Kobe Bryant scores 60 in his last game
Kobe Bryant left the NBA the same way that he played all of his 1,346 games, shooting.
The Black Mamba brought back the scowl in the final minutes, finishing his final game at Staples Center with 60 points on 22-50 shooting. Not a great economy from the floor, but we never wanted anything other than to see the great man let loose one last time.
The 60 points was Kobe’s sixth 60+ point haul over a career that spanned 20 years. Some of his teammates weren’t even born when he first took the court as a Laker.
Shaq sets the challenge
In the days leading up to the final game former teammate Shaq (Diesel/The Big Aristotle/The Big Shamrock) set Kobe a task, and even he had to laugh it off.
“I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by. This is crazy. Absolutely crazy,” he said to the Staples crowd after the thrilling 101-96 come from behind victory.
“I grew up a die-hard Laker fan. To be drafted [by Charlotte in 1996] and then traded here, to spend 20 years here. You can’t write something better than this.”
Unlike other nights during his career when teammates and fans alike were screaming for him to pass the ball, this night he could have gone 12-50 and nobody would have cared.
His 50 shot attempts was the most recorded in an NBA game since official tracking began in 1983.
Kobe brings out The Mamba, one last time…
“The thing that had me cracking up all night long; I went through 20 years of everybody screaming at me to pass the ball and then tonight everyone’s like ‘Don’t pass it!‘” he said.
Every made shot on this night was something to savour, with the crowd exploding with every basket.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys,” he said to the fans.
“And to my family … thank you guys for all your sacrifice.