Dear Kobe Bryant,
For as long as I can remember, you have been in the NBA. It’s almost like basketball and you are one in the same. My entire generation has been raised off of booing and hating you and those dang Los Angeles Lakers. Kinda like when the yankees are coming into town and everyone comes together to watch the game. Although for these 20 years you been a pain in the Celtics ass, you have made basketball fun, exciting and downright entertaining. I rooted against you for two decades, as a diehard Celtics fan. I witnessed you win 5 NBA championships. Most people are fortunate to win 1, but you were able to win yourself 5 of them.
Every so often, a player leaves a mark in the NBA, in which you either love him or hate him, but unconditionally respect him. Without a shadow of a doubt, I couldn’t think of any other player that has entered the building with more respect and professionalism, but was deeply hated because he was that damn good. I see you as the Derek Jeter of basketball. Your class and passion makes you a once in a lifetime player. One of the NBA's most dangerous shooting guards and feared players.
Perhaps the greatest player of my generation, and arguably, depending on who you are, the greatest player to ever play the game.
I’m not here to state that I believe you are best to ever play, but simply to reach out and acknowledge all the hard work and dedication you put in to entertain us fans from all over the world. Multiple NBA champions, MVP awards, simply a resume worthy of being a no- doubt first ballot hall of famer. You always wanted to be the best, and believed you were the best. When things got tough for you, you plowed through it.
“I don't want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”. In this case, you wanted to be the first Kobe Bryant. Be remembered in a way that Jordan was; a once in a lifetime player that comes around once every few generations. The entire world has been fortunate enough to see you play the game like no one we've seen before. Moves like Jordan, but the heart of a mamba. I want to na thank you for entertaining me for 20 years of sheer domination on the court. There will never be another like you. I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors after retiring at the end of the season. Stay blessed, and always stay you.