I’m not a huge basketball fan anymore, I find the NBA to be simply unwatchable nowadays. However, Kobe Bryant had my eyes absolutely glued to the TV every time he stepped foot on the hardwood. His passion for the game and drive to win were like nothing I have ever seen. With Kobe there was no try, there was only do. I grew up a Lakers fan, living about an hour away from Los Angeles was one factor but Kobe Bryant really started my fandom. He was a very big part of my childhood and I am so lucky to have watched him play.

This winter break I got the opportunity to go to the Kobe Bryant Jersey Retirement Night at Staples Center where the Lakers hosted the Golden State Warriors. The atmosphere in the game was absolutely electric, and that was before Bryant’s 8 and 24 were lifted to the rafters. It was a very emotional night for everyone and “Kobe” chants were breaking out left and right during the entire night.

Bryant came out during halftime to speak to everyone and it was like a long-lost friend had come back to give some closure and to re-live some old memories. The moment was perfect and it was something that could never be re-created, I am so lucky to have been able to go. It was like a piece of my childhood coming back to me.

The 2nd half started and the game started to feel like a playoff game. I think everyone was so hyped up from seeing Kobe that they wanted to re-create that old atmosphere. The Lakers hung in with Golden State and even took them into overtime, however, the Warriors came out on top during overtime to defeat the Lakers.

Overall, an incredible night for (in my opinion) the 2nd best players to ever play and I am so lucky to have been able to see both of his jerseys retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.