Kobe Rides Off On A High Note
Kobe Bryant had an unforgettable final NBA game last night. The 'Mamba' scored 60 points on 50 shots, making him one of only four players all-time to take 50 shots in a game (Wilt Chamberlain , Elgin Baylor , Rick Barry ).
"You can't write something better than this," he said. "It's hard to believe it happened this way. I'm still shocked about it."
Bryant scored 50 points for the first time since 2009, which also happens to be the last year he scored 60 points as well. No player currently in the Hall of Fame scored 30 points in his final regular-season game, Bryant topped them all (2nd, John Havlicek, 29 points in 1978).
But the fact was, in order to win the game, the Lakers needed vintage Kobe Bryant. Down as much as 15, and ten late in the game, Bryant scored 15 of his 23 fourth quarter points to rally the lowly Lakers to the comeback victory.
"What's funny -- the thing that had me cracking up all night long -- the fact that I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball, and then the last night they're like, 'Don't pass it!'" Bryant said.
Kobe shined in front of a number of stars who were in attendance as well. There were the usual's like Jack Nicholson and JAY-Z, but also in attendance was Odell Beckham Jr., Shaquille O'neal, Lamar Odom, Kendrick Lamar, Adam Levine, David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, and many more.
In a post-game interview with Rachel Nichols, O'neal explained how he had challenged Bryant.
"I challenged him to get 50, and the mother****er got 60," O'neal said.
"Thank you guys for all the years of support. Thank you guys for all the motivation. Thank you for all the inspiration."
The Lakers finished 17-65 on the season, the worst record in team history. However, this year will more likely be remembered for being Bryant's final season, more than the worst in franchise history.
Bryant went out with such a fantastic ending that rivals those of Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning. It's all preference on where his final game ranks among the other final games of some of sports greats.
"What can I say? Mamba out," Bryant said closing out his post-game speech.
Where does Bryant rank among the all-time Laker greats?