Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players to ever play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He holds numerous records and is known across the globe for his success on the court. However, none of his triumphant moments happened by chance. Bryant has worked hard and made an innumerable amount of sacrifices over years before ending his career in a triumphant 60-point winning game. Success of this magnitude comes after years of dedication and an all-in attitude. Yesterday, after a season of frustration, Bryant’s stellar career ended on a high note.
All the way through the last game of a rough season, it looked as if Bryant’s final moments on the court would end in defeat. The LA Lakers trailed the Utah Jazz for most of the night. With just two minutes left in the game, the champion did what he has done so many times before. He lifted the team on his shoulders one more time to lead the Lakers to a riveting 101-96 triumph. Admittedly, Bryant was in shock. He said:
It is hard to believe that it happened this way. I am still in shock about it. To be here, for it to happen like this in front of the fans and my teammates and their families … it is still a shock to me.
When it comes to risks and rewards, the only strategy that is guaranteed not to fail is not taking any risks. The NBA star has taken many risks throughout his career. Last night was no exception. Bryant’s ego really took a beating this season after he failed to do what the fans had witnessed throughout his tenure as a Laker. What it boils down to is great rewards cannot be expected without putting great risks on the line. As a result of his willingness to take risks, against all odds, the fans had the pleasure of witnessing the results firsthand while watching their beloved star surpass yet another milestone in his already stellar NBA career.
With his team trailing and just a little over five minutes remaining, Kobe scored 17 consecutive points to thunderous applause. Next, with the Lakers down one point and just 40 seconds remaining, the legend dribbled the ball up the court, surveyed the defense, and from just inside the 3-point line with 31 seconds remaining he knocked it down and put his team in the lead. To his surprise, and the fans delight, “KB-24” scored another game-winner full of mesmerizing moments.
The reason “Black Mamba” has experienced such success during games is credited to his off-season preparation. He is known and highly respected as one of the most dedicated players when preparing his body to endure an 82 plus game season. Bryant is quick to acknowledge that his success on the court is not just about talent; it is due to a daily routine of rigorous pre-season regiment which keeps him in peak mode. Since 1996, the sports world has enjoyed the consistent winning average of the player known as “Lord of the Rings.” But more than anything else, he has shown the fans what winning looks like.
The last three seasons have been a struggle for Bryant and the three worst seasons in Lakers history. This season proved to be an all-time disappointment for the celebrated Laker. He shot a career low of 35.4 percent from the field and averaged just 17 points. Finally, Bryant announced his retirement in late November. Since that time he has been the recipient of overwhelming cheers and chants at every stop, even without the ability to save the day. The season low came to a screeching halt during his final game at the Staples Center. After a series of disappointments, Kobe Bryant ended a season of frustration on a high note with 60 points and a winning game.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
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