Kobe Bryant Eastbay Cover

To the dismay of many, Kobe has finally announced (via poem) the end of his spectacular 20-year career. Five rings, 17 all-star bids, an MVP, and a couple of gold medals — those are just a few of the accolades he’s accomplished along the way. The two-time NBA scoring champ, and 13th overall pick in 1996, has played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. At age 23, Kobe became the youngest player ever to win three championships, and now plagued by injuries at age 37, we’re sad to see him go.

Kobe’s dominance for nearly two decades is a nod to his diligence toward basketball. His decorated and storied career aside, Kobe’s reputation for being one of the hardest-working players ever is what makes him an Eastbay athlete. We’re proud to have had him on our December 2013 cover (shown above). The hard work and passion that Kobe has shown toward his sport aligns with our fundamental values. We would like to wish Kobe Bryant a warm farewell after this season, and the very best of luck in his future endeavors — which will definitely include new sneakers.

On behalf of us all at Eastbay, thank you, Kobe. Your passion for the game and will to win has inspired us, and your personal style has brought great attention to the sneaker game and fashion culture.

If you want to grab some Kobe gear to commemorate his historic career, you can find here at eastbay.com.