Seven years ago on April 13, 2016, many celebrities, influencers, and NBA Hall of Famers gathered at the Staples Center to witness the last game of Kobe Bryant.
No one had any idea this would be Kobe’s final game.
On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant along with several passengers perished in a helicopter accident near Calabasas, California.
Fans were robbed of post-NBA Kobe. Sure, he won an Oscar and coached a girls’ basketball team, but there are many things NBA fans will never get to see him achieve.
One moment fans will never get to experience is Bryant’s Hall of Fame speech. Fans will also never get to see NBA Analyst Kobe Bryant.
However, one moment fans got to experience was the final game of Bryant’s 20-year NBA career.
The Black Mamba vs the Utah Jazz
In this regular season game against the Utah Jazz, Kobe went out in style.
Bryant ended the night with 60 points, four rebounds and four assists. He also took 50 shots in his final game, which had not been done since Rick Barry’s game in 1967.
By the final quarter, Bryant had outscored the entire Jazz team 23-21. Bryant also hit the game-winner with approximately 32 seconds left in the game, which sent the full-capacity crowd into a blitz of hysteria.
The Lakers defeated the Jazz 101-96.
Many notable stars were in attendance, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal.
In his final game, Bryant did the most Kobe Bryant thing ever, leaving everything he had on the hardwood of the Staples Center one last time.
The final post-game interview of Kobe Bryant
In a post-game (and post-career) interview, Bryant was emotional and overjoyed at the love bursting out of the building’s seams.
“You know, I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by,” Bryant expressed.
After a heartfelt speech thanking the fans, current and former teammates, coaches, mentors, and family, Kobe left the world with two final words that ring in basketball fans’ ears to this day: “Mamba out.”
Kobe Bryant’s final game is one of the greatest farewell games ever played. Fans had no idea that the basketball gods would request the Black Mamba’s services just a few years later.
We miss you, Kobe.