The “Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour”

Kobe

Kareem

Magic

wilt

jerry west

ElginBaylor

Am I the only one in the continental United States who feels like the “Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour” has lasted longer than his twenty year career? It is like the Energizer Bunny going on and on and on, but, alas, it ends tonight, as does his great basketball career. And, notice that I said, “Great.” Bryant is a great basketball player, not just a good basketball player. But, for those who are calling him the “greatest of all time” I must beg to differ. As a card-carrying member of the “I Always Root Against the Lakers Club,” I am a good one to be a judge of such things. You see, I don’t even believe that he is the greatest LAKER of all time.

Let’s think about the Lakers who are at the top of the list. First, I have to put Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He has scored more points than anyone in the history of the NBA (no three point shooting for him). His sky hook was next to unstoppable and when the Lakers needed a basket at crunch time, he was the one who would get it for them. Second, we would have to write in “Magic” Johnson (some would put him first). Nothing else needs to be said about him except that he made EVERYBODY around him better than they actually were.

Some would place Kobe next, but even here I would place a group of players that I believe were arguably just as good as Kobe. Wilt Chamberlain (granted, he didn’t play all his years with the Lakers, but he could dominate the middle of a basketball court if Bill Russell wasn’t present), Shaquille O’Neal (massive man in the middle who could power his way in or quickly scoot past you for an easy two), Jerry West (if there was a three point line, there is no telling how many points he would have scored), and Elgin Baylor (silky smooth pure scorer in a day where you could get mugged on the basketball court without hearing a whistle blow) are Lakers that could very well also be ahead of KB.

My advice is to give Kobe Brant his night tonight. Praise him for the amazing basketball skills with which he entertained us for the past two decades. Honor him for what he has meant to the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers…and then let him walk away. But, please,…don’t get carried away.

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