It'a funny how through the years as time has continued to move how much I have grown to respect Kobe Bean.
Is he the kind of teammate I'd personally want to emulate? No not really.
Do I consider him the greatest Laker of all time? Nope. Personally I am way more biased towards the man they called "Magic". (I'll let that sit there for a future debate)
But something happened to me between 1996, the year Kobe was drafted and 2008. I began to appreciate the good he has and will continue to bring to the game. His willingness to win, the obsessiveness to be the best and expect excellence from those around him. Those are the things many people should continue to admire in the 18 year sample size that Kobe Bean has presented to us and the rest of the NBA community.
As he approaches his 19th season, a season coming off many injuries, facing father time dead in the face, the 2014-15 campaign for Bryant will be one that will fascinate many fans, detractors and even the casual basketball fan. I've always considered Kobe the last standing of the "old school guard".
Happy 36th Birthday to the legend and future Hall Of Famer, Kobe Bryant.