LOS ANGELES—Kobe Bryant capped off his illustrious career with a thrilling 60 point game, as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz 101-96. With LA trailing by 14 points in the fourth, classic Kobe single handedly defeated the Jazz with an amazing 23-points down the stretch.
“What cracked me up during the game, was for 20 years everybody screamed at me to pass the ball, tonight they’re saying don’t pass,” exclaimed a beaming Bryant. And shoot away he did, attempting a mind boggling 50 attempts. It was a fairytale ending to a nightmare season, the worst as a franchise, a dismal 17-65 record.
The deafening chant of “KOBE KOBE KOBE!” extended to all of L.A. Live, people were packed shoulder to shoulder outside celebrating their hero’s swan song. It was a Kobe Carnival; every jumbo-tron showing a never ending highlight reel of his greatest plays, fans posing with cardboard cutouts of Bryant, a rock climbing wall, and the Laker Girls.
For 20 years we have watched him orchestrate 5 NBA titles, 18 All-Star appearances, third all time leading scorer in league history and his 81 point eruption at the expense of the Toronto Raptors.
In a sense, Kobe Bryant’s career is comparable to the Beatles. Through the highlights and photos, we can pinpoint the many phases of his trajectory to stratespheric heights. Whether its the No. 8 or No. 24 jersey, his discipline and dedication to the game was a testament to his greatness. There will never be another KOBE!