Wednesday the 13th of April 2016 marked the date of Kobe Bryant’s retirement and last basketball game. For many Americans and basketball fans this was a major moment in history. The Philadelphian native had been part of the Los Angeles Lakers (LA Lakers) for a total of 20 years and is the only player to spend that period of time in one team.
As well as his two kids and beautiful wife Vanessa, stars such as Jay Z and Kanye West were in attendance for the big game against Utah Jazz where the Lakers won.
Theguardian.com reports Bryant scored 60 points in his final game Wednesday night, wrapping up 20 years in the NBA with an unbelievable offensive showcase in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.He scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, posting his first 50-point game since February 2009 and rallying the Lakers from a 15-point deficit to win the final game of the worst season in franchise history.“It’s hard to believe it happened this way,” Bryant said. “I’m still shocked about it.”With the entire Staples Center crowd standing, Bryant drained a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left.
Bryant was first drafted into the NBA in June 1996, he is a 5 x NBA champion and 18 x NBA All Star. He has had great longevity in his career and even attended the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as well as the 2012 Olympic games held in London. Within his career he has surely managed to gain many loyal fans and supporters.
On Wednesday alone, the Staples Center sold $1.2 million worth of Kobe merchandise, Sean Ryan, AEG vice president of merchandise told ESPN. Ryan said that’s a single-day sales record for any arena in the world. When asked for his response to his merchandise on the final night of his 20-year career, Bryant laughed.”It says that fans are really appreciative of this moment and wanted to maybe have something they can remember,” Bryant said. Reports espn.go.com