Kobe Bryant expresses gratitude instead of bidding adieu

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NBA, NBA News, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant Retirement
Kobe Bryant with the United States Olympic basketball team. (Photo Courtesy: Christopher Johnson/Wikimedia)

Kobe Bryant admitted that he had his own agenda. The Black Mamba entered the Staples Center for the last game of his career with feelings of gratitude, he didn’t want to bid adieu. Bryant was dressed all in black, marking the end of his 20-year journey.

“I see all the stuff with ‘Thank You Kobe’,” Bryant said, referring to the countless banners across the city. “But I see it a bit different. I see it as a chance for me to say thank you and to say goodbye to the fans. I am looking forward to that.”

His finishing touches were honored by an expansive ceremony in which the Lakers bid farewell to the man who became synonymous with the franchise during his two decade stint. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to clinch five NBA titles in his glittering career.

Two hours before the start of the game, the fans flooded the streets around the Staples Center to see a glimpse of the 37-year-old Lakers’ legend. Tickets were sold at astronomical prices. Bryant didn’t disappoint the fans. He notched  60 points to lead the Lakers to beat Utah Jazz, displaying flashes of his brilliance.

“Whatever you have to pay it is worth it,” Lakers fan Steven Christoldoulou said, according to the USA TODAY Sports. “I have seen that guy a hundred times in my life – and he has given me some of the happiest memories in sports that I can think of. No one was going to keep me away.”

The Lakers ownership, the members of the Buss family presented Bryant a special gift on court.

Photo Courtesy: Christopher Johnson/Wikimedia

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