It was an emotional farewell for five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant as he scored a season high 60 points in his final game, ending a stellar 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers – Hollywood ending this was.
Kobe helped LA Lakers come from behind to beat Utah Jazz 101-96. He scored a total of 60 points making it the sixth time the NBA’s the 37-year-old had scored 60 points, a record bested only by Wilt Chamberlain. The NBA’s third highest scorer attempted 50 shots on the night, the most by anyone in an NBA game in the last 30 seasons.
‘It’s hard to believe it happened this way,’ Bryant said. ‘I’m still shocked about it.’
The dramatic end to the game was like nothing the entire Staples Center crowd had seen before. The final display by Bryant left everyone on their feet as he went for a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left. With 31 seconds on the clock, Kobe hit another 3-pointer giving the Lakers a 97-96 point lead. The LA Lakers legend then rounded off in style with an assist before checking out with 4.1 seconds left. What was left to do but hug former team-mate Shaquille O’Neal with the whole of the crowd yelling: “Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!”
“The perfect ending would have been a championship…but tonight was (me) trying to go out, play hard and try to put on a show as much as I possibly could. It felt good to be able to do that one last time.”