The Black Mamba

By Karina Lopez

Ever since Kobe Bean Bryant stepped onto the NBA stage in 1996
at the age of 17, he has drawn comparisons to some of the game’s
greatest players.

Yet perhaps that is one of the reasons why The Black Mamba is
always out-performing himself.

In an attempt to shy away from comparisons to players like
Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, Bryant has elevated himself into
a world-class player.

Of course his skill has a lot to do with it as well, but I
seriously doubt Kobe entered the draft thinking, “I want to be the
next Michael.”

It is more likely that Kobe entered the NBA with the intention
that one day future players would be compared to him.

The beauty of Bryant’s play is that he has steadily progressed
his game for the past 16 years.

Just when you think he may be getting too old or that his
personal issues may take focus away from his game, he comes back
even stronger.

Take this season for example. In the middle of his high-profile
divorce from Vanessa Bryant, Kobe still manages to put up an
average of 29.4 points per game, and recently surpassed his
“frenemy” Shaquille O’Neal on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Despite Shaq saying he was “happy” for Bryant, it seems unlikely
O’Neal found joy in his former teammate replacing him in the game’s
history.

Either way, to me, Bryant stands alone in the history of the
NBA.

Like Michael and Magic before him, Kobe is the player of a
generation – my generation.

Magic was before my time, and a part of me will always remember
Michael as the “baseball player” and that guy from “Space Jam.”

So say what you want about KB 24; to me he will always be the
skinny guy with the afro sporting the number eight for the purple
and gold.

Karina Lopez

Karina Lopez

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