Archives For Kobe

Earlier today we ran an excerpt from the great Roland Lazenby’s latest book, Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant. The book is fantastic (I am not yet finished, but what I have read is tremendous) and you can get yourself a copy right here through Amazon.

However, we have a special surprise for a couple of our readers — we are also doing a giveaway!

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Though he walked away from the game this past April after giving the most Kobe performance imaginable, it was 20 years ago today that Kobe Bryant made his NBA debut for the Lakers. As fans of the team (or more broadly, the NBA) we all know how those 20 years went. The championships, league and Finals MVP’s, all-NBA nods, all-star games, scoring records, etc, etc.

We do not know it all, though.

What Roland Lazenby has done is attempt to fill in some of those gaps and give us more on Kobe than we have ever gotten before. And, while I am not yet finished with his latest book, I can tell you he’s done an excellent job with Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant. Below is an excerpt from the book which is now available for purchase here. The book does not begin with Kobe, but instead with the man who passed down the game (and the name Bean) to him — his father Joe “Jellybean” Bryant.

We have read lots of stories about the strained relationship between Kobe and his parents, but I, personally, know little about Joe’s life. This opening chapter from the book introduces us to Joe and gives us a glimpse into his world before Kobe…

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Moving on from Kobe Bryant is both difficult and exciting. For the first time in 20 years the Lakers will not have him in the lineup and that changes the calculus of how you build a roster, deploy lineups, and even talk about what to expect out of the season.

I, for one, will miss Kobe but will also look forward to the next chapter in Lakers’ basketball. We have already gotten a glimpse of what that will look like this past summer, but the real journey begins in earnest this fall.

Until then, though, I will happily take in some flashes of glory from Kobe’s final season. And thanks to @DawkinsMTA we get a taste of some Kobe’s best plays from his 20th and final campaign:

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In case you hadn’t heard, Kobe Bryant retired at the end of this past season. He culminated a 20 year career with as Kobe a performance as possible, pouring in 60 points while everyone pretty much marveled at what he was able to accomplish.

Looking all the way back to when it all started, maybe it wasn’t clear Kobe would end up being the player he became, but there were certainly flashes. Jerry West saw it in pre-draft workouts and did everything he could to acquire him on draft night.

Then, in the summer of 1996, Kobe showed summer league spectators a glimpse of what was to come. In (grainy video) footage I’d never seen until today, here is a 17 year old Kobe playing at the Pyramid in Long Beach in a Lakers’ summer league game against the Suns. Even then, he looked like something special.

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It’s been nearly a month since Kobe Bryant played his last game where he scored 60 points on 50 shots. We’ve seen countless tributes to his amazing performance and have done our best to capture the moment ourselves. What we have not heard yet, though, were comments from anyone on the Jazz.

Until now.

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And Now, We Wait

Darius Soriano —  April 19, 2016

It’s been nearly a week since the Lakers’ season ended with Kobe Bryant adding to his myth by scoring 60 points on 50 shots while also slaying a dragon and eating an entire extra-large pepperoni pizza at the same time. Okay, two of those things didn’t happen, but maybe in 50 years, and the story is retold they will have.

In the days since the performance, the focus of those who we look to for Lakers’ news has been undeniably and unabashedly Kobe. This was to be expected, of course. 20 years of playing the game at the heights he did with the approach he took requires, no, demands, a retelling. The good, the bad, and everything in-between.

If you’re looking for more of that, look no further than Ramona Shelburne’s latest for ESPN/The Undefeated. Shelburne used great access to give us a peek inside Kobe’s world, from the rehab table to his Kobe Inc. office to the training room to the diner breakfast table and so many other moments that have not been told to this point. The entire thing is a fantastic read and is worth your time.

It’s articles like that, though, that you need now. You need them because while the rest of the basketball world moves forward, the Lakers’ world has not. The playoffs are in full swing, teams are letting go of their current coaches, hiring new ones, and interviewing big names with aims of managing the sideline and running the front office all at the same time.

Meanwhile, we wait.

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After Kobe made the announcement this season would be his last, every “last game” against a road opponent became a chance for that team (and, on April 13th, the Lakers) to pay tribute to Kobe in some way shape or form. Some teams did nothing at all, but others took the chance to say “thank you” in some way.

Maybe it was a highlight montage, a former teammate or longtime opponent speaking about playing with/against him, a special lineup introduction, or a shout-out during a quarter break or timeout. What I have tried to do is find every tribute video put together for Kobe and have it live below. If I missed one, let me know. Enjoy.

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It’s been two days since Kobe shocked everyone, including himself, by scoring 60 points in his epic farewell game.

In the lead up to and the aftermath of the game there have been so many great stories to read, podcasts to listen to, and videos to watch that I haven’t gotten close to getting through all of them. I joked I might get through them all until the summer is over, which is more accurate than hype.

There is one video, though, that is worth your time right now. Watch this fantastic highlight/tribute video from @Maxamillion711 from Kobe’s last game:

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