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Time for ‘Black Mamba’ to retire into his snake hole

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Tim Carroll/Sports Columnist

Tim Carroll, Sports Columnist

As I watched the NBA All-Star game, they brought on the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant in the middle of the game to chat with play-by-play man Marv Albert and color commentators Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr.

Their talk of his rehabilitation process nearly bored me to sleep, as the All-Star game isn’t interesting enough to hold my interest through the way Kobe was talking of his frustration.

His first mistake was coming back too early; he may have injured himself because he was trying to avoid injury. Oh, the irony of the situation.

I know Kobe is still chasing that elusive sixth championship ring, but why bother? He is still a top-10 player of all time in most people’s books, and sorry to say for all the Kobe fans out there, he is not going to pass Michael Jordan simply by matching him in championships.

Jordan’s numbers per game are clearly so much better overall that it would be foolish to try and make the case for Kobe being better, or even on the same level.

Even though I’m not a huge Kobe fan, it was actually hard for me to watch him come off the floor last season following his injury. I knew that team was making a pretty good playoff push, and it would have been interesting to see a healthy Lakers team play a San Antonio Spurs team that wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders at the time of the series.

Now there is a lot of talk about the Lakers signing a big-name free agent in the off-season to pair with Kobe in hopes of getting Kobe that final title, but there is little else in LA that you would be able to do to acquire more pieces to win a title. The guy the squad is looking at seems to be Carmelo Anthony, who will demand a $20 million or more salary, and Kobe is already locked in at $24 million.

Does anyone really believe Anthony and Bryant could win a title by themselves? It seems like they would be a terrible fit together with both of them demanding the ball so often.

Now, as a future Hall-of-Famer, Kobe is really entitled to do whatever he wants. He has earned that with his play in the league, but he should just call it quits, and go out on his own terms. I know with the injury, it isn’t really considered his terms, but it may just get worse from here, as I doubt he would want his final seasons to be marred with mediocrity.

Kobe is clearly an all-time great, but at this point in his career, his legacy is already set in stone, so why fight it?

My hat is off to you Kobe! Now get off of my TV screen!

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