The Retirement of Kobe Bryant Will Change the NBA Forever

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This 08 February, 1997, file photo shows Kobe Brya

Credit: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

Bryant — a fiery competitor — has always been a marquee player and league ambassador since his entry into the NBA in 1996. Drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, Bryant was later traded to the Lakers the same day for Vlade Divac and instantly entrenched himself as a Laker great.

The Mamba

shaq kobe Los Angeles Lakers’ center Shaquille O’Neal (L) la

Credit: Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images

Bryant forged a Laker dynasty with Shaq in the early 2000’s after they steamrolled past the their adversaries and won three titles. After their messy divorce back in 05, Bryant was on his own and shouldered the burden of being a top dog.

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Despite having a meager roster, Bryant usurped the throne of being the next Jordan when he averaged 35.4 in 05-06 and 31.4 in 06-07. During that span, Kobe did the unthinkable by scorching the Toronto Raptors in Jan. 22, 2006, for 81 big ones.

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