Future impact the perfect legacy for Bryant

Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:33pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For all the NBA titles and All-Star selections he has piled up during an illustrious career, Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant wants his legacy to be judged on how he has impacted the sport's future not the past.

The 37-year-old shooting guard has already established himself as one of the greatest players ever in the National Basketball Association and will be retiring from competition after the 2015-16 season, his 20th in the league.

"I try to look at my legacy and how it impacts the future of the game," Bryant said on a conference call with international media on Monday. "I'm not looking at my legacy from the standpoint of where I fit in with the greatest of all time.

"For me, it's a moot point and a shallow argument. I think the most important thing and the most beautiful thing is how does your legacy impact the generation of players to come?

"If what I've done and what I've stood for these 20 years has impacted the players today and the players tomorrow in a positive way, in a way they can then carry that legacy on themselves and impact the generation to follow, that's much more significant than where I stand in history."

A five-times NBA champion who has appeared in 17 All-Star games, Bryant has done it all on the court yet even as he prepares to take his final bow there are goals to be achieved.

Though slowed by age and a slew of injuries, Bryant has set his sights on making his competitive farewell at next year's Rio Olympics.

"That's something I am actually pressing for," said Bryant, who won gold medals with the U.S. Olympic team in 2008 and 2012. "Being part of the Olympics is such a beautiful experience.   Continued...

Dec 7, 201 Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) salutes the crowd reaction as he exits the game for the last time in Canada against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 102-93. Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports