When Kobe Bryant announced that he would retire after this season, tons of players from all around the NBA took to social media to pay tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers legend. Denver Nuggets' Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari all had words for the future Hall of Famer. The most poetic tribute from a Nugget, however, came from guard Will Barton.
There's no question Bryant had a profound impact on many players in the league, and this includes multiple Nuggets. Nurkic has been extremely vocal about the fact that he idolized Bryant growing up, and Gallinari has a cool connection with him because his father, Vittorio Gallinari, played against Bryant's father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, in the Italian league.
However, and maybe it's just because I was an English major and I appreciate the poetic vibe, this tweet from Barton seems to best capture the feelings of many after the announcement came Sunday that The Black Mamba is hanging it up for good at season's end. Barton admitting that he will most likely shed tears is a powerful sentiment, and I think it accurately represents what Bryant has meant to the game of basketball. Regardless of whether or not you were a fan of Bryant, it's hard to deny the NBA will truly miss his presence on the court. Here's to a happy retirement for #24.