Just like the NBA is unlikely to see another Michael Jordan, a former NBA player believes the league is also unlikely to see another Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, who is retiring after the 2015-2016 season, seems to have given the game and the fans all he could, and he’s a one-of-a-kind superstar, believes ex-NBA star Jalen Rose.
Other players, coaches, and athletes have spoken out about Kobe’s career and importance, showing the overall impact he’s had on the NBA.
One former player who can attest to that is ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, who not only played Kobe and the Lakers in the 2000 NBA Finals, but was also on the wrong end of Kobe’s 81-point explosion.
“I’m like everybody else: I’m just celebrating the end of an era,” Rose said of Kobe’s retirement to Business Insider.
“Is he last greatest superstar that came truly before the social media, before LeBron [James], before [Dwyane] Wade, and was just consumed with basketball?” Rose said. “Like, Kobe was obsessed with the game of basketball.”
Rose further said that while the people will remember Kobe’s 81-point outburst, his greatest plays were from different games and years.
“The day he scored 81 points — people are gonna look at the box score, but if you look at his greatest plays in his history, none of the plays from that game are gonna be on there. What made that game great is the zone he was in, the discipline he continued to exude, the stamina, consistency that he had,” Rose said.
“He never talked trash, he never pumped his chest, he never got out of character. He was like a man amongst boys,” Rose said of Bryant.
Rose also said that Bryant approaches his game in a way different from some other of today’s stars.
“They’re billionaires, they have radio stations, they have movies, they have all these things, but you never see them. They’re so in love with their craft,” he said.
He explained that when Kobe hit his prime, there was more isolation basketball and more players taking 20 shots per game and scoring 20 points per game.
“Now the game is more pace-and-space, five-man basketball,” Rose said. “It’s an era of resting healthy players; he missed that era.”
Yet, Rose believes the NBA won’t look empty when Bryant leaves, after all, the same was felt when Michael Jordan was leaving the court.
“”It’s just like when [Michael Jordan] left,” Rose said. “A lot of people were wondering what was gonna happen with the league and if he was gonna leave it in good hands. Well, he did it with Tim Duncan, Kobe, Shaq, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James. And now you see a new era being ushered by Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis.”
The member of the infamous “Fab 5” squad, Rose played for Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns during his NBA career.
Rose appeared in total of 923 games (572 started), averaging 14.3 ppg, 3.8 apg and 3.4 rpg in 30.3 minutes of action.
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