sportshaiku

Kobe and KG – The Career, The Endings

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Work Leads to Wins, Rings
Hoisting the Trophy. Now time
for the next youngsters.

#KB20 is trending. You can buy shirts and hats with the logo celebrating his final season. KG21 shirts and jerseys are still available, celebrating his return to Minnesota.

Kobe and KG are two great players who are “starting” on young squads, but nursing decades of intensity-causing injuries. And I think both are retiring. It’s so strange how they are so similar, yet so different.

One of the strangest items in my sports collection is a reversible KG and Kobe jersey. It’s blue on one side and yellow on the other. When it came out, I was amazed. Two young high schoolers who had successfully “made it” in the NBA. Now many years later, I’m amazed how similar their careers actually have been.

Both players made an insane amount of money and both won titles (Kobe has 5, but KG has the honor of taking one from Kobe – which might’ve motivated him greatly afterwards).

Now both are the ‘face of the franchise’, but both can clearly see in their rear view mirror that ‘next’ is truly visible and imminent.

Kobe is playing games in-between rest for his shoulder. He’s embarking on a farewell tour and suddenly, the villain is being cheered as a hero. ESPN SportsCenter covers his goodbye moments nightly.

KG is out. He hasn’t played since January 23rd in a win over Memphis. Since then, he’s been quietly “inactive.” There’s  a great tribute song about his 2016 season by Timberwolves The Podcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYW0qiEde_E. I hear that song today and feel blessed to have been there.

Now, it seems both are bowing out at the same time, though in very different ways. Both will have their numbers retired and that reversible jersey will have great significance for me. Did I see KG and Kobe’s last games in Minnesota in the same year? It’s strange, but possible.

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