Black Mamba
(USA TODAY Sports)

Dear Kobe,

You don’t know me, nor will you probably ever. Yet, unknown to you, you have played a huge part in me being who I am. For that, I am grateful.

I was a seven-year-old kid with a single mom when you came into the league. I was just discovering the game and only really knew the Chicago Bulls. The first time I saw you was during the Dunk Contest, and I was amazed.

That following spring, I got my first basketball hoop and wanted to be just like you. With no dad to show me how to play, I only wanted to be like you. However, that is a pretty common story that you have probably heard.

I am grateful for more than just your game. You may not have intended it, but you taught the world about life in addition to basketball.

The way you carried yourself was deemed arrogant and cocky by essentially everyone. They deemed you a “villain”. I saw it as being confident and having the trust in yourself that no one else could ever quite have. You showed that it doesn’t matter what people think of you or what they say, as long as you stay true to who you are.

You showed the world what it was like to be able to do whatever you set your mind to. You never had a doubt that you could win, or make a shot, or guard an opponent.

Your cold-blooded attitude was one that was not felt by the league since the Bad Boys of Detroit. However, you were different. You didn’t care about the entertainment and such, you were focused on being the best.

You proved that sometimes you have to be villainous or step on those in your way if you want to achieve greatness.

Your game taught us that self-doubt has no place in the quest for greatness. Whether it was following the motto, “Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot”, or demanding the ball from your team mates, you never had a doubt in what you were doing.

You led a generation of youngsters to believe that every shot you took was going to go in. You became the face of isolation basketball. The difference between how you did it and how others have tried, is that killer instinct you gave us.

The greatest memory you left with me, is one that I hope will never be broken, when you lit up Toronto for 81 points. Sure Wilt scored 100, but we saw you score 81. We saw you not settle when you got to 40 or 50. We saw you actually play the entire game. We saw the command you had on the game.

As painful as the past few years have been in terms of watching your body suffer, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. You have developed full circle as an athlete and person during that time in my eyes. You went from strictly being the villain, to someone who seemed to enjoy being the face for the media. You laughed and had fun in interviews. It allowed the world to see the lighter side of the Black Mamba.

One thing is for sure, the NBA will never be the same. Not only because of how you dominated, but because I have no memory of an NBA season that doesn’t involve you.

I want to thank you sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you have done for the game, for the Lakers, for the league, for the world, and for me. I hope that your retirement brings you the same level of joy and happiness that you brought us with your game.

Sincerely,

Malachi David- A Fan

https://i0.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/a-41.jpg?fit=770%2C470&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/a-41.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Malachi DavidLA LakersNBARecent Posts#Kobe Bryant,mamba,mamba dayDear Kobe, You don't know me, nor will you probably ever. Yet, unknown to you, you have played a huge part in me being who I am. For that, I am grateful. I was a seven-year-old kid with a single mom when you came into the league. I was just discovering...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?