On a night that saw the Golden State Warriors break the 1996 Chicago Bulls’ “unbreakable” record of 73 regular-season wins, Kobe Bryant’s final performance on an NBA court would far out-shadow that moment as he scored 60 points in a 101-96 Lakers victory during his last curtain call.
The last night of the NBA’s 2016 regular season will go down as likely the most special in history and it would be the hapless, 17-win LA Lakers that would steal a large bulk of the spotlight as we all watched and paid our last respects to one of the greatest players to ever do it.
His accolades are certainly prodigious; Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star, a former league MVP, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and fished 3rd all time in points scored. But we should all remember the Black Mamba for his consummate will to win and unprecedented determination. Sure, as his body began to break down in his final years, so did the very franchise that he helped lead to reverence, but he was able to stand pact as unquestioned leader of that organization until his final shot. So with that, we should all figuratively stand and applaud one last time as Kobe Bryant, the greatest Laker, becomes merely a part of NBA lore.