I Never Imagined

by Yusuf Gadlin

As Kobe Bryant enters his 20th and final season with the Los Angeles Lakers I never imagined things would end like this.

By now, I thought Kobe Bryant would have at least eight NBA championships. Instead, he’s been stuck on five rings for far too long, and the hope of number six has finally slipped away. I never imagined this. I always thought there would be a young obsessed with greatness prodigy seeping at the opportunity to be like Kobe Bryant. You know the one that hawks Kobe up and down the court begging for the secrets to the game? You know, the same way Kobe harassed Michael Jordan for his greatness. But the cold, hard fact is there isn’t one. I never imagined that. I thought by now his peers would get the memo on exactly who he is. Kobe doesn’t welcome you to L.A. with hugs and kisses, but he will gladly invite you to practice or to the film room. Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, and Brandon Bass be prepared to work your ass off, instead waiting on a phone call that will never come.

I never imagined that patten Michael Jordan Fade-Away Jump Shot that Kobe Bryant perfected wouldn’t be passed down to this generation. Players will try to duplicate it , but they will never come close to the real thing. I never imagined free agents not wanting to play with Kobe Bryant. I never imagined the Lakers franchise in such disarray. I never imagined my idol only fighting for 82 games and a non guaranteed eighth seed.  I never imagined Kobe Bryant’s body breaking down right before my very  and unable to spew his greatness on nightly basis. But like all great things, they must come to a end.

And I never imagined that.

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