Tomorrow marks the end of an era in the NBA (National Basketball Association) as one of its favorite sons, Kobe Bryant, is retiring at the age of 37 after 20 seasons of very productive play.
Like any L.A. Lakers fan, especially if you lived in Los Angeles during the time he played, Kobe’s departure from the game tomorrow stirs up memories of exciting buzzer beaters, acrobatic shots and dunks, 5 NBA trophies and parades for the team and city I love. He truly gave the game his best and in the process he created an impressive legacy on the court for many of us to admire.
As I consider his contribution in life up to this point on the court, I also look forward to seeing what he will do to further his legacy off the court. I’m old enough (and fortunate as well) to have lived in L.A. during the Showtime era with Magic, Kareem, James, Michael and Pat, and I have seen first hand what Magic did (and still does) in the city to make positive changes in the lives of many.
Like Magic and other Lakers who have preceded him, I know that Kobe and his wife Vanessa (through the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation) are already helping to end homelessness with youth who live in the Cities of Hollywood and Santa Monica. A very impressive start to match a very impressive legacy he achieved on the court! For this I say thank you Kobe for how you have inspired me through the years and for the great work you and your wife are currently and will continue to do to make a difference with people and social issues that are close to my heart!
So what about you? Have you ever thought about what your legacy will be? In the words of my favorite Psychologist Erik Erickson, who wrote about the stage of life that Kobe is in (Generatively versus Stagnation), Erickson said that the key question for the 35 – 65 year old person to ask their self is “How can I contribute to this world,” in order to make it a better place? Have you thought about how you could make a difference? What would your legacy be? What will you be remembered for?
In the meantime, tune in to watch the game tonight and cheer on who my son and I think is one of the greatest players of all time to play the game of basketball. Thanks again Kobe for the memories!
UPDATE: Thursday, April 14, 2016 – Kobe scores 60 pts. in his final NBA game!
YouTube video: Kobe Bryant: A Tribute To An Incredible Career
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