Kobe Bryant's final NBA game is tonight—and for this day only, he has his own Metro stop. In his long tenure as a Laker, the future Hall of Famer has impacted the city of Los Angeles almost as much as anybody—certainly more than any other athlete. So it seems fitting to honor Bryant's legacy by mapping a few notable spots around the general LA area (dirty little secret: Kobe's actually more of an OC guy), where the man who ages like fine wine has left his mark over the years.
Bryant came into the lives of Angelenos all the way back in 1996, when he was chosen thirteenth in the NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets—remember that fact; you know it will come up in some trivia contest someday. The Hornets immediately traded Bryant to the Lakers, where he's played ever since. During Kobe's career, the Lakers have won five championships, including three in a row from 2000 to 2002.
Bryant's time as a player has not been without controversy. A much-publicized feud between him and Shaquille O'Neal led to Lakers management deciding to trade the latter star. In 2003, rape accusations made by a hotel employee in Colorado turned many fans against him. And there was his ill-fated hip-hop career.
But Bryant's relentless work ethic and competitive drive have still earned him millions of fans around the world. Now let's take a look at some of his old SoCal haunts.Read More