April 13, 2016 is Kobe Bryant‘s last NBA game. The Kobe tour has been both thrilling and frustrating. It almost seemed like destiny – or poetic justice – that Kobe would go out on a Lakers‘ team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in years and currently lives in the bottom echelon of the L with 16 wins on the season.
No matter how you personally feel about Kobe, you know he’s a special player with rare talent. Of course I’ll give you the stats, but these are my personal favorite moments from Kobe Bryant’s 20 year NBA career.
Kobe’s press conference to announce he was entering the NBA draft
I always wondered, why were his glasses perched on his head like that?
Kobe Bryant TV Star
Before Kobe hit the hardwood in the City of Champions – that’s Inglewood, Ca.- he did the “Hollywood thing” with a guest starring role on his prom date Brandy’s TV show, Moesha. Bryant Kobe Bryant portrayed Terry Hightower, who naturally was a high school basketball star in Season 2.
18-year-old rookie Kobe Bryant winning the 1997 dunk contest
Kobe thought he was so ON! You can see it from the way he walked around the court. Too bad this was at a time when the NBA was down on rap music. Guys had to dunk to Brandy.
Kobe’s four air balls in the 1997 playoffs.
How fitting is it that Kobe’s last game is against the Utah Jazz. Those four airballs in the playoffs in the 1997 playoffs proved to be a character building moment.
Kobe Bryant’s rap career
Ok, not that terrible song with Tyra Banks K.O.B.E.
Come on this is classic late 90’s video magic!
Kobe also briefly started a label. One of my friends at the time, an underground mixtape rapper from the Bronx named Uneek, was one of his first signings. They even had a showcase at the House Blues in LA on the Sunset strip that summer. This was after title number one.
We also can’t forget Kobe’s brief video vixen career: