Kobe Bryant went into retirement with a bang as he finished his final NBA game with an amazing 60 points to lead the Lakers to a 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz. Bryant’s performance and his retirement game went on to overshadow the Golden State Warriors’ date with destiny as they claimed their 73rd historic victory.
Bryant’s send off party will surely be one for the history books as NBC reported that his three-point shot in the last 59 seconds of the game will surely be remembered aside from giving his team the lead and needed push, the shot paved the way for the Lakers to go past the Jazz and take the win.
Kobe’s 60th points came off a couple of free throws down the stretch. His last NBA game together with his 60 point performance was enough to pull the spot light away from the Warriors and back to Staples Center.
The Warriors that night also dated history as they clinched their 73rd regular season victory via 125-104 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The win was much sweeter as the Warriors has out ran the 1996-1996 Chicago Bulls record and Steph Curry finished the game with 46 points.
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Both games hit a stellar ticket sales but Black Mamba’s final game took much of the off the Warriors historical campaign as former teammates, celebrities and fans flooded not only Staples Center but also social media. Twitter for a time went offline and it was not clear if it was because of the overwhelming tweets about Kobe’s final game.
Kobe’s final game was not only historic to his name but also for their franchise as ESPN reported that Staples Center sells a historic $1.2 million worth of Kobe merchandise. AEG vice president of merchandise Sean Ryan stated that the Kobe merchandise sale surpassed the previous record set by Led Zeppelin, who sold $1 million worth of merchandise in London at the O2 Arena on Dec. 10, 2007, the group’s first full-length concert in three decades.
Ryan added that the high-end Kobe memorabilia, dubbed the “24 Collection,” was a partnership between AEG; Kobe’s company, Kobe Inc.; his merchandise partner, MainGate; and the Lakers.
“The 24 Collection started with a vision of gold and diamonds and how this translated with the fans of Los Angeles. We wanted every person who purchased with us the opportunity to have a piece which was special for the moment. The support and buy-in exceeded our expectations,” Ryan explained.
He stated that an average fan inside the arena would spend $61 on merchandise alone, with the average bill at $230. This only shows that fans put value on historic moments that will surely be once in a lifetime be it a retirement game or a shot at destiny.