Kobe Bryant‘s storied career came to an end Wednesday night with the Lakers’ 101-96 victory over the Jazz in Los Angeles. The veteran shooting guard scored an amazing 60 points while shooting 22 for 50 from the field. Bryant’s remarkable career includes 18 trips to the All-Star game, where he won the MVP award on four occasions, one NBA MVP award, and most importantly — five NBA titles. The 37-year-old’s final career numbers are 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals over a total of 1,346 regular season contests. His slash line is .448/.331/.816.
Bryant had the reputation of being one of the fiercest competitors to ever play the game, a trait that didn’t always make him the ideal teammate. The Mamba reportedly scared away a number of the Lakers’ free agent targets over the years, and one can only wonder how many more titles he and Shaquille O’Neal could have snagged had the pair been able to coexist amicably. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Bryant was one of the greatest to ever step onto the hardwood, and the league won’t feel the same next year with him no longer a part of it.
This brings me to the topic for today: Where does Kobe Bryant rank among the greats who have played the game?
Give us your opinions on where Bryant lands in the all-time rankings, share your fondest memory from his career or take one last parting shot at the Mamba if you don’t count yourself among his fans. We look forward to what you have to say.