It was the 1999 western conference semi-finals game. The Los Angeles Lakers vs. The San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers were on the verge of being swept by a technically-sound Spurs team led by the twin towers, David Robinson and rookie Tim Duncan. Although the Spurs overpowered the Lakers, one thing was for sure; number 8 could ball!
It wasn’t long before the earth completed its 365-day orbit around the sun, and the 2000 NBA playoffs had arrived. However, this time around, the Lakers were the powerhouse led by what would become arguably one of the most iconic, dynamic duals to ever step foot on a basketball court “Kobe & Shaq.”
The Lakers plowed through the western conference and capped off a fantastic run with a come from behind victory against the Portland Trailblazers that can best be memorized by the image below.
Kobe became champion, and the NBA had found a new face as the leader of its illustrious league. Sixteen years and four more rings later, Kobe finally stepped away from the game in 2016. He was one of the most tenacious competitors ever to walk the earth. He was cerebral and never backed down from the big moment. His love for the game and work ethic not only made those around him better, but it also made those who watched him from all over the world better.
On January 26th, 2020, an angel, who provided so much joy to the world, got his wings. He will be missed greatly, but what he stood for will live on in the hearts of everyone who knew him and knew of him forever.
Rest In Heaven, Kobe! And thanks for all the great memories. #mambamentality