The great Kobe Bryant is retiring, and the lovefest is in full swing. When you're an 18-time NBA All-Star and a five-time NBA Champion, you certainly deserve a nice sendoff.
So, congrats to Kobe on a phenomenal career.
OK, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about the quality of Kobe's play during his farewell season.
Entering his last game, Bryant had 1,063 field goal attempts on the season and a field goal percentage of 35.4 percent. Those two stats make something quite apparent—Kobe still wanted to take a ton of shoots during his final season, but they didn't go in very often.
In fact, Bryant is the first NBA player since 1959 to attempt more than 1,000 field goals in a season and shoot under 35.5 percent.
The 50s were a different era of basketball, as evidenced by the fact that during the 1955-56 regular season, the league as a whole shot 38.7 percent from the field (compared to 45.2 percent in 2015-2016). The only season of the modern era that compares to Bryant's 2015-2016 is Trey Burke's 2014-2015 season, in which he attempted 1,005 field goals and shot 36.8 percent from the field.
Bryant is also the only player in NBA history to attempt more than 445 3-point field goals in a season and make 28.5 percent of them or worse.
His field goal percentages plummeted over the final seasons of his career, but Kobe's confidence in his shot never wavered.
With the Lakers wrapping up an abysmal season, some will say they will be better off without the Mamba next year. However, one bad season does not diminish Kobe's long reign of NBA dominance.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock