It was an almost too sweet end to Mamba Day last night. Kobe Bryant played the last game of his 20-year NBA career—by the way, Millennials, our childhood is officially over—and he didn’t go quietly. Kobe scored a season-high 60 points and carried his Lakers to a 101-96 comeback win over the Utah Jazz. For context, no member of the NBA Hall of Fame had ever scored more than 30 points in his last game. Then there was Kobe. After the game, he addressed The Staples Center crowd for that last time as a Laker:
I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by. Man, this is crazy. This is absolutely crazy … and to be standing at center court with you guys, my teammates behind me, appreciating the journey that we’ve been on—we’ve been through our ups, been through our downs. I think the most important part is we all stayed together throughout. You can’t write something better than this. All I can do here is thank you guys. Thank you guys for all the years of support. Thank you guys for all the motivation. Thank you for all the inspiration. What can I say? Mamba out.