Kobe Bryant‘s final game in the NBA was nothing short of a spectacle in the best possible way. Though his body is nothing like what it used to be, Bryant played the final 30 minutes of Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz and scored an astounding 60 points, including the crucial go-ahead shot, in a 101-96 victory.
kobe and shaq pic.twitter.com/dLlrkh2i9S
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) April 14, 2016
Yes, Bryant attempted 50 field goals, which is hilarious in and of itself, but he was brilliant, signature Kobe when he absolutely had to be making his last five shots and free throws in a win.
And, of course, his final play was an assist. Go figure.
“What an exit for #24! You couldn’t have written this!” https://t.co/jYz8hsxdYb
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 14, 2016
You couldn’t have scripted a better finale. The truth is, I don’t know that anybody could believe what they were seeing. It was almost too perfect, save for the fact that the Lakers are still a 17-win team. Naturally, reactions began pouring in during Kobe’s final moments as an NBA player. The long list of celebrities there to witness it all had some of the best reactions:
Of course, fellow players had to give some major props, as well:
Suns watching Kobe be Kobe. pic.twitter.com/TMpknItNEZ
— #WeArePHX (@Suns) April 14, 2016
Kobe’s teammates, Nick Young and Roy Hibbert, needed to capture the moment:
Surely, one of the people most surprised by Kobe’s performance was Lakers head coach Byron Scott, who admitted afterward Kobe had defied Father Time for one last game to go out on top:
Then there was the historical perspective of what Kobe accomplished in his final game and throughout his career:
Kobe’s farewell speech was memorable, as well. After thanking the fans, teammates and his family for all that’s transpired over the last two decades, Bryant ended with “Mamba out,” which is already looking like it will go down as one of the all-time exits from the game.
As for Kobe himself, it sounds like he’s already done dwelling on the game. As for his ice-cold, end-of-game performance? No big deal, according to him.