When I think about Kobe and his career I naturally think of it in increments of 3. These 3 phases as you could call it are as follows, Phase 1: Fro Days & 3 peat years – Phase 2: The in between years (03-07) – Phase 3: Back On Top (08-12). Each of these phases represents a different type of Kobe from his own playing style, to expectations and his place in the league and history. While Kobe fans all have different opinions on which Kobe they prefer, not too many will argue that the most exciting Kobe was during phase 1. As a long time Kobe fan I have an appreciation of what he’s done over the course of his 16 year career and can’t rank one phase over the other because each phase has played a vital part in making Kobe who he is.
Years from now when I sit down to tell my kids about the most polarizing sports figure of our time I would naturally start with phase 1, which is ultimately why us 20-something year olds became fans of Kobe in the first place. Before the LeBrons, Dwyane Wades and Dwight Howards. Before the Derrick Roses, Russell Westbrooks, Blake Griffins, there was a young Kobe in his athletic prime who ruled Sports Center on a nightly basis. This 36 minute video showcases the best of Kobe during phase 1 of his career.