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Kobe Bryant has played for just one team since entering the NBA just weeks after graduating from high school in 1996, becoming pretty much synonymous with the Los Angeles Lakers over the ensuing two decades.

 

 Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates with the fans during the second overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder

File Photo: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates with the fans during the second overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on April 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP PHOTO)

 

Kobe Bryant has played for just one team since entering the NBA just weeks after graduating from high school in 1996, becoming pretty much synonymous with the Los Angeles Lakers over the ensuing two decades.

 

The five-time NBA champion's career has been accentuated by glory, but punctuated by injuries, as health woes ended each of his last three seasons.

 

A spectacular run of bad breaks started in 2013, when Bryant crumpled to the ground with a torn Achilles Tendon against the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers would rally and squeak into that year's NBA Playoffs, but major challenges were on the horizon.

 

Many fans worried that Kobe would retire due to the injury, but he returned just eight months later, too soon perhaps, as he hurt his knee in his eighth game and missed the rest of the campaign. Back again the following year, Bryant passed another legend, Michael Jordan, to take over third place on the NBA career scoring list.

 

So arguably the best baller of his generation, the Black Mamba is retiring at the end of this season, probably without leading LA to the NBA Playoffs one last time, but for the Lakers and their fans, his legacy will undoubtedly play a huge role in shaping the future of both the franchise and the league.



    Editor:Justine | Source: Agencies

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