Last year Kobe Bryant wowed fans with one of his most memorable performances of his illustrious career by scoring 60 points in the final game of his NBA career. It was the cherry on top on an otherwise down season for the Purple and Gold.
He finished the game shooting 22-of-50 from the field, and made six three-pointers on the night. While some might say he shot too many times, on this particular night it did not matter how many times he shot the ball or how many assists he had because after this game there would no more.
Bryant did most of his damage in the fourth quarter where he outscored the Jazz by himself, 23-21. He even displayed some vintage moves like turnaround fadeaways, step-back threes, and a lethal midrange jumper from the free-throw line.
It was a game unlike no other because the Lakers had nothing to fight for as they entered the game with 65 losses that resulted in the second-worst record in the entire league. It all changed when the ball was thrown up in the air ready for the game to begin. While Bryant hoped for a somewhat productive game; hit a couple shots, make some nifty passes, and get the crowd excited a little bit, his teammates wanted him to go out in style.
From the get-go his teammates were trying to look for him so he could get his rhythm going. He missed his first five shot attempts, but ended up finishing the quarter with 15 points. By halftime he had 22 points and then proceeded to explode in the second-half for 38 points. The Lakers trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter but Bryant willed the Lakers back into the game.
The most important shot of the night was his three-pointer from the left-wing. Bryant admitted he was surprised it went in as he thought it was well short of even hitting the rim. That shot brought the Lakers within one-point. After that Bryant iced the game with a pair of free throws and was substituted out of the game so he could get the proper standing ovation he deserved.
The game will always be embedded in Lakers history because it marked the end of a legendary career. Bryant will always hold a special place in the hearts of Lakers fans and it is sad knowing that we will never witness another memorable Bryant moment.