TimLacy3

The news has been a little crowded in the last few weeks. Prince died and went off to Heaven to see if there is such a thing as “Purple Rain.” Donald Trump has the political scene standing on its ears, and has people wondering if he has bumped his head. “Live with Kelly and Michael” has provided us with so much drama that I find myself rooting like I am at a ballgame. Amid all of this drama, the retirement of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is a heartbeat from being shuffled to page 16 in the paper.

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, unless you live in the Himalayas you have heard of Kobe Bryant. Kobe started life getting attention with his name—Kobe is a province in Japan, and a kind of beef is their claim to fame. His parents were seated in anticipation of a fine meal when they noticed an item identified as Kobe, and thought that might be a nice name for their kid. His middle name, “Bean” was taken from his Dad’s nickname “Jellybean.”

Kobe’s dad spent some time in Italy playing basketball and Kobe grew up learning the game, speaking Italian and preparing to earn a ticket on the Fame Train.

When the family returned to the States, Kobe attended Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia. The woes that plague new kids on the block didn’t last long with Kobe, because as soon as he touched a basketball the teasers sat down and shut their mouths.

When he graduated, there was a line of college recruiters licking their chops. Kobe instead decided to take the route of Kevin Garnett and jumped directly to the NBA Draft. He was taken 13th, and the doubters waited to see what this kid could do running with the big dogs. When he won the Slam Dunk contest he opened some eyes and shut some mouths. Proving that he was no fluke, after his second season he was selected to the All Star Team 18 seasons in a row.

While with the Lakers there were some glorious times and some down times.  He couldn’t get along with Shaq even though they were winning championships, resulting in Shaq being traded to a team in that rinky-dink town called South Beach. Some exile—Shaq teamed up with Dwayne Wade and added a couple of rings to his collection.

During this time, Kobe faced rape allegations, spending his days saying, “I didn’t do it,” and his evenings shooting jump shots. He walked away from that incident after spending a little pocket change on a settlement.

Now Kobe has decided he is getting a little long in the tooth and it is time to pack up his 30,000-plus points, and say “Adios.” But before he left, he dropped 60 points in his last game, and rode on into the sunset.