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Bryant to retire as one of games greats

Kobe Bryant

We knew it was coming sooner rather than later but it is still a sad thing to realize that we are seeing the last of Kobe Bryant. The 37-year-old announced in an article written in The Players’ Tribune that he would be retiring at the end of this season. WITH his retirement the NBA will lose one of the greatest players in it’s history.

Bryant’s competitive drive made him what he was and what he was, was a five-time NBA Champion, MVP, 17-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA Player and 12-time All-Defensive Team player. There is no doubt that Bryant will be inducted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, but we all know there is that separate room for the creme de la creme, and that is exactly where he will be.

Looking back, it is amazing that Bryant was only named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player one time. He finally broke through in 2008 but was always one of the top two or three finalist for the award. Every single night he brought his all and we can truly say the man gave absolutely everything he had to the game of basketball.

Age and injuries have finally caught up to Bryant and watching him now trying to hard and only being a shell of himself is a sad sight. The past two seasons ended early for Bryant but he came back this year trying to be the great player he once was. It’s just not happening. Through 13 games, Bryant is averaging just 15.5 points; his lowest total since he came off the bench in his second season since being the No. 16 overall pick out of high school other than his before going down after just six games in 2013. He’s shooting just 30.5-percent from the floor, by far his lowest rate ever. His 20.2-percent success-rate from 3-point range is also the lowest of his career outside of that very short 2013 season.

It does not help that the Lakers have given Bryant almost no help with a supporting cast this season, but he is playing very poorly. It is clear his time is up.

For an entire generation that did not get to see Michael Jordan during his glory days, Bryant is the man to look at. The passion and drive for success he played with every single game and even now is second to none. He demanded the ball in pressure situations and more often than not, he hit the big shot.

Of course Bryant has some dark spots in his past, making him quite a polarizing figure but his drive and loyalty could never be questioned. In the history of the NBA, Bryant is the only player to ever play 20 or more season with one franchise and he’s been a perfect example of what a Lakers star should be. He’s right there with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, James Worthy, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal and could honestly be argued as the best of any of them.

During his prime, he was a truly special player, one even people who hated the Lakers had to appreciate watching.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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