Last night, Kobe Bryant played his final NBA game after a 20-year career with the LA Lakers.
Ending his career in style, Bryant scored 60 points for the Lakers leading them to a fantastic comeback as they beat Utah Jazz 101-96. It was the sixth time that Bryant scored 60 points in his long career and he broke another record – this time for the most points scored by a player in their final regular-season game.
Bryant stayed at Lakers throughout the entirety of his 20-year career and last night spoke about how he grew up as a “die-hard Laker fan”. He won five NBA championships with the Lakers and he is their all-time leading scorer.
Kobe Bryant won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2008 in the same year that he won his first Olympic gold medal in Beijing for the United States in Basketball. He won his second Olympic gold medal in 2012 in London as he added to his huge list of career accolades.
The whole evening had the feeling of a championship celebration just for the Laker star’s final game. On the walls outside the sold-out Staples Center there were huge images from historical events in Bryant’s entire NBA career with the hashtag ‘#ThankYouKobe’.
Bryant ended his 20-year career as an NBA legend – the all-time top scorer in the history of LA Lakers and the third-leading scorer in NBA history.
After an evening full of tributes from teammates, other sporting stars and celebrities, Bryant closed with:
“What else can I say? Mamba out.”