Rumors swirl around next season being Kobe’s last with the Lakers.

When I first heard news that the 2015-2016 season might be the last with Kobe Bryant donning the purple and gold, my initial reaction was, “FINALLY!”

But then I started thinking, “Wait, not yet!”

Two reasons.

1) I have tremendous respect for Kobe the basketball player.  His skills are through the roof and his competitive fire is even higher than that.  He’s basically a copy and paste version of Michael Jordan who just so happens to be the greatest basketball player that’s ever lived.  We might not witness another player like him again in our lifetime.  Sure, you could go ahead and argue that Lebron will pass/has passed both of them up but it would be on pure talent alone.  The fire is nowhere near MJ and Kobe.

2) There aren’t any current players you wish to beat as badly as Kobe.  Much of that has to do with everyone in the league loving each other so much that they form their own super teams.  But really, there aren’t any villains.  We don’t have anyone lined up yet.  Give us some time to come up with someone new because now that Lebron is back in Cleveland, there aren’t any players you wish so desperately to sweep and kick to the curb.  Dwight Howard is close.  James Harden and his 28 free-throws per game could be up there as well.  Even CP3’s antics might annoy some of you.  But the level of passion fans show rooting for or against other players isn’t near as drastic as the ones aimed towards Kobe Bryant and his very own Los Angeles Lakers.

Which is why we still need Kobe in LA for a couple more years.  Don’t pull an MJ and go to some other team.  It just wouldn’t be the same, nor would it really be worth it.  I had almost forgotten Jordan played 2 years in Washington, probably because we never wanted him there to begin with.  And when you conjure up your own Kareem-style farewell tour (which we all know you will), it’ll be in the same jersey we’ve all grown to love or hate.

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