Tickets for Monday night’s Warriors-Lakers’ game were the most expensive ticket in the NBA this season (and in two seasons), because at halftime, the Lakers would be retiring Kobe Bryant’s jerseys (both the Nos. 8 and 24).
While all the talk heading into the game was about Kobe, his legacy, and the retirement ceremony, there was still a game to be played around the festivities. The Lakers were facing the reigning NBA champs and figured to be in for a long night, but, perhaps channeling the energy in Staples Center for Kobe’s night, the Lakers put up quite the first half performance, trailing by only four points at the break.
However, it wasn’t the 57-53 score that had people buzzing going into Kobe’s ceremony, but one play right before half from Larry Nance Jr. Nance took a pass in transition from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and took off from just outside the restricted area and threw down an early candidate for dunk of the year over an ill-advised contest from Kevin Durant.
Let’s take a look from the reverse angle.
Just phenomenal stuff from the young Nance. This is not his first time putting someone on a poster and it certainly won’t be his last, but in terms of the stage, there might not be a bigger one he gets the chance to destroy an opponent on than this one, against the Warriors and with all eyes on Staples Center for Kobe’s jersey retirement.