Time allows a young man to mature, to find himself and build his character. In Kobe's case, time allowed him to perfect his game, and he never wasted a minute. Few people understand how VALUABLE time is. Every minute, every second defines who we are. And it is what we DO with our time that will either make you a legend with a legacy that will last for centuries, or just a small topic of a passing conversation. Kobe will forever be legend with the greats before him. The "Great Number 8" transformed from a boy to a man, and we were allowed to witness Kobe morph into his own GREATNESS.
Kobe showed he had faith in his game. Faith that he could become a hero. He possessed the belief that he could pull through all situations and find the win. He did all this while creating these moments. Moments where you get to back down your hero, who set the stage for you to come out. Moments where you're playing, and sometimes, defeating your favorite players. Leaving a mental imagery that plays out on the court in the hood, or a video game. Yes, Kobe created these moments that we'll be talking about after tonight. Those moments will never go away.
Adidas let him go. I'm thankful they did, because at the time Adidas didn't have the design team that could give Kobe his legacy with sneakers to parallel his game on the hardwood. When the transition took place from Adidas to Nike, you just knew something great was about take shape. And that it did.
After the 2006 season, after 10 years of wearing number 8, Kobe changed his number to 24. In my opinion, I always felt he did that to have one-up on Jordan. However, when he came back with 24, we saw the Black Mamba truly grow into a beast on the court. Kobe did his best in 2007, but it wasn't enough to pull off another chip. You couldn't tell by the way he played that he wasn't already a champion every season. Kobe came out every night to play and give it 100% every time.
On May 8th, 2008, Kobe received his first league MVP honors, and it was well deserved. The Kobe IV's gave him his own brand, kinda like what the Air Jordan III's did for Mike.
Despite the injuries and setbacks, Kobe never made excuses. Phil Jackson helped to put all the pieces of the puzzle in the locker room, and the Lakers figured it out. On their way to a fifth championship in 2010, Kobe was amazing every step of the way. I mean, a whole new generation got to witness greatness, and you couldn't dismiss the fact of his consistency.
Remember hearing on Christmas of 2010 when everyone who had floor seats got a pair of Kobe VI's under their seat! Creating those moments.
What about the moment Kobe graced the hardwood in a pair of Allen Iverson's "Question" joints in 2003 against the Seattle Supersonics? True sneakerheads remember. We embrace those moments.
Kobe gave OUR generation what Jordan gave to the last...excitement, flair. Energy. Passion. Love for the game. Kobe allowed us to walk in his shoes, even if it was just for 48 minutes at a time. We are truly thankful to have witnessed GREATNESS.
5 Rings. It wasn't his destination that we speak of. It is the journey. We knew all along where the destination was. It wasn't a secret! We knew GREATNESS was his ONLY option. It was the journey that began in 1996 and brought us to this very moment. Breathe in.
On behalf of the KickGame DVD Family, we are honored to say we took the ride with you. There were bumps and potholes in the road sometimes, but you never took your eyes off the road or your foot off the gas. I'm glad we can all sit back and say, "It's been one hell of a ride". This is not good-bye. Never good-bye. This is "we'll see you later. Hold it down." Respect. -Mello KickGame & Cali "O". #TeamKickGame #Kobe #TheLegendContinues #ThankYou