The Great MAMBA 

When I first saw you, you had a swagger to you. 

Everyone said you wanted to be Jordan but would never be him.

It was the 1998 All Star Game and I saw you had no fear.

You didn’t back down to MJ. You embraced the challenge and attacked Jordan as you seemed to tell him, you don’t want to be like Mike, you want to be better.

I watched you miss 3 pointer after 3 pointer in Utah but you didn’t put your head down, you continued to work. 

Then when you helped lead the Lakers back to the Finals, I saw the greatness in you beaming out.

It was those finals where your legacy was cemented as after the Diesel fouled out in Game 4, you carried the Lakers to victory as you told Shaq better known as Superman who some considered the Batman of the squad, that you got this after you hit clutch shot after clutch shot.

To me you were never Robin as year after year you destroyed the Blazers and their anointed Kobe stoppers.

You literally took down the twin towers while at times Shaq didn’t deliver.

You worked harder than anyone both on and off the court.

Even when your character was questioned and you made mistakes, you embraced the villain role and played insanely scoring 50 and 60 almost on a regular.

I heard of Wilt’s 100 points but I witnessed your 81.

You shredded the Raptors and a collegiate ideal of mine Jalen Rose as you led the Lakers to a comeback victory. 

You scored 62 in 3 quarters and helped renew the Lakers vs Celtics rivalry while winning your first NBA regular season MVP trophy.

You lost to Beantowns Big 3 but came back even more hungry the next 2 seasons defeating Orlando’s new Superman and getting revenge on the Celtics.

You finished your career with 60 points in a victory over the Jazz as the entire Staples Center sung your praises.

Even after your illustrious career you set new challenges and achieved new heights winning an Oscar for Dear Basketball.

Still that’s not your only or last great achievement as you were an even greater father of 4 daughters.

Your legacy inspired many and endowed an entire generation to work harder, longer and perfect your craft. 

You are the GREATEST!

A Laker legend, an NBA Great and to some you are the GOAT or at least entered the conversation but to me you are the Great MAMBA!

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