5x NBA Champion – 2x NBA Finals MVP – NBA MVP 2008 – 18x NBA All-Star
2x Olympic Gold Medalist – 11x All-NBA First Team – 9x All-NBA Defensive First Team
Those are just a few of the accomplishments I can list in what is one hell of an NBA career. This is a little less of an SL fashion post and a bit more of just me being me. On Wednesday my favorite basketball player of all-time will play his final game. Kobe Bryant, after 20 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, is retiring. For me it’s crazy to think that I’ve been watching him play since I was 10 years old, but I have. I remember watching him flounder in his first season, those dreaded airballs at the end of game against the Utah Jazz. I loved that he didn’t let those failures break him.
I remember watching the Lakers win their first championship with Phil Jackson in 2000. Then repeating that in 2001 while going 15-1 through the playoffs. Then went on to three-peat in 2002, winning their third title in a row. They would come close again in 2004 but ultimately fell short. Shaq would be traded following that season and Phil Jackson’s contract was not renewed. Kobe could have signed anywhere as his contract was up but he chose to return to the Lakers.
In January of 2006, against the Toronto Raptors, Kobe scored a career high 81 points. It not only broke the franchise record of 71 points, but is the second highest point total in league history. Only Wilt Chamberlain scored more (a 100 point game in 1962.) I remember the jersey number change before the 2006-2007 seasons. Going from seeing him in 24 instead of the 8 that everyone was so familiar with was strange at first. In time though it became as much a part of Kobe as the previous number was. I own quite a few of those jerseys in real life. Probably something I will never part with.
I remember the final championship runs of his illustrious career as well. Watching the Lakers fall to the Boston Celtics in 6 games during the 2007-2008 NBA finals. That was hard to see as the Lakers and Celtics are the franchises with the most championships in league history. Los Angeles with 16, Boston with 17. The Lakers would rebound the next year defeating the Orlando Magic in 5 games, Kobe would win his fourth NBA championship and first Finals MVP. The last real championship run would come the next year. The Lakers would defeat the Celtics in the 2009-2010 NBA finals. A sixth championship to match Michael Jordan would never be in the cards. The Lakers have struggled since then, Kobe battled numerous injuries, and they just were not capable of competing at that level.
I put this shot together rather simply. I had a lot of other ideas for it but ultimately this one caught my eye. I paired up some sweat pants from [ JP ]:dsg and made a jacket myself to pull off the look I wanted. It’s far from perfect but I like how it came out. My tribute to my favorite player, a dark emotional shot. Looking down in the quiet of a locker room, realizing this is the last time you’ll step up on the court in front of the crowd like that. I can only imagine the feeling. It’s going to be hard to watch basketball with the same enthusiasm as I did watching Kobe for the past 20 years. I’m still and will always be a Laker fan, but it will be different. Goodbye to the sports star of most of my youth and all of my adult life.
Skin: -NIVARO- Baptiste Skin – creamtone – nohair_clean_bald ~ Reishiprophet Resident
Body: Slink Physique MALE Mesh Body Release 1.2 ~ Siddean Munro
Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands MALE V2.2 – Splayed ~ Siddean Munro
Ears: [MANDALA] STEKING_EARS_Season5 ~ Kikunosuke Eel
Hair: [Deadwool] Undercut hair – wild – chestnut ~ Masa Plympton
Jacket: #24 Jacket ~ ArchaicXIII Resident
Pants: [ JP ]:dsg. Sweat Pants / dark Violet / MALE ~ Jasper Potez
Shoes: [VALE KOER] DEADSTOCK TRAINERS SLINK ~ Bob Resident
Basketball: PILOT – Basketball [Decor] ~ Kaz Nayar
Locker Room: -CLICK-The Locker Room ~ Flix Saiman