Tonight Kobe stumbles to the finish line after his rather long farewell tour. Since his announcement in November, night after night, teams have been paying tribute to the basketball god. While he is deserving of the respect, some sports writers have likened this season to Muhammed Ali's final fight with Larry Holmes, tainting his career with airballs, ice packs and DNP's. Though we did see a more relaxed version of Kobe this season, he actually smiled this year, he leaves the Lakers in a state of turmoil...for once I don't think he'll get blamed for this and nor should he. D'angelo Russell the franchises first top 3 pick since Magic Johnson, has squandered his rookie year into a mess of videos made in bad tastes and benching's based on behavioral issues. But this isn't Kobe's fault, Jim Buss isn't Kobe's fault, age is not Kobe's fault.
Kobe will leave the game as one of the most recognizable and polarizing figures to ever grace the hardwood. He's leaving behind a legacy that includes 5 titles an MVP and multiple scoring titles. He's changed the way basketball shoes are worn and look, incorporating his love of soccer into shoes that surprisingly took basketball shoes into a new era. Love em or hate em, Kobe will go down as the the second best 2 guard (behind Jordan, of course), and he leaves rather large shoes to fill in the NBA. Tonight should be worth watching.
Words By Michael Cherrito