As of August 23, 2014, Kobe Bryant will be 36 years old. That means Kobe has spent more than half of his life as a Los Angeles Laker — he was 17 years, 10 months, and 3 days old when he was drafted and then traded to L.A. on that fateful draft day.
If Kobe plays out his two-year contract, he’ll retire after having played 20 seasons with the Lakers, an incredible achievement in itself, and a testament to Kobe’s basketball longevity.
As he enters the final chapter of his career, Kobe says, “I hear the pundits and people talk, saying, ‘Well, he won’t be what he was.’ Know what? You’re right! I won’t be. But just because something evolves, it doesn’t make it any less better than it was before.”
Being a 36-year-old guard coming off a devastating Achilles injury, Kobe knows the end is likely near. But he doesn’t want anyone’s sympathy.
“If you booed me for 18, 19 years, boo me for the 20th. That’s the game, man.”
And on that note, feel free to check out the above video featuring the top-10 plays of Kobe’s remarkable career thus far, courtesy of the NBA.