Kobe Bryant's 19-year NBA career is coming to an end. On Wednesday night, Bryant will take the floor for the very last time when the Lakers take the Jazz at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Regardless of the end result, when the game clock reaches double-zeros the book will finally close on a first-ballot Hall of Fame career, one of the best in NBA history.
Bryant entered the NBA in 1996, when the Hornets selected him with the No. 13 overall pick out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Pa. He was then dealt to the Lakers for Vlade Divac in a draft night trade and went on to become an american sports icon. For players like Bryant, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson served as inspiration. But for current NBA players, it was Bryant who inspired them to achieve their dreams.
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John Wall was one of many athletes with local ties to weigh in on Kobe's legendary career.
Thanks KB for showing us what true dedication, commitment and LOVE for the Game is all about. It has been a dream and honor to compete against you these past 6 years, your grit and toughness is unmatchable. #MAMBADAY #ThankyouKobe #LEGEND #SALUTE !!
A photo posted by johnwall (@johnwall) on Apr 13, 2016 at 12:05pm PDT
DeSean Jackson was born and raised in south central Los Angeles, played college football at Cal Berkley. He grew up idolizing Bryant.
Didn't think this day would come but what I will say is growin up in #Southcentral LA and being a laker fan u showed me the way it's suppose to be done at a high level !! This where I get that dog in me that competitive nature !! I can easily say your One of the greatest I've saw play in person for our generation !! Salute big homie One hell of a career #HOF #Mambaday
A photo posted by Desean Jackson (@0ne0fone) on Apr 13, 2016 at 11:54am PDT
Steve Blake, who was a key cog on Maryland's 2002 national championship team, played in Los Angeles with Bryant from 2010 until 2014.
— Steve Blake (@SteveBlake5) April 13, 2016
Orioles' outfielder Adam Jones was a high school basketball standout in San Diego, Calif. and has been a fan of Bryant for a long time.
KOBE I LOVE U MAN. WHAT A GREAT CAREER. Glad I was able to watch u from so close. @kobebryant you're a LEGEND. As A Fan THANKS.
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) April 13, 2016
Bryce Harper, from one MVP to another.
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) April 13, 2016
Alex Ovechkin, from one legend to another.
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) April 13, 2016
Bryant and the Lakers faced off against the Wizards 32 times over the course of his 19-year career. The Lakers were victorious in 21 of the 32 games.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) April 13, 2016
Redskins linebacker Junior Galette remembers Kobe for video game reasons
NBA 2k10 still the greatest 2k because #Kobe was literally Unstoppable
— Junior Galette (@JovaisG) April 13, 2016
Galette's teammate Niles Paul is celebrating #MambaDay as well.
— Rambo (@Niles_Paul84) April 13, 2016
It's clear that Bryant had an impact on not just the basketball community, but all of sports in general