THANK YOU KOBE BRYANT!
Not even Kobe Bryant could write a script this perfect for the end of his career. On his final game as a Los Angeles Laker, he had STAPLES Center roaring. Old teammates were there watching, celebrities, long time fans, and millions on TV tuned in to watch history go down. You could tell his body was on its last legs, but Kobe kept going. The energy in the arena carried him until that final buzzer.
It was the most spectacular ending we’ve ever witnessed, and Kobe’s final game ended with a 22-50 shooting night and incredible 60 points.
The game started bad for Black Mamba, going 0-5 in the first quarter but once he got in the zone, it was lights out. By halftime, he had 21, yet the Lakers still trailed.
By the time the 4th quarter came around, Kobe channeled his prime and willed the team back into the game. He actually outscored the entire Utah Jazz team in the quarter and scored the jumper to put them in the lead after trailing for most of the contest. And he kept scoring. The three-pointers, the post up jumpers, the rebounds; he just kept going when he may not have had gas left.
It was a magical scene that nobody expected to watch.
The last time the Black Mamba put on this type of performance, the New York Knicks were getting the bad end of the stick back in 2009 when he dropped 61 on them inside Madison Square Garden.
After the game, he talked to the fans inside the arena with a heartfelt speech:
As we say goodbye to Kobe Bryant, we’ll always remember his drive and will to never give up. We saw it tonight and throughout the span of his 20-year career.
FINAL: UTAH 96 | LAL 101
.@kobebryant scoring 60 points in his last game is the greatest final performance that I've ever seen in sports!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 14, 2016
Just spoke to Shaq – he said "I challenged him to get 50 and the mother****er got 60"
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 14, 2016
Somehow, Kobe wrote an ending. Sixty-points, Comeback victory. Randy Newman's "I love LA," blaring at Staples. Somehow, he wrote an ending.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) April 14, 2016