Kobe himself couldn't write a better ending. In triumphant fashion, Kobe Bryant puts a monumental cherry on top of his epic career with a win against the Utah Jazz. Mamba finished with 60 points on the night, scoring 17 straight in the final minutes of the game. It was an incredible night in the sports world from the start.
Magic Johnson gave Bryant a great introduction and a giant hug before he took the floor taking Lakers fans back a couple decades. A tribute video featuring Kobe’s former teammates and greats from around the league played on the big screen as the sold out crowd watched on. Then it was time for Kobe Bryant to do what Kobe Bryant does best, for the very last time.
In the first three quarters the Lakers trailed the Utah Jazz. Bryant had 22 first half points in his final game; but let’s fast forward to when things got really exciting.
The Lakers trailed by 10 points with just over two minutes to play, but true to form, Kobe refused to lose. Bryant nailed a huge three pointer to cut the Jazz lead to one. The crowd went crazy, including long time loyal Laker fan Jack Nicholson who was courtside (naturally).
On the Lakers next possession Kobe went to his patented two-point jump shot and drilled it in to give Los Angeles the lead. At this point Kobe is a mere two points away from another NBA record.
Kobe finished with 60 points becoming the only NBA player to do that in his final game.
Lakers won 101 to 96. The entire Lakers team rushed ran to embrace him. He chuckled after hugging an all-star lineup of former teammates. Every person in the crowd was on their feet as Kobe addressed an ocean of fans for the last time in his number 24 jersey. He thanked his wife Vanessa and their daughters, then turned to crowd and ended it by saying, “You guys will always be in my heart. I sincerely appreciate it. No words can describe how I feel about you guys. I love you, guys. I love you, guys! What can I say? Mamba out!”
Just like the trending hash tag, I also want to say thank you, Kobe. For the years of debates and memories I had with my dad while watching you play, and for a night in sports history that I’ll never forget.