According to the Los Angeles Times, Lakers invited his former teammates to celebrate Bryant’s career. The team also put up giant screens outside the Staples Center bearing the basketball superstar’s image and bringing in Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea to play the national anthem.
The newspaper quoted Lakers publicist John Black saying: “The game is going to be a ‘zircus’ — a zoo and a circus.”
Here are Kobe Bryant’s 1o most unforgettable moments in his career that fans will remember forever.
1. Bryant NBA draft
The basketball superstar was only 17 when he was taken by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 draft. He was then traded to the Lakers for center Vlade Divac, NPR noted.
In 2014, Bryant surpassed Michael Jordan for the third spot on the all-time scoring list. The Lakers superstar so far got 33,583 points in his career. Bryant ranks behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).
3.The 81-point game
On January 22, 2006, Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single NBA game behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962.
4. 62 points in just three quarters
Almost exactly a month before Kobe’s 81-point game, Kobe dropped 62 points against the Dallas Mavericks. The game was such a blowout that he was benched in the fourth quarter, USA Today noted.
5. The 40 points average for a month
Kobe Bryant did not just have a few good scoring games, but the was able to score an average of 40 points in a month. In February 2003, every game was his game.
6. The 12 3-pointers in a game
Bryant was never a consistent 3-point shooter, but when he wants it, he gets it. In a 2003 game against Seattle, he was able to basket 12 3-pointers.
7. Kobe’s first 50-point game
Bryant was just 22 years old when he notched his first 50-point game.
8. Olympic gold medals
Bryant has joined five U.S. national basketball teams, helping lead them to gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
9. Back-to-back MVP
In 2010, Kobe Bryant cemented his legacy by winning his fifth NBA title and second without Shaquille O’Neal.
10. Rape case
In 2003, a 19-year-old woman accused Bryant of raping her and he was charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment. The criminal charges were later dropped because the woman said she would not testify in court. Bryant settled a civil suit with the woman for an undisclosed amount and issued a public apology as part of the deal.