Back on March 28, 2003, Kobe Bryant went head-to-head against Michael Jordan for the last time. The Washington Wizards came to town to face the defending NBA champions at the Staples Center with Bryant determined to make his final showdown with Jordan a memorable one.
Kobe erupted for a game-high 55 points against Jordan with the eventual five-time NBA champion scoring 42 of his points before halftime. Bryant’s 42 points in the half was a team record and set the tone for the Lakers to pull out the win over Washington.
Following an ugly loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday night, Bryant was asked about his final game against Jordan and said the following via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
KB on final game vs. MJ: "It was like a celebration of Michael. The best way I could show my respect was to compete hard against him”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 29, 2016
With only eight games left in the 2015-16 NBA season, Bryant’s last NBA game is rapidly approaching. Kobe’s final game on the court for the Lakers will take place on April 13 against the visiting Utah Jazz at the Staples Center.
Bryant may have gotten a glimpse of things to come with second-year guard Rodney Hood torching the superstar for 30 points in the first half on Monday night. Hood went 8-for-9 from three-point range against the Lakers while Kobe struggled going 1-for-11 finishing with five points.
The Lakers will play their season finale against the Jazz on April 13 in what is bound to be an emotional game for Bryant, the fans and the organization.
Leading up to the season finale, the Lakers will face the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers (twice), New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.