Mamba Out: 20 Years of Kobe Through a Fans Eyes

By Daniel DiNatale

For NBA fans, we all have our favorite players. We have the Lebron James fans and the Stephen Curry fans. On top of all of that, the most important to me are the Kobe Bryant fans. Kobe Bryant is one of the biggest names in NBA History, up there with Michael Jordan. How has 20 years of Kobe been like? How is your perspective of him? For me, it is an amazing experience, one I am proud and even kind of sad in the past few years, to call myself a Los Angeles Lakers fan.

To start things off, let me tell you how Kobe Bryant influenced me as a basketball player. Kobe has played for 20 years, but I only saw him play for 16. Still, to see him play ball and how he performed doing so is amazing. I remember when I was 5, I had so many Kobe Bryant cards, cards that to this day, I wish I still had. I used to suck at basketball. I was terrible. I would watch the Black Mamba play, but I couldn't play myself. I was terrible. If I got lucky, I would make one three point shot the whole game. I couldn't dribble, couldn't pass, nothing. And for almost 7 years that went on. I was 12 around the time I started to get serious. I mean, look at who I watched. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the greatest basketball teams ever. So one summer after elementary school, I started to get more serious. I wanted to be like my idol, to perform like him to the extent where I could say "Hey, I'm trying to be like to idol." I would sit there and play outside for hours to try to get better. This is all because I watched Kobe play ball. There aren't enough words to describe him that helped me practice and get better. Even today, every time I take a shot, I think of how Kobe would have taken that shot. Needless to say, he inspired me to play ball and become better so I wouldn't be made fun of playing and that I could actually keep up on a team and not fall behind every game.

Now, watching Kobe's last game made me feel so emotional and happy at the same time. The opening ceremony of the last Lakers game of the season really got to me. To see all these players and coaches and everyone cheer him on and the chants screaming "Kobe, Kobe" was something I haven't ever seen done to a player since maybe Michael Jordan's last game (That's one player I wish I saw his last game to and more of his career, but I was too young at the time to remember him, yet I remember all these Kobe memories. Weird). The whole game itself felt like an exhibition game since the Lakers weren't playing for anything and the Jazz got kicked out of playoff contention since the Rockets won that night. The whole game was amazing. I know I'm repeating that word a lot, but there are really no words that I can describe to show how much that game meant to me and how that game was one of the best games I ever saw. And it's not even like the Jazz weren't trying. They were. The end result was close. 101-96, Lakers victory. The amount of respect  the fans, the players, the coaches, and even celebrities have for him despite dropping 60 points (which I couldn't stop cheering at and saying,) is jaw-droppingly amazing. The whole game is probably the best game I've ever watched in my life, and I'm so happy I didn't miss it. Even though the Warriors broke the single-season record of 73 wins that same night, there was more talk about the Black Mamba and I was happy about it. After the game, the speech he gave was like "HOLY SHIT THIS IS HAPPENING." Mamba Out. I won't ever forget that line ever.

For 20 years, Kobe has gotten his amount of likes and hate from everyone. In my perspective, he has gained my trust more and more every day due to every game he played and how he is even outside the court. Thank you for all those amazing memories you gave us fans. You will never be forgotten from the way you played and even how you changed the game during the post-Jordan era. You are the second best basketball player to me ever right behind Michael Jordan, and forever while shooting a ball in a hoop or a piece of paper into the garbage pail, we will say "KOBE!" every time.

Mamba Out: 20 Years of Kobe Through a Fans Eyes Mamba Out: 20 Years of Kobe Through a Fans Eyes Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, April 18, 2016 Rating: 5


  1. Very nice tribute to Kobe. Great ballplayer.

  2. Thank you! He really inspired me to play and I can't thank him enough!


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