After 20 seasons, future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant played in his final NBA game on April 13, and boy, did he ever go out with a game.
Kobe wowed the sold out Staples Center one last time and showed signs of his vintage self in the fourth quarter en route to SIXTY POINTS on 50 shots. Sixty. Points. Something that he hadn’t done since 2009. Something that no other NBA player had done this season, and was twice as many points as any HOFer had scored in his last regular season game. A feat that, at age 37, made him five years older than anyone who had scored 60. Fifty. Shots. Something that hadn’t been done in 49 years.
Though Kobe missed his first five shots, he made them when it counted in the fourth quarter, including 13 unanswered points in the final two minutes with his team down by 10 with 2:36 minutes left. He scored the final point of his career at the free throw line — the same place he scored the first point of his career two decades ago — and the Lakers went on to beat the Utah Jazz, 101-96.
It was certainly a night to remember, and this week’s guest was there to see it. Howard Beck is now a senior writer for Bleacher Report and has been covering the NBA for almost 20 years. For seven of those years, Howard covered the Lakers for the Los Angeles Daily News from 1997 to 2004. Kobe was entering his second season, and the Lakers were embarking on a dynasty, including four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and three championships.
With some push from the Black Mamba, Howard was in attendance for Kobe’s final game, and offered some insight on his performance, the atmosphere in LA and some stories from his time covering the Lakers in the peak of the Kobe and Shaq era. The interview kicks off a little after the 9:00 mark.
Show music: ‘Actionable’ and ‘Epic,’ courtesy of www.bensound.com.