Written by Giavanna Foster

Kobe Bryant is one of the NBA’s top players of all time. In his extraordinary career in basketball, he has earned the title of the “Black Mamba.”. Bryant gave himself the nickname of Black Mamba after becoming inspired by the African snake in the hit motion picture, Kill Bill. The mamba is known for its agility and aggressive nature. Bryant committed his entire basketball career to playing as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years. Bryant’s performance as a Laker is legendary because it demonstrates his consistent agility, poise, determination, and perseverance.

Kobe Bryant devoted himself to becoming a professional basketball player as a child. Kobe’s committed relationship to basketball began when he was 3 years old. Kobe’s all-time favorite team even growing up was the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe supported the Lakers, studied the game play with a strategic eye, and aspired to play on their team. Since day one, Kobe displayed his passion towards basketball because he meticulously honed his skills. Kobe always worked towards refining his technicality. This tenacity resulted with major recognition for him and the Los Angeles Lakers.

During 1999-2002, the Los Angeles Lakers became three-peat champions. Phil Jackson began coaching the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999. Kobe Bryant became a premier shooting guard, and this earned him appearance in the league’s All-NBA, All-Star, and All-Defensive teams. Bryant and O’Neal formed the unstoppable center-guard combination that made the Los Angeles Lakers real contenders.

The legendary Phil Jackson devised a strategic triangle offense that helped the Los Angeles Lakers win three consecutive championships. With Jackson’s coaching, Bryant and O’Neal became globally popular as professional players of elite status. Bryant’s performance was outstanding because he led the team in all statistical categories that include assists per game, rebounds, and earning over 25 average points per game. After the three-peat Bryant continued to lead the Lakers towards victory by scoring an impressive sum of points and defending his team with technical ease.

In Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game, he faced off with the Utah Jazz. Bryant scored a phenomenal sum of 60 points. This performance earned Bryant major recognition, as he now holds the record for scoring the most points during this season. Also, Bryant trumped the Jazz team by scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter. Bryant ended his career with a big bang scoring the winning shot with 31.6 seconds left. Kobe’s final game demonstrated his consistency, as the Lakers defeated the Jazz. The final score of 101-96 is evidence of his commitment to hard work. If you did not see the Jazz vs. Lakers game, you can watch the highlights here.

Kobe Bryant’s basketball career ended following his physical injuries that included soreness in his Achilles tendon, knees, and back. Nonetheless, Kobe is a legend who made history with his tenacity and due diligence. Bryant is listed as one of the 35 greatest McDonald’s All-Americans. He is also the all-time leading scorer of the Los Angeles Lakers team. After Bryant lost in the 2008 NBA finals, he catapulted the Lakers towards national fame by helping them win two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010. Bryant was awarded the Finals MVP award during these championships because of his impressive performance. Also, Bryant is the youngest player in league history that earned 30,000 career points.

Today, the Los Angeles Times celebrates Kobe Bryant as a basketball legend. For more information, read @latimes’ tweet here.

Kobe Bryant will always be remembered as a basketball icon. His legendary legacy will live on forever. Click here to watch Basketball Forever’s YouTube video dedicated to Kobe Bryant’s outstanding career.