Make sure to soak up Kobe Bryant while we still have him. Kobe has already admitted that he might get emotional in his final game, and we know a lot of fans out there will as well. Sure, once he retires Bryant will still largely live in the public's eye, but it won't be the same without the Mamba on the court.
Even his haters can't deny that Kobe is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, racking up a number of accolades over his 20 years, including MVP, two Finals MVPs, 18 All-Star selections, and of course 5 championships.
On top of his hardwood prowess, another thing that makes Kobe so special is his diverse talents in fields outside of basketball. It's incredible that somebody who dedicates so much time to their professional craft is also so skilled in other areas of life as well
Let's look at some things Kobe excels at other than basketball.
He can speak Italian fluently…
When Kobe was just a young boy, his father left the NBA to play basketball professionally in Italy. Unlike many kids who would struggle with such a big change, Bryant embraced it and even learned to speak Italian fluently.
… And Spanish
Kobe isn't just bilingual with English and Italian, he's trilingual – he speaks Spanish in addition to English and Italian. He doesn't speak it nearly as much, but he was able to communicate with Pau Gasol on the floor while opposing players were left to wonder what they were saying. Here's a taste of it:
A couple years back, Kobe posted a short video of himself playing piano, saying it helps him relax after tough losses or when he reaches his boiling point. Here's the clip from “Moonlight Sonata”:
Kobe Bryant has always been one of the most well-spoken players in all of professional sports, and in his letter to basketball announcing his retirement, the Mamba proved that he's a very talented writer as well. Many modern poets wish they could have as big of an impact as Bryant was able to with his words:
“I’ll always be that kid, With the rolled up socks.”
It might not be his greatest talent, but you have to give the Black Mamba some credit for putting himself out there early in his career. Bryant had a deal for an album with Sony titled Visions and he released the single K.O.B.E., but when it wasn't well received, the other songs weren't released.
Kobe started playing basketball when he was just three years old but it wasn't much later that he picked up soccer as well. Watch Kobe casually dribble before hitting the PK (he's clearly done this a time or two).
Kobe is starting to follow in the foot steps of Michael Jordan by transitioning into a successful post-basketball career in business. Kobe's shoes have earned the Mamba millions annually on top of his Lakers salary, and he's endorsed several products for large paychecks in the past.
In 2014, Bryant opened Kobe Inc., which will invest in multiple businesses while starting their own corporations. Be prepared for Kobe to take over the world shortly.
These are just some of the many off-court talents that Kobe Bryant possesses.
In whatever the Mamba decides to spend his time doing after he is finally done with his 20 years of incredible basketball on the court, you know he'll bring that same Mamba-level determination to it and find success.
Because if there's one thing we know about Kobe, it's that there is no one more determined than he is. For fans that have been able to watch him play throughout his career, that Mamba look will forever be synonymous with effort and determination.
Thank you Kobe Bryant for showing us all what it means to be great.