Kobe Bryant will play his final NBA game on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on a career that has spanned two decades.
The Lakers great has courted his fair share of controversy during his career, but it’s his incredible skills that will be remembered. And these great quotes, of course…
10. “Hi, I’m Kobe Bryant. And I have decided to take my talent to, uh… I have decided to skip college and take my talent to the NBA.”
And so the journey began.
9. “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”
It’s fair to say Kobe made a name for himself, passing Jordan’s scoring record.
8. “My parents are my backbone. Still are. They’re the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.”
Family comes first for Kobe.
7. “Losing is losing, there aren’t different degrees of losing. You either win a championship or you’re s**t. It’s very black & white to me.”
It’s good to know that the Lakers’ recent plight isn’t taking it’s toll on Bryant more than any other season when they haven’t won the NBA title
6. “Better learn not to talk to me. You shake the tree, a leopard’s gonna fall out.”
J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin learned the hard way not to mess with Kobe, a man never short of an animal analogy.
5. “Even then, you could still play with one hand.”
Not even losing an arm would stop Kobe from playing.
4. “I don’t f** with bees, man. Other than that, I’m not afraid of nothing.”
And there we thought he was fearless…
3. “I just got one more than Shaq. You can take that to the bank … You guys know how I am. I don’t forget anything.”
Kobe never missed the chance to have a dig at Shaquille O’Neal, and his fifth ring was made all the more sweeter eclipsing his former team-mates tally.
2. “Leaders don’t beg for a contract extension and negotiate some 30 million (dollars) plus per year deal in the media when we have two future Hall of Famers playing here pretty much for free. A leader would not demand the ball every time down the floor when you have the three of us (Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Bryant) playing beside you, not to mention the teammates you have gone to war with for years — and, by the way, then threaten not to play defense and rebound if you don’t get the ball every time down the floor.”
The Kobe-Shaq feud was an unfortunate one, with the two NBA greats unable to get along. Word is that their relationship has thawed somewhat in the years since O’Neal’s retirement.
1. “Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever.”
Winning above all else. Is that what’s required to become a legend? It certainly sums Kobe up.