Though Kobe Bryant missed a few shots in the first part of his final NBA game Wednesday, the former MVP player scored an amazing 60 points for the Lakers’ win.
As per the Los Angeles Times, he made six out of a whopping 21 three-point attempts, and his last three-point shot gave his team a one-point lead against the Utah Jazz.
It was Bryant’s last game for the NBA, which included 5 hard-earned championships and 18 All-Star games to his name. Indeed, it was a memorable night not only for Bryant but also for the fans that have shown support in his basketball career for two decades. Tonight, the fans showed their support not only by their presence but also for their every cheer each time the player scored.
ESPN also reported that Magic Johnson, another Lakers icon, spoke before fans prior to the game, saying Bryant has “never cheated us fans.”
Kobe Bryant’s final game in Staples Center was opened with a video tribute, which started with the younger Black Mamba saying that he planned to play for at least 20 years and boy, he did! Right after the game, Bryant was handed the mic and was caught saying that he himself can’t believe how fast 20 years have gone and that despite the trials and achievements, going through everything together was all that mattered. Bryant is the first NBA player to have played 20 seasons for the same team.
To witness the moment, former teammates were also around including Derek Fisher, Shaquille O’Neal, and Lamar Odom. During timeouts, there were pre-recorded words of appreciation from celebrities shown on the scoreboards. These included Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber.
The Lakers presented Kobe Bryant and his wife championship-like rings as their gift. The ring had five large diamonds, representing the championships he had won and 20 smaller ones, symbolising the years of his basketball career with the NBA.