When Kobe Bryant announced his retirement on Sunday, it got everyone thinking about his legacy, about the moments that defined his career. Well, Kobe was — above all else — a scorer, so what more iconic moment should we venerate than his legendary 81-point explosion?
That’s what SportsCenter was thinking on Sunday night, when they paid tribute to Kobe by replaying their highlight from the night it happened, which was called by none other than the late, great Stuart Scott. Relive all of his classic catchphrases, deployed for a night deserving of hyperbole. Or, if you just want to see all those points, here they are:
It’s still striking how normal it feels to hear Scott’s voice, naturally paired to the game best suited to his inimitable style. Sure, the remembrance is not about Stu, but it’s hard not to take a moment to remember him. We have the rest of the season to memorialize Kobe, but seeing his 81-point night again, and hearing the man who brought us so many of Kobe’s highlights, is a great place to start.
The next milestones on Kobe’s farewell tour promise to be his emotional final games at various arenas across the country — his last game in Sacramento is Jan. 7, and his last game in Boston is Dec. 30, just to name a couple. On Tuesday night, he’ll play in his high-school hometown of Philadelphia for the last time. Even though it’ll be the Sixers and the Lakers, every game is marked with significance since it’ll likely be Kobe’s last visit to every Eastern Conference arena he now visits.