ever played. Long live Kobe. Mamba forever.