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Basketball Immortals: Kobe Bryant

Photo Credit: The Legend continues. by lisong24kobe

Photo Credit: The Legend continues. by lisong24kobe

Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player ever to play in the NBA after Michael Jordan. Nobody else can compare with him or with Michael Jordan.

It's not just about rings and unbeatable records. It's about the way he shows us and the way he understands the game and the basketball.

After Michael Jordan retired, the NBA needed a new hero and the new immortal.

Kobe Bryant stepped up.

Kobe is a symbol of the basketball. He is "Michael Jordan" for almost any generations after Michael Jordan finished basketball career.

Pau Gasol - “Just how competitive he is,” Gasol said. “He'll continue to be no matter what he does. That's just his spirit. He's a hardworking guy. He wants to be the best. He doesn't settle for anything less. He's always going to try to be—and will be—exceptional. One of the greatest,” Gasol said. “Where would he rank? That's very subjective. But he's definitely at the top, for what he's accomplished with his teams and how long he's played. The dedication, the work he's put into the game and how much he's given to the game. So I feel like that makes you one of the best ever.”

Kevin Durant - "I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him. He was our Michael Jordan. I watched Michael toward the end of his career with the Wizards and I seen that's what Kobe emerged as the guy for us. He had just an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically. Means so much to the game of basketball. Someone I'm always gonna look to advice for anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. Sad to see him go. He put his mark on the game."

James Harden - "A legend," Rockets guard James Harden said Sunday night, via the Washington Post. "I grew up watching him. He was my ‘MJ.' Just for him to be done, for his last go-round, it's sad. That's the end of a dynasty. He had a really good run, but it comes to an end. He's a monster. He's a beast. He's a warrior, man. He's a competitor. I don't think there will ever be another guy like him. The way he did it, he willed his teammates to victories, championships, things like that. It was a great story."

LeBron James - "Every day that I didn't want to work out or every day I felt like I couldn't give more, I always thought of Kobe. Because I knew that he was getting better and I was like, 'Man, if you take a day off, he's going to take advantage of it. You cannot take a day off. You cannot take a day off.' And I used him for my motivation throughout my career because I always knew that he was working on something. So, that part will be missed a little bit."

Derrick Rose - "Kobe, he's someone that I've looked up to ever since I came into the league. Someone that I did commercials with. Someone that always gave me advice about my game, just coming into the league. He's seen how hard I worked and for him and all his accolades and his résumé ... I think that he's leaving the game in some good hands. You've got [Stephen Curry] playing well, you've got a whole bunch of guys that's right behind him giving their all to the game. And just for Kobe himself, he's going to be a legend no matter what. He's our [generation 's] Michael Jordan."

The Killer Instinct of the Black Mamba

"It became an obsession. I learned everything about the game, the history, the players, the fundamentals. I wasn’t just determined to never have a summer of zero again, I was driven to inflict the same sense of failure on my competition as they unknowingly inflicted on me. My killer instinct to score was born."

The game won't be the same once Kobe is gone. He was a training beast. He learned us about passion, work ethic and dedication, he learns us how to appreciate the game. He gives you a sense of hope that you can be something special. Just look at game winners of his career.

“Kobe had done the work. He [Jordan] was very aware and taking in great interest in Kobe Bryant’s great work ethic. Michael Jordan’s work ethic also is legendary. He said Kobe had done that work to deserve the comparison. He says Kobe’s the only one to have done the work.” - Lazenby on why Jordan thinks Bryant deserves being compared to him:

The Dream About Last Shot

Who Do You Want Taking the Last Shot? Imagine, it’s NBA Finals, the Playoffs Time. The game for the championship. The series is tied (3-3), you are losing 102-103, who do you want taking the last shot for the win? 

Let's be honest. There are only two names: Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Nobody else is even close to them.

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I know that someone will talk about statistics, but who care about that when last shot is on the line? It's always 50% - 50% to win or lose and best available options for the last shot are Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

“This season is all I have left to give”

Nobody can't beat father time, even Kobe Bryant. This is the last season and we must watch every game until the end of the season.

“There’s so much beauty in the pain of this thing,” said Bryant.

Bryant said the first time he noticed something different was when his mind, which used to always drift to basketball, didn’t during meditation.

“It’s a natural progression of growth and maturation,” Bryant said. “There’s no sadness in that.”

The Legacy. The Symbol. The Inspiration. Enjoy.

Awards & Accomplishments: Kobe Bryant has won 5 championships, earned an NBA record 15 selections for All-NBA teams and 12 for All-Defensive teams. He has also led the league in scoring twice, won the Slam Dunk challenge and got 4 All-Star Game MVPs in 14 appearances.

He won his Season MVP in 2007-08, won the Finals MVP in the next two years and the list of his achievements is too big, and I will write about that after this season.

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