With Kobe Bryant officially announcing he will retire at the end of the 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers, the five-time champion has been able to reflect on his accomplishments.
Since making his announcement, Kobe has received chants and standing ovations from fans around the world to show their appreciation. While he is dealing with a sore shoulder, the farewell tour is expected to continue as the Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets.
Following practice in Denver, Kobe was asked about the top players he has faced in his 20-year career. The Lakers superstar mentioned Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Clyde Drexler according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Kobe's top players: Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Clyde Drexler.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 21, 2015
All of the players Kobe has faced in his career are all-time greats and shows how many eras he has played in. By playing in the season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kobe set a new record for most seasons played with one franchise (20) and surpassed John Stockton of the Utah Jazz (19).
After struggling to start his 20th seasons, Kobe has made adjustments to his game and has played extremely well. While allowing the young core to figure out their own games, Kobe is averaging 20.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the past four games. What has been most impressive during this stretch is his efficiency as he is shooting 50.8 percent from the field.
With 55 games remaining in the season, the hope is to keep Kobe relatively healthy and be able to play his final regular season game against the Utah Jazz.