Conventional wisdom states: The NBA season doesn’t officially begin until after the Super Bowl. Yes, games begin in late October, but America’s favorite pastime — NFL — consumes all the oxygen until then.
Every now and again, the NBA defies conventional wisdom and upstages the NFL season with headline capturing narratives and news.
First up: ESPN reports the Black Mamba is calling it a day:
Kobe Bryant, who has helped the Lakers win five NBA championships over a 20-year career spent entirely in Los Angeles, announced Sunday on The Players’ Tribune website that he will retire after this season, writing that “this season is all I have left to give.”
In a first-person story titled “Dear Basketball,” the 37-year-old wrote in the form of a poem that the sport “gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream/And I’ll always love you for it.”
“But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer,” Bryant wrote. “This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
“And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go.”
No doubt, Kobe is a first ballot Hall of Famer. With an elite body of work, the only subjective question about him is how does he rank in the NBA Mount Rushmore. Does Kobe make the top five of all time greats? I put him in the top 15, but he doesn’t — for mostly intangible reasons (leadership and team spirit) — make my top five.
Mike Jordan SG, Oscar Robinson PG, Lebron James SF, Bill Russell PF, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar C
And another NBA front page story: The 19- 0 undefeated Golden State Warriors continue to dominate in a league with giants by playing small ball — lead by 2015 MVP Stephon Curry.
In an absolute nail biter, the Golden State Warriors traded blows with a feisty young Jazz team to the last second, escaping with a 106-103 win. With huge plays by Stephen Curry, all-around wizardry from Draymond Green, and solid bench contributions, the Warriors begin their road trip with their undefeated streak intact. read more
Can anyone say repeat? Obviously, Kobe has passed the torch to the next generation of elite ballers.