Even in Los Angeles, you couldn’t have scripted a better ending to Kobe Bryant’s career.
While the Lakers were an ungodly amalgamation of a dumpster fire and a soap opera this season, Kobe made sure his final game with the franchise would be one for the ages, scoring 60 points against the Utah Jazz (including the game-winner!) on a whopping 50 shot attempts. Not only is that the highest single-game scoring outburst this season – besting the 59 Anthony Davis put up against Detroit in February – and the most shots attempted in a game since MJ hoisted up 49 in 1993, but it makes Bryant the oldest player in NBA history to score over 50 in a game.
Like he would’ve gone out any other way.
Other than all that, the spectacle of Bryant’s farewell game was as crazy as you would’ve expected. The celebrities were out in full force at Staples Center – Kanye West, Jay-Z, Jack Nicholson, etc. – and the Lakers gifted Bryant and his wife 4.87 carat retirement rings that each have a small strip of snakeskin on them. (Because, you know, “Black Mamba.”) Bryant also broke Twitter for a little while and the @Lakers handle mysteriously disappeared during the one game of the season they needed to be firing on all cylinders.
Lifelong Lakers obsessive Flea played the national anthem:
And the reactions? There were plenty.
No pressure. THE GREAT ONE. @kobebryant . Thank you for the journey champ.
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) April 14, 2016
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 14, 2016
60pts. Take a bow young man…#kobe pic.twitter.com/l3r4hAcHKB
— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 14, 2016
Mother Effin amazed!!!!!! Left the game on his terms and his way! Legend engraved in history forever!!
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) April 14, 2016
It’s 1:36am after @kobebryant’s final game, do you know where @SnoopDogg is? He’s chillin’ with Chick. #GoLakers pic.twitter.com/1zLuKx6K5x
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 14, 2016
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 14, 2016
Once that was all taken care of, Bryant had one more message to Lakers fans before he rode off into the sunset.