KOBE BRYANT BIDS LAKERS FAN FAREWELL AFTER 20 YEARS

KOBE BRYANT BIDS LAKERS FAN FAREWELL AFTER 20 YEARS

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– KOBE BRYANT BIDS LAKERS FAN FAREWELL AFTER 20 YEARS

–  ‘It Hasn’t Really hit me yet,’ Kobe Bryant Relishes his Farewell Game

– Kobe Bids Fans before the Los Angeles Lakers’ game Monday against Oklahoma City.

– Bryant Draws Curtain after 20 Years with the Lakers

KOBE BRYANT BIDS LAKERS FAN FAREWELL AFTER 20 YEARS
Kobe Bryant Says Farewell

 

KOBE BRYANT BIDS LAKERS FAN FAREWELL AFTER 20 YEARS

Kobe Bryant, on Wednesday, takes the floor as an NBA player for the final time. Kobe, at 37, has run his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has won with the Los Angeles side five championships.

After his final road game Monday, Bryant recounted how much it has proven to have the career he’s had in a Lakers’ uniform.

“It means everything,” the Philadelphia native and likely future Hall of Famer said. “I grew up a die-hard Laker fan.

It’s like a dream come true, for a kid to grow up, play for his favorite team and play here for 20 years, his entire career. I’ve seen the city grow. I’ve seen the city develop and vice versa. There’s no place I’d rather end my career.”

Bryant announced earlier in November 2015 that this season would be his very last

“This season is all I have left to give,” he wrote in “Dear Basketball.” “My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

KOBE BRYANT

“And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go.”

The Charlotte Hornets drafted Bryant as the 13th pick of the 1996 NBA draft after he entered the league straight out of high school. He was traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac.

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A quick look at some of Bryant’s accomplishments:.

Staying with one team for an entire career is rare. Staying on one team for a 20-year career? That’s extraordinary.

It has been tough during Bryant’s farewell tour.

According to CNN the Lakers’ season has been nothing short of abysmal.

Young and rebuilding, it has gone losing nothing less than 65 games.

This run however is the most in its 68-year franchise history. And some of the defeats have been really bad.

The Lakers worst defeat in the history of the game came against Jazz on March 28.

KOBE BRYANT BIDS LAKERS FAN FAREWELL AFTER 20 YEARS

On a personal level, Bryant’s numbers have dipped.

This season has been his worst shooting year in terms of field-goal percentage. Naijapr understands that the player has been rocked with injury problems which have slowed him down.

In April 2013, had suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Also in 2014, he only had featured six times in an entire season, losing most to a bone near his left knee. And then a torn right rotator cuff in January 2015 required surgery.

This result shows that all three consecutive seasons have clamped down Kobe’s fine form.

And while he’s played through injuries in the past, the wear and tear has become evident, with an occasional night off needed for rest. But as the end has approached, Bryant has done his best to play through pain so fans across the country can see him one last time.

That ends Wednesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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The player has been a huge draw at home and on the road. In what happens to be his parting season, Bryant has received gifts, videos, standing ovations as tributes from the opposing crowd.

In fact, Monday did not take a different turn in Oklahoma City, Bryant’s final road game.

While he looked like he was in his prime in the first quarter with 13 points, he didn’t score the rest of the night in what was another blowout loss for the Lakers, 112-79.

Kobe backs away

Bryant fans came out to Chesapeake Energy Arena in droves. Even when the game was out of reach, the crowd roared in the fourth quarter, “We want Kobe!” and “Kobe! Kobe!”

Meanwhile, 37-year-old Bryant remained on the bench, smiling, with his shoulder wrapped.

He had afterwards relished how he got tempted to get back in the game but stressed why he shouldn’t have.

“I couldn’t move, man,” Bryant said. “I played in the first quarter. I tried to give it all I had. … I tried to loosen up in the locker room coming out for the second half. I couldn’t move well at all.”

Lakers head coach Byron Scott said he didn’t consider putting Bryant back in the game for a curtain call, instead looking ahead to Los Angeles.

“I wasn’t thinking about it at all,” Scott said.

“We were down 30 points. I wasn’t going to put him in for a minute. At the six-minute mark, or something like that, in the third quarter, and he was coming toward the sideline, and I asked him how he felt. He was kind of like, `I’m all right.’ I said, `Well, let’s just end this right now and just get you ready for Wednesday.’ There was no argument there whatsoever. He just knew that at that particular time he was done.”

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Will Bryant keep his emotions in check in his final game? Asked in Oklahoma City about his feelings heading into Wednesday, he said he wasn’t sure but he feels excited and looks forward to lacing up one more time.

“Tough to say,” Bryant said.

“We’ll see Wednesday. So far I’ve been pretty cool about everything. I’ve been very thankful about everything, been very happy about everything. It hasn’t really hit me yet. We’ll see if it does.”

 

KOBE BRYANT BIDS LAKERS FAN FAREWELL AFTER 20 YEARS