BASKETBALL: Kobe Bryant retires in style as Warriors make History

Its definately hard to undermine greatness but in Kobe Bryant’s case,greatness might be an understatement for the kind of career he’s had in his 20-years in the NBA.

Kobe Bryant dunking during last night's game
Kobe Bryant dunking during last night’s game

Drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in 1996 but traded to the Lakers, Kobe Bryant never looked back since then.A five time NBA champion, eighteen times voted into the All Star games, eleven times first team All- NBA,third in the NBA all time scoring list was on form to remind everyone class is permanent with a dazzling display on Wednesday night at the Staples Center,scoring 60 points,to go with 4 assists and 4 rebounds to lead the Lakers to a win in his last game in the NBA.It was the sixth time the NBA’s third highest scorer had scored 60 points, beaten only by Wilt Chamberlain.”You can’t write something better than this,” said 37-year-old Bryant, who helped the Lakers come from behind to beat Utah Jazz 101-96.Basketball fans paid up to $27,500 (£19,315) to see Bryant’s final game.He attempted 50 shots on the night, the most by anyone in an NBA game in the last 30 seasons.

Bryant led the Lakers as they overturned a 20-point deficit at half-time, scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter of his 1,556th game with the team.Bryant, who made his debut in November 1996, finished with 33,643 career points – third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).He checked out with 4.1 seconds left and hugged former team-mate Shaquille O’Neal as a sell-out crowd at the Staples Center chanted: “Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!”The 18-time All-Star, known as the ‘Black Mamba,’ told the crowd: “I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by, this is crazy.”What’s funny is the fact I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball, then the last night they’re like ‘don’t pass it!'”What can I say? Mamba out.”

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“I gave everything I could to the game, that’s why I’m so comfortable walking away. I bared my soul to this game, I left it all here.”Reflecting on his final game and a remarkable comeback that produced a fairytale victory, Bryant continued: “All night long my team-mates were just continuing to feed me the ball, I just had to take the challenge.”I tried to not watch the news, to just stay in the present because I didn’t want to come out here and completely stink it up – which I did for the first five minutes!”I was just like, ‘OK, I’ve got to settle down’. Defensively I got some plays – I got some steals, I got a block – and that kind of got me into the game a little bit.”

In another game, the Warriors achieved an unbelieveable task,defeating the Memphis Grizzles to get their 73rd win of the season,a task no team has ‘ever’ achieved in NBA history.The Warriors were led by Stephen Curry who scored 46 points in 10-19 3FG.The Warriors now advance to the play-offs to face James Harden led Houston Rockets.In other play-off fixtures;in the West,

– Pacers vs Raptors

– Celtics vs Hawks

– Mavericks vs Thunder; while in the East,

– Pistons vs Cavaliers

– Hornets vs Miami Heat

– Grizzles vs Spurs

– Trailblazers vs Clippers

The Game 1 is scheduled to take place on the 16th and 17th of April this month

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Chukwuyem Ogala is a content writer at Edliner. A multifaceted personality with a degree in Economics. He has a strong passion for Rap music and sports. A big fan of the NBA, likes Rafael Nadal and has a crush on Serena Williams. Chuks just strives to be better and wants to be heard globally.

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