It's no secret that when asked for my top five current NBA players, Kobe Bryant doesn't make the cut. However, as a fan of not just the players, but the game of basketball itself, I can certainly appreciate the raw talent and hard work Kobe brings to the court. And thinking of the league without him does produce a strange feeling.
Next year will be the Mamba's 18th season as a pro-baller, and as of right now, probably his last. Some may say that with the Los Angeles Lakers struggling as much as they have this year, he may as well bow out before his team gets any worse, but I think it goes beyond that. The star athlete may care about his public reputation, but nothing comes before his own personal goals. And after all the wear and tear left on his body after all these years, as well as the mental strain it takes to be such a leader, it seems as though the legend may be burnt out.
"I’ll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I
want to continue to sacrifice as much as I’m sacrificing right now. I’m
putting my body through a lot to just try to get ready to play every
single night. To do what I’m doing right now, it’s not easy. I’ll tell
you, it’s taken a lot of commitment."
Nothing lasts forever, but at least his legacy will forever live on. The question now remains will Kobe really retire after the 2013-2014 season, or will he pull a Phil Jackson and keep adding just one more year...?