If you’re an NBA superstar on your way out for good, it is no surprise that everyone around will be celebrating your amazing career. This is what’s happening to Kobe Bryant, who is retiring by the end of the 2015-2016 season.
Bryant’s body is clearly not what it used to be, and the injuries have done their job too – it is time to hang on the sneakers and do something else.
Kobe Bryant, intentionally or not, made a bold move: he announced his retirement not before the season, not after it, but right in the middle of it. Aside from everything else, it was a very good and smart marketing move.
Think of it this way: a top-caliber superstar is retiring, and there are still games to go into the season. What does it mean? It means that with one announcement, Kobe Bryant single-handedly boosted the ticket sales at nearly every NBA arena. Even in cities where Bryant got booed, he’s receiving a totally different treatment, following the retirement announcement.
Same probably goes for the NBA games broadcasted on television. Every LA Lakers game is presented as “This is may be the last time you’ll ever see Kobe Bryant play basketball”. And it works on people. They pay to see that.
More on Kobe Bryant:
Why Kobe Bryant will never be as great as Michael Jordan
NBA may never see another Kobe Bryant, and here’s why
Ex-NBA star believes Kobe Bryant may come back after retiring
Phil Jackson’s book says Jordan was better than Kobe Bryant
Shaq reveals who was better: Kobe or LeBron
Right now no one really cares if Bryant made this “retirement annoucement” deal with the NBA commissioner, or just flat-out said it straight, but it was his greatest gift to the NBA – getting more fans to the games. Better than any ad campaign.
At this point in his career, Kobe has left nothing to prove. His resume is fat and full of accomplishments that are cemented in NBA history. Bryant retires as the guy with fantastic work ethic, the guy we all loved, loved to hate, the guy who won (with and without Shaq), and who could put asses in seats – even in his last season.
We’re excited to see what Kobe Bryant does next. And whatever he does next, he sure will continue to stay in the headlines for some time.
By Tim Tal
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