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The Top 10 Plays of Kobe Bryant’s Career

On Sunday Kobe Bryant announced that the 2015-16 season would be his last. We figured, what better way to look back on his no-doubt first-ballot Hall of Fame career than by watching his 10 greatest plays (as compiled by the NBA).

Of course, winnowing down a 20-year run like Kobe’s to just 10 plays is kind of foolish just on its face. Dude’s been around a while, and most of the time making deep runs into the postseason. He’s made 16 straight all-star teams, scored more than 30,000 points, won five championships, etc. It’s a helluva resume.

You’d probably have trouble just choosing Black Mamba’s 10 best playoff plays, or 10 best dunks, or 10 best clutch shots or 10 best All-Star Game moments — much less 10 best plays overall. But anyway, it’s still a tight roundup, obviously.

Kobe made his retirement announcement on the Players Tribune, in a poem called ‘Dear Basketball.’ Here’s how it starts off:

Dear Basketball,

From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.

A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.

Go check out the rest if you’d like.

And just for the hell of it, here are all 81 points from that game where Kobe scored 81 points:

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