Watching the Mamba as I grew up


T. Parisha, Staff Writer

I have been watching Kobe Bryant play all my life. Ever since I was a little girl, he was my favorite basketball player besides Michael Jordan. I remember when my Dad bought me my Kobe 1 shoes. My godmother called them the space man shoes but I liked them. As I grew older I started to fall out of love with Kobe because I felt that he was a huge reason why Shaquille O’neal left the Lakers. I loved Shaq just as much as I loved Kobe. I use to love when the commentator would refer to Shaq’s game as the Shaq attack. I felt they were an unstoppable dynamic duo. So to see them not playing together broke my heart.


Although I was not a mega Kobe fan, as I got older I always respected his game and wore his shoes. It was very hard for the world to watch Kobe play in his last game at the staple center. Kobe may not have the best attitude but he is someone who has changed the game forever. I’ve never seen someone with the pain tolerance that Kobe has. Each time he has had a severe injury he has played through it to his best ability. He is the definition of a true ball player. I remember watching his documentary and he said that when he is playing that there is nothing that is more important than the game. The pain does not matter because the game is far more important. He has the mindset that I’m going to die on this court if that means I’m going to get the win. When I was watching his last game against the Utah Jazz I was not sure how Kobe was going to perform because he is 37 and his body is banged up. Kobe has been battling on the court for 20 years. He started the game off 0 for 4. I was thinking this is not going to go well for him and the Utah Jazz was taking it to the Lakers. But the Mamba just came out of Bryant and he started to get into his groove and one-shot lead to another and to another. I couldn’t believe what I was watching Kobe was balling out of control and the Jazz could not contain him. Every shot that Kobe took went in. He was carrying the miserable Laker team on his back to a victory. The Lakers were just making an incredible come back. Kobe scored 23 points in the 4th quarter and with 31 seconds to go he hits the shot to put the Lakers up by 1 point winning the game over the Jazz.


This is the most inspirational game I have ever seen because it shows that happy endings really do come true. It was magical to watch Kobe end on a good note. With a victory and he scored 60 points at the age of 37. The only other NBA player who has scored over 30 points in his 30’s is Wilt Chamberlain. Bryant scored 30 points more than Chamberlain did in his 30’s. Also Chamberlin scored his 30 points at the age of 32 and Bryant did it at 37 that’s absolutely remarkable.


I remember over Kobe’s career he has been the player who was the hero and at times the villain. He has been the savior on the court and the beating heart of the Lakers for 20 years. But he was also a bad guy from the Denver scandal to his huge feud with Shaq. But through his rocky times he has always over come the adversity he has faced. Something I always admired about Kobe was that he was loyal to the Laker organization. When things weren’t going his way he remained a Laker, Kobe has played on some of the worst Laker teams in Laker franchise history. His last team was one of the worst Laker teams I have ever seen. Kobe is the only player to play on the same team for 20 years in NBA history. If that’s not loyalty then I do not know what is.



It was great to see a lot of his former teammates made it out to his last game. Everyone had nice things to say about Kobe and they had the up most respect for him. Shaq’s video message to Bryant showed that he has nothing but love and respect for Kobe. Kobe had the best ending there could possibly be I will always remember when he gave his end of the game speech and then said Mamba out.