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Kobe Bryant: The Ozymandias of Los Angeles


“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

-Percy Bysshe Shelley “Ozymandias”

On Sunday night the world was was re-introduced to the tale of Ozymandias in the latest and greatest episode of Breaking Bad on AMC. The seemingly indestructible Heisenberg, aka Walter White, collapsed into the sand like Ozymandias; a man defeated by fear and tormented by his own decline.

After seventeen years in Los Angeles and five championships, Kobe Bryant has secured his place as one of the all-time greats of the NBA. One day a statue of the Laker legend will stand valiantly outside the Staples Center and look down amongst the fans on Chick Hearn Court. What will the legacy of Kobe Bryant be in Los Angeles? Will the new generation remember him as the man who brought five titles to the city, or as the ailing superstar who slowly faded away into the darkness?

Kobe Bryant has averaged 36.6 minutes over the 1,239 games of his regular season career, and 39.3 minutes per game over 220 playoff games. By the end of the 2012-2013 regular season, the 35-year-old Bryant was averaging 27.3 points per game for a disappointing Lakers squad that was still on the verge of making the playoffs. On April 12th, disaster struck when Bryant tore his achilles tendon and devastated the hopes of the faithful Lakers fanatics. Is Kobe Bryant, the Ozymandias of Los Angeles, going to remain in the sand crying about all that was lost?

Kobe Bryant will be back better than ever, and whether you love him or hate him, the dedication and work ethic of the five-time NBA champion should be an example to the modern athlete. The 2013-2014 roster of the Los Angeles Lakers does not look great on paper, but let that be a challenge to the man who now calls himself “vino” – yes, just like wine, Kobe Bryant only gets better with age. An important fact to remember for 20103-2014 is that Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak has restructured the roster in order to make a serious attempt at landing two major free agents next summer. Who could that be? How about LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony?

Does Kobe Bryant truly desire a west coast version of Miami? The idea of LeBron James helping Kobe surpass MJ is an intriguing storyline, but I feel that “Vino” still has a competitive fire to win another title without a superstar like LeBron James.

What do you think? Will Kobe last another three years in Los Angeles? Only time will tell how Bryant’s body responds on the court, but one thing is for certain, this man is the modern Ozymandias of Los Angeles and will not be forgotten.

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