This is our client John Salmons as he was guarding Kobe Bryant which he did many times over his 10+ year career. Here is what John said about Kobe before his big game last night: "It always took your 100% focus to guard Kobe! Seeing the Lakers on the schedule was always a game I prepared a little differently for, because it was always the ultimate challenge. The NBA will miss him! Congrats Kobe for graduating from the game."
I never had the honor or more accurate the torturous deed of guarding Kobe Bryant. I have however been watching him for 20 years. To say that he was viewed as a villain for most of his career is a fair statement. However, Bryant did a masterful rebrand this year. He realized he will have a much longer career off the court than he ever had as a basketball player. He did a farewell tour that endeared him to the fans and he left everything on the court last night. He scored 15 of the last 17 points for the Lakers and he won the game.
This last year in many ways rewrites his history. He now will be remembered for his 5 titles, being a great competitor, and for ending his career scoring 60 points in a game. A feat at age 37 seems completely implausible.
I could only hope that we could help our CEO clients build a brand that performs a fraction of what Bryant has done. Now what is next? We get to watch Kobe Bryant be a CEO. I have no doubt he will be a great one.