A look at Kobe Byrant’s final game and final season

Originally published: April 14, 2016

No one, including myself, could have imagined that Kobe’s last game would end with an offensive output of 60 points to go along with a win. Kobe had attempted the most shots in his career, shooting 22/50. Leading up to the game were thousands of fan gathered outside staples center just to show their support and be in the vicinity of what would be Kobe’s final NBA game. Inside Staples Center, celebrities and athletes could be seen all around the stadium. Some celebriteis even madevideos expressing their love and gratitude for Kobe. Considering the nose-bleed seats were priced at about $800, I’d say people got their money’s worth.

Here’s some highlights of Kobe’s 60 point game:

Though this performance will be one to remember, the Lakers season had— for the most part— been a huge disappointment. The Lakers finished with a franchise worst 17–65, and Kobe, along with his teammates had a very tough season. What may surprise some, is that Kobe played sixty-six games this season. Many fans worried if Kobe would even finish out the season, as he was not able to for the last two seasons with injuries. Unfortunately for Kobe and the Lakers, he was far from efficient when he was on the floor. From the 3-point line Kobe shot 28 %, and 35% from the field. Despite shooting poorly, Bryon Scott committed to starting Kobe in every game he played. Going into the 2015–2016 season, Kobe was on the last year of his contract and would be receiving $25 million this season alone. Even though it was his 20th season and the last year on his contract it was not a concrete decision that this would be his last season. It wasn’t until he made the announcement in late November there was no doubt he would retire after this season. Regardless of the poor shooting year and physical limitations there is no denying the overall success and impact he has had in the NBA the last twenty years.

A tweet from Kobe the day after the game:

As a Los Angeles native I would like to say thank you. Thank you for the memories, frustrations, celebrations, the highs and the lows, the wins and defeats, the passion and drive, for fighting through the pain, and persevering and most importantly thanks for being a Laker.