Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admit Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant is one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. Over the past 20 years the Los Angeles Laker has racked up an impressive collection of individual and team accomplishments, including 5 NBA Championships, 18 All-Star appearances, and finishing 3rd on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list. In a league where it’s commonplace for players to transition from one team to the next, Bryant has gone the distance wearing the Purple and Gold throughout his long and illustrious career. 

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And while it’s rare that we shine a light on the greats of the hardwood, it’s only fitting to give props to an amazing athlete who took his training way beyond basic basketball drills. No matter how much natural talent one possesses, they don’t get to the pinnacle of their chosen sport without working longer and harder than their competition — on the court and in the gym. Those who have followed Kobe over the years know how hard ‘The Mamba’ has worked to overcome his many injuries while staying at the top of his game. But father time eventually catches even the greatest of athletes, which is why Kobe will be hanging it up for good in his final game tonight at Staples Center. 

Check out this moving tribute to Kobe Bryant.