Kobe Bryant vs. Utah
Kobe Bryant speaks with the media after scoring 60 points in his final game on April 13, 2016.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Kobe Given ESPY Icon Award

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

At the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night, Kobe Bryant was honored alongside fellow legends Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach with an ESPY Icon Award.

Bryant was showered with "Kobe!" chants from the audience at Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles when he accepted the honor. He began with a bit of self-depreciating humor by comparing his team's 17-65 record in his last season to the finales of Manning and Wambach, who retired after winning the Super Bowl and Women's World Cup.

The 18-time All-Star continued by highlighting the dedication to his craft that he shared with the other two recipients.

“We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability,” Bryant said. “We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days. We’re up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to make us stronger.”

In front of a crowd that included former teammates Shaquille O'Neal and Jordan Clarkson, the five-time champion concluded by reiterating that he does not plan to rest in retirement.

The 37-year-old has plans that include furthering his company, Kobe Inc., and telling stories through filmmaking.

“I believe that there’s time for resting at the end, but for me that time is not now,” Bryant said. “Thank you for this tremendous honor and honoring my basketball career, but I’m far from done. My next dream is to be honored one day for inspiring the next generation of athletes to have a dream, sacrifice for it and never, ever rest in the middle.”

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