Vino.

Happy birthday Kobe. This should’ve been posted yesterday but I didn’t want it to get lost in the sea of HBs that were being posted to the Mamba.

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Imagine if the Hornets hadn’t traded him? Imagine if Shaq had stayed and Kobe never blossomed into what he is today? Imagine if Colorado never happened? Imagine if he never tore his Achilles?
There is a lot of what ifs when it comes to Kobe, from his highs to his lows you never know what to expect, but the one thing you know you’re going to get is something amazing night in and night out, week after week, month after month, year after year, championship after championship.

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From 8 to 24, Smush Parker to Kwame Brown, Adidas to Nike, Shaq to Dwight, Kobe has adapted to his surroundings when most superstars would’ve been requesting trades left right and center he stuck with the purple and gold and they stuck with him.
Over 17 years in the NBA, he’s won 5 championships, an MVP, 2 finals MVPs, a Slam dunk contest, 2 scoring titles and 4 Allstar game MVPs to go along with 11 All-NBA first team selections,  15 Allstar game selections, 2 All-NBA second team selections, 2 All-NBA third team selections, 9 All-defensive first team selections and 3 All-defensive second team selections. He’s the youngest player in history to amass 30000 points, he’s the Lakers all-time leading scorer, he dropped 81 points in a single game, he’s tied for the most Allstar game MVP selections, he’s the third highest scorer in the postseason and fourth in the regular season All-time, he’s had 5 sixty point games, 24 fifty point games and 107(!) fourty point games. The crazy thing is I’ve almost definitely left a couple of things out.

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Kobe’s 35 now and what’s interesting is he’s older than T-Mac, Michael Redd and J-Rich yet you’d consider them much older than Bryant. It’s the competitive fire inside him that makes him stand out from his fellow ballplayers.

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Since he’s smashing his return calender, travelling around the world and running on anti-gravity treadmills I doubt he’s done yet, then again I don’t think he ever will be until he gets six. Maybe he’ll be just like MJ when he returned, stronger than ever and dominating everyone and everything around him.
If, in the sad case Vino is done, I’m glad he left us with his two blocks on LeBrick in the Allstar game.

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There’s only one King LBJ, and it’s not you.

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Mamba out.

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