Kobe Bryant: NBA legend bows out in style
There was love all around as the 37-year-old Lakers guard played his final game.
JOHANNESBURG - After 20 years in the NBA, Kobe Bryant has played his final match in a 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz.
Bryant ended Wednesday's game with 60 points on 22-of-50 shooting as the Lakers fought back from a 15-point deficit at half time and was again cheered loudly by the fans before he addressed them all from the centre court.
Individual tributes from former team mates and opponents such as LeBron James, Pau Gasol, Stephen Curry, Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony were played before long-time Lakers fan and Hollywood great Jack Nicholson wrapped things up.
"Farewell, Kobe 🐍" pic.twitter.com/BtKXEiSItN
- Pablo (@yahboykenn) April 14, 2016
Kobe autographing his number on the court pic.twitter.com/jmA2ouZGS3— Abbey Mastracco (@AbbeyMastracco) April 14, 2016
Kobe and Lam-Lam after the game today. Emotional. https://t.co/mmLoCAk9X5— Andrew Mulligan (@Andrew_Mulligan) April 14, 2016
David Beckham was court side for Kobe's last game pic.twitter.com/BSEFSDExJE— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) April 14, 2016
A candid Kobe.https://t.co/YooCcjwYrE— ThePostGame.com (@ThePostGame) April 14, 2016
Bryant went on to say that he took pride in the down years "because we didn't run. We played through all that stuff, and we got our championships, and we did it the right way."
The 37-year-old Lakers guard has cemented his place among the pantheon of NBA greats with a career that also includes scoring titles, the third-most points in league history and a league most valuable player award in 2008.
Need to find someone who loves me half as much as everyone loves Kobe— Bethany Hebert (@BHebes) April 14, 2016
I remember getting 2k10 with Kobe on the cover when I first got my PS3.. it's crazy how time flies— C (@CQVT) April 14, 2016
Watching Kobe be Kobe. pic.twitter.com/W6aG11HpkA— BennyCapricorn (@BennyCapricorn) April 14, 2016
Kobe even had Kanye smiling that's impressive 😭😂🏀👌 pic.twitter.com/syzLAnXR28— Almighty Kell (@ChiefSosa3OO) April 14, 2016
Kobe Bryant scores 60 points and gets the win in his last game ever! Congrats on an incredible NBA career 🏀🏀🏀https://t.co/5wkTMqzf5K— AYDIN ÖZDEN (@aozden23) April 14, 2016
If anybody ever says 73-9 to me, I'm just gonna think "damn Kobe really scored 60 in his last career game in his 20th season 🤔"— Prince (@PrinceOTS) April 14, 2016
Kobe's shot chart pic.twitter.com/M7TGmTnUPy— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) April 14, 2016