Why Kobe Bryant was so important to the NBA - ESPN

LOS ANGELES -- It's not the where of Kobe Bryant so much as the when. We get so caught up in rankings that we don't think of timing. The polarizing properties of Kobe mean the arguments over his place among the NBA greats will continue long into his retirement, so let's take a moment to discuss the one element that's not up for debate: He was the NBA's most important player from 2000 to 2009.



Kobe Bryant will call it a career after this season. We have all of the news, reaction and analysis covered, and break down what 20 years o