Last night was quite the night for the NBA as it was the final night of the 2015-16 regular season. The Golden State Warriors were going for history as they attempted to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls regular season win record of 72 wins and lifetime Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant played his final career game. Oh and the Celtics erased a 26 point deficit to beat the Miami Heat. That will be forgotten but it was the most important moment of the night by far. #GreenRunsDeep
A big conversation I saw all over twitter and heard on sports radio was which game would you rather go to?
Warriors 73rd win or Kobe's final game.
Most people said the Warriors because it was history being made and Kobe's final game was just a meaningless game against the Utah Jazz. I personally cared way more about Kobe's final game and what would happen during it. I like events, and Kobe's final game is much more of an event IMO. I was gonna watch the Warriors if it got close but they won pretty easily. Steph was Steph and shot the lights out. I'm almost not even impressed by him anymore just because it's become so common place for him to have 8 3's a night. Plus as a Patriots fan I really don't give a shit about regular season win records. They don't matter, especially if you don't win the championship. (16-0) It took me a good 3 years to get over 18-1 and TBH if I think about it for more than 30 seconds I still get upset. I'm done talking about the 07 Pats. I don't wanna get pissed off and ruin my day. I do have a funny feeling the Spurs are gonna beat the Warriors in the playoffs but thats not what this is about.
To start off Kobe's final night the Lakers had a pre game ceremony which including a wicked lame video of guys saying how much Kobe meant to them. I always think these are over the top and fake. It's a nice gesture, but just doesn't seem real to me. Although since he's made his career in Los Angeles I guess vapidness is fitting.
Also very weird to me how Magic called Kobe the greatest Laker ever. Is it even really a debate? I feel like Kobe isn't even top 3 Lakers of all time. Magic, Kareem, Jerry West then maybe Kobe? I'm not even hating, I respect Kobe and almost like him, I just feel like with such a historic organization that might be a little too much praise.
Then Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) played the National Anthem....on his bass. Yeah a bass solo National Anthem because that's what people want. I love RHCP but this was soooooo awful. I'm sure Flea was on another planet when performing but this sucked, so distorted, just not what you want from a National Anthem. Electric Guitar is one thing that can sound bad ass, theres nothing bad ass about a bass solo. Also ik you're trying to be the cool Laker fan but take off your hat when performing the National Anthem. Jesus man. That drives me insane, but I guess that's just because I'm more American than this guy.
Next was the PA guy with the least enthusiastic announcement of all time. You'd think Kobe played his final game at the public library. Dude this is the final time Kobe is getting his name announced to the Staple Center crowd, I know the Lakers were ass this year but maybe, just maybe know the magnitude of the moment.
(start video at at 1:46)
Finally the game began. With all the ceremony you almost forget that there is an actual NBA basketball game that is supposed to be taking place.
Kobe came out shooting. 0/5 shooting to be exact to start the game. Everybody knows you gotta just get the misses out of your system early. The Lakers didn't score a point for the first 5 minutes of the game and even I who wouldn't call myself a Kobe fan got worried, even as a Celtics fan I felt kind of bad. I don't hate Kobe the same way I hate other rivals, I didn't wanna see him lay an egg in his final game. For a few minutes I thought the Jazz would win by 30 and Kobe would score like 17 points.
Finally shots starting falling, Kobe heated up a little and finished the first quarter with 15 points....on 5/13 from the floor. You didn't know then, but it was going to be a "special" night.
Kobe however definitely did show his age at times last night.
I was shocked I was so entertained during this game. It was AWFUL basketball but at the same time it was beautiful. Just a back and forth tilt of airballs and turnovers, I was on the edge of my seat.
The Lakers had 16 wins going into last night for a reason, they SUCK. The Jazz are ok, they were 40-41 going into last night but were eliminated from the playoffs already and were just played for pride as with a win they'd finish the season at .500. You could tell they didn't want to let Kobe win his final game.
After 3 quarters Kobe had shot like 32 times. All I wanted was for him to shoot 50 times.
The Lakers were down by as many as 15 points in the 2nd half. I don't really remember when because I was too busy focusing on Kobe throw up shows for wherever he wanted. Let's fast forward to the final minutes. At this point it looks like the Lakers might actually come back, then theres some sloppy play and it looks like the Jazz have the game at hand.
Not if the Mamba has anything to say about it, after having one of the strangest games in NBA history as Kobe was as inefficient as it gets. Down 10 with like three minutes remaining Kobe starting playing like it was 8 years ago and starting hitting shot after shot, I think he scored like 13 straight points at one point. Credit to the refs who swallowed their whistles and let them play....yeah probably could have called a few fouls on the Lakers to ice it for Utah but whats really more important a nothing franchise winning to go 41-41 or one of the greatest players of the last 25 years going out with a win in a meaningless game?
Here is a longer video of Kobe's final minutes.
If thats' too long here is the final field goal of Kobe's career that gave the Lakers the lead.
50th shot of the game!! 50, 5-0. Amazing. In Kobe's last game he had the ultimate ball hog, forced shot performance that has been Kobe's entire career. It incredible to watch a 37 year old man shoot a basketball 50 times in one game. I'm not comparing myself to Kobe, but here is a comparison to Kobe. I've played a lot of pick up basketball the last few years, like a lot. Won an intramural championship in college (no big deal) so I know a thing or two about hoops. I don't think I've shot 50 times in 5 years of playing. Mamba did it in like 42 minutes of playing time. I can't wait to have kids so I can tell them about that random Wednesday night in April of 2016 where I witnessed all of this.
After 2 late free throws Kobe had 60 points on cool 22/50 shooting from the floor. I know he shot 50 times but 60 points in his last game was pretty awesome. I think some of the reactions are a little over the top, this was a meaningless game. People calling it the perfect ending are nuts, pretty sure a championship is the perfect ending, but for an awful team this was pretty cool. Kobe dropped a 60 burger in his final game and most importantly his team actually won. 17 wins in his final season. Yikes.
I do think it's very fitting however that the final play of Kobe's career was an assist. We all know Kobe was about buckets not dimes.
And just like that it was over. Kobe Bryant's career is finished. 60 points in his final game. While it was probably the worst 60 point performance of all time he still dropped 60. It was the most points anybody scored this season and also the most shot attempts in a single by anybody, in any season since 1984.
He addressed the fans for a final time. A lot of lip kisses with his daughters...idk what you think but to me that is weird AF, you stop kissing your parents on the lips way before whatever age Kobe's daughters are.
I think there was a slight at Lebron in there too for leaving. I can get behind hating on Lebron any day so I will say thank you to Kobe for that. Of course he ended with "Mamba Out" which apparently was very planned.
So the Kobe retirement tour is over. Now we can all focus on the NBA playoffs which start in a few days. Warriors will probably win it all. Hopefully my Celtics can at least move past the Hawks. I'm going to game 4 so I'll be sure to have a blog about that.
P.S. When did Kobe's wife get Kim Kardashian surgery?