When the 2015-2016 season came to a close, Los Angeles Lakers fans watched as Kobe Bryant took his final bow. After two decades in purple and gold, Bryant decided to hang up his high tops, retiring as perhaps the greatest Laker of all time. After countless clutch shots, buzzer beaters, and unforgettable moments, it had become clear that Father Time had won the war, and that Bryant was indeed mortal after all.
Still, the five-time NBA champion didn’t go quietly into that good night. Instead, in his final performance, Bryant exhausted every bit of energy he had left and dropped 60 points in an incredible comeback win against the Utah Jazz. There was something so perfect about the Black Mamba putting forth one last defiant effort, a parting shot to remind all who witnessed it that there will never be another like him.
Over the course of his career, Bryant did much for Los Angeles, bringing five championship banners and driving business to a city that loves its stars. Now, the City of Los Angeles will show their appreciation by celebrating “Kobe Bryant Day”, as revealed via this press release:
“Among his astonishing list of accomplishments, Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers ranks him No. 1 all-time for NBA players who played for a single franchise, and ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ is the City of Los Angeles’ way of thanking him for his single-minded dedication to excellence, the fans and the entire City and region of Los Angeles,” said L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar. “For 20 years, we were all the beneficiaries of Kobe’s incredible talent and legendary work ethic, and on 8-24 we’ll gather to say, ‘Thank you, Mamba.’”
Bryant wore numbers 8 and 24 during his career, so it’s only fitting that August 24th be recognized as Kobe Bryant Day. Lakers fans everywhere will certainly make time to recognize his historic career.
It’s not clear if “Kobe Bryant Day” will be an annual celebration or if it’s a one-time event, but regardless it’s great to see the City of Los Angeles celebrating the career of the player who has meant so much to the region for the last 20 years. Bryant may be retired, but he will forever remain part of the Lakers and Los Angeles.