With the way Kobe Byrant has played to start the season, there has been a lot of eulogizing his career. You do not have to look far to find the next read on how bad he currently his, how he should retire, and how much of a drag he is on the court in what will likely be his final season.
But this version of Kobe is not how I will remember Kobe. The Kobe I will remember is the one who dominated for a decade and a half, the Kobe who struck fear into opponents simply by walking onto the court.
This is the guy I am talking about:
(h/t to @moho_haroon for the video)
This Kobe, of course, is no longer with us. This Kobe went out playing 40+ minutes a night carrying a injury plagued 2012 Lakers team to the playoffs before blowing out his achilles tendon on a move he’d made thousands of times before.
Still, though, this is the Kobe I will always remember. The guy who confounded defenses, could lock down his man with the best of them, and, more than anything else, won games. The current Kobe may not be able to do these things anymore and that’s more than a little depressing. But that will never take away from the truth of what he was as a player.