Goodbye to the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time)
I remember sitting in my 7th grade classroom in 2002, sporting the #8 jersey, proudly showing my love for Kobe Bryant after winning the NBA championship for the third year in a row. Being from Southeast Los Angeles, it was a moment of pride and love for our team.
I remember being 21 years old at a fraternity party playing beer pong and shouting ‘KOBE’ every time the ping pong ball left my fingertips, guided by my wrist, and landing inside a cup. Making the last cup in beer pong became synonymous with Kobe coming in clutch for his team. I too would come in clutch for my teammate.
14 years later after the 2002 finals, Kobe now sports #24 and I sit anxiously writing this piece in my classroom, reminiscing about the legacy that Kobe has created for my hometown and the legacy he will be leaving behind. A legacy filled with professionalism, utmost respect for the sport, and a discipline that to date is unmatched (don’t argue with me, this is science!)
Tomorrow we say goodbye to a legend. Kobe’s last game with the Lakers is one of the most anticipated NBA games of the last 16 years, I dare say even more anticipated than the finals. Who doesn’t want to say goodbye to a man that has contributed so much love to the sport?
Tomorrow I will gather with a few friends from Los Angeles at a bar in the city to watch Kobe play his last game as a Laker at the Staples Center. It will be a beautiful moment as we say goodbye to a man that brought a lot of joy to our city and united many families over the game.
Tomorrow we will witness the retirement of a man who brought his soul into the sport. The end of a great era.
To the Greatest of All Time, thank you.
Will you be watching Kobe’s last game? Let me know below.