Today is Feb. 24 and Kobe Bryant’s memorial will be at the Staples Center to honor the late hero and his daughter Gianna Bryant. In remembrance of the Black Mamba today sports fans should take some time and look back at his illustrious career. Here is a list ranking his top eight career and life moments.
- His Jersey Retirement
After his retirement in 2016, everyone knew that Kobe’s jersey would also be retired. Yet, there was still one question on everyone’s mind, which number will be retired as he wore both numbers 8 and 24 during his career. However, Kobe being Kobe became the first player to have two jersey numbers retired.
- The First Ring
With Kobe and a solid team, the Lakers struck gold when they signed the best big man in the NBA at the time Shaquille O’Neal. With a 67-15 regular-season record that year, Kobe won his first NBA Championship. He had 26 points in the series-winning game.
6.Keeping the Mamba Mentality
Reaching above and beyond the boundaries, putting non-stop work into your craft and 110 percent into everything you do to prove you’re the top dog in anything and everything you do- this seems to encapsulate the “Mamba Mentality”. As Kobe once said himself “if you see me in a fight with a bear, you better pray for that bear.” During a game in 2014, against the Golden State Warriors, Kobe tore his Achilles when he fell after attempting to go up for a layup. Most people would probably try to get off the court and seek medical attention, but not Mr. Bryant. He still shot his free throws after getting fouled with a torn Achilles.
- Putting up 62 on the Dallas Mavericks
On Dec. 20, 2005, the Lakers faced off against the Dallas Mavericks in a regular-season game. Kobe put up an amazing game by dropping 62 points in 32 minutes. In addition to that, he outscored the whole Mavericks roster for three quarters and didn’t even play the fourth quarter. The Lakers won that night 112 to 90.
- Solo Mode
For a long time in Kobe’s career, there was a shadow cast above him. Many felt like he wouldn’t be where he was in his NBA career without Shaquille O’Neal by his side. So after Shaq’s departure from LA for Miami, he had something to prove to the world. That year and the following he went on to win back to back finals on his own. The Lakers were once again champs for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
- A Legend on and off the Court
After retirement, Kobe was still doing big things off the court. He won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Post-Produced Graphic Design for his short film “Dear Basketball” in 2018 and also won an Academy Award for Best Short Film for the same movie.
- The Finale
On April 13, 2016, in Kobe’s last career game, he and the Lakers faced off against the Utah Jazz where Kobe dropped an amazing 60 points to end off his illustrious NBA career, and gave one of the best speeches ever seen, “Mamba Out,” with his family on his side.
In a season, Bryant led the league in scoring with 35.4 ppg Kobe went on to score 82 points against the Toronto Raptors and is known as one of the validating moments of his career and his best performance of his great career.