For 20 years, I’ve watched you dominate the game of basketball. From the Great Western Forum to the world famous Staples Center, you have dedicated your life to becoming one of the greatest players this game has ever seen. Through your commitment to success, outstanding work ethic, and winning attitude, each year you perfected your abilities beyond expectation.
You are an example to your teammates and fans all over the world through your extraordinary achievements on the court and extensive philanthropic efforts off the court. As a 5-time NBA champion, 18-time NBA All-Star, NBA MVP and 2-time Finals MVP, you led your team by example and showed them how to achieve greatness. As a 15-time member of the All-NBA Teams and a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Teams you continued to over-deliver, but it didn’t stop there. You earned the 2nd greatest scoring performance in the NBA with 81 points in a single game and became 3rd on the NBA All-Time scoring list, forever etching your name in NBA History.
Every night you played, I couldn’t wait to watch knowing that I would witness an unbelievable shot or move that I had never seen on the court. I marveled at the skills and loved the energy you brought to the game wearing that purple and gold uniform. You never disappointed the city, Laker fans, and basketball fans worldwide. All you cared about was winning games and championships and that’s why so many people love you.
You will join a legendary list of Laker greats and Hall of Famers. Their jerseys hang proudly from the rafters in Staples Center and soon yours will shine next to them; from Gail Goodrich, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes, James Worthy and Shaquille O’Neal.
Very few people have changed the game of basketball but you will be recognized as one of them alongside my “Dream Team” teammates, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of your career. Thanks for all the fantastic memories. There will never be another Kobe Bryant!
Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Magic Johnson Enterprises