I can’t let kobe retire without at least mentioning MJ right? After all, Kobe spent most of his NBA career in Michael Jordan’s shadow. Like many players before him, Kobe was projected as “next Jordan” but none came quite as close.
In fact, Kobe didn’t want to just be Jordan, he wanted to be better than him. From the moment he stepped on the court the comparisons were there, and they remained throughout his career. As he finally retires it is clear: kobe is no Michael Jordan. No matter how hard he tried to be. And while basketball fans like me might’ve hated Kobe for trying to be a little to much “like mike”, I think we all can now appreciate the “Jordan” in his game. It’s not just the movements, or mannerisms he borrowed but the overall mentality. How he approached the game, cerebral not physical.
The “mamba” mentality.
And that’s something you can’t teach a player. Kobe couldn’t have copied it if he tried, he’s born with an unmatched love for the game combined with competitiveness and will to win. Not many players have it.
Kobe may not have had the skill set or legs like he did 5-10 years ago but last night he willed himself to 60 points at 37 years old because he wanted it. Even if he had to take 50 shots to get there.
Like Jordan, Kobe was a rare breed of player, “Last of a dying breed” is how many analysts described it. There hasn’t been many like him. There aren’t to many left, especially in today’s game.
Westbrook and Cp3 come to mind. maybe Lillard and now it’s Currys league. But who will really replace Kobe?
As kobe retires, so does that mentality. For Laker fans it’s definitely the end of an era but I’d go as far as to say the last of the Jordan era ended last night.