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Kobe Bryant closed out his NBA career as a player as he registered an amazing NBA RECORD 60 point game - (Keith Allison photo)




James Loving/National Radio Text Service



In the past we questioned that Kobe Bryant's last All-Star game appearance this season would be a gimmie noting that Magic Johnson experienced the same in his career as the opposition let him do what he wanted resulting in him winning the games MVP Award. Kobe's gimmie was this game that was given to him by his teammates enabling him to have an NBA RECORD 60 point game in what is believed to be his final NBA appearance as a player


Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Over his 20-year NBA career Kobe Bryant has earned his detractors. He has bee accused of being selfish and a creator of conflict with the most memorable being his dealing with Lakers management insisting that they had to choose between him or Shaquille O'Neal prompting Shaq being traded to the Miami Heat. There were numerous other conflicts created by Bryant but it all came to an end tonight as he (supposedly) closed out his NBA career as a player as he registered an amazing 60 point game.

Bryant led a comeback 101-96 win over the dismantled Utah Jazz that had three of its starters out of the game injured including two of their big men 7'1" Rudy Gobert and 6'10" Derrick Favors who can clog up the middle. That is an important point that made it easier for Bryant to achieve his historic final game success.

The Black Mamba scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, posting his first 50-point game since February 2009 and rallying the Lakers from a 15-point deficit to win the final game of the worst season in franchise history.

In the past we questioned that his last All-Star game appearance would be a gimmie noting that Magic Johnson experienced the same in his career as the opposition let him do what he wanted resulting in him winning the games MVP Award. Kobe's gimmie was this game that was given to him by his teammates.

Bryant took 50 of his entire team's 85 shots. His accuracy 22-50 was one of the best of his season. Most of his points came inside the three point line. He shot 6 for 21 threes. No other Laker made a three in which the team overall shot 6-25 from behind the line. Yes Kobe made all of the teams 3's.

A surprise to Bryant was his teammates encouraged him to shoot the entire game to which he noted, "The thing that had me cracking up all night long is, I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball," Bryant said with a grin. "And then the last night, they're like, `Don't pass it!'"

Bryant surpassed his previous career high of 47 shots, taken in a loss to Boston on Nov. 7, 2002.

Going into the game coach Byron Scott's plan was to play Kobe the entire 12 minute 1st and 3rd quarters and 6 minutes in the 2nd and 4th for a game total of 36 minutes. That plan changed as Bryant was on point in finding his range and the net resulting in him playing 42:09 minutes of a 48 minute game.

You can bend it shape it any way you want it but in reality regardless of the conditions Bryant's achievement was most deserving. Regardless of the lack of a strong defense if you or any NBA player were to take the shots that Bryant made without anyone else on the court there is a very strong possibility that it couldn't be done.... HE STILL MADE THE SHOTS including THE GAME WINNER.

Bryant's erratic behavior over his career could be attributed to being an immature 18-year-old growing up in the NBA and being in Hollyweird which caused him to conduct himself the way he did.

I interviewed him when he was a rookie and in his 2nd season and have a strong opinion how his persona developed which we will devote an entire story on in the future.

At this point let's give arguably the most hated super star ever in sports the credit he deserves. He had a great career and is leaving the game on top as a superstar player on the worst team in the Lakers franchise history in finishing the season at the bottom of the Western Conference with a 17-65 record.

The following are some of Bryant's career achievements going into his final game.

* 48,576: Minutes played through April 10, 2016, the sixth most in NBA history

* 33,570: Career points, third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928)

* 5,640: Points scored in the NBA Playoffs, third most in NBA history behind Michael Jordan (5,987) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762)

* 81: Points in a 122-104 victory against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006, the second-highest total in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962

* 50: Twenty-four career 50-point games, third most in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain (118) and Michael Jordan (31)

* 37: This season he became the first player age 37 or older to score at least 25 points in three straight games since Michael Jordan at 40 in 2003

* 24: Jersey number beginning in the 2006-07 season after switching from No. 8

* 20: Seasons with the Lakers, the most with one team in NBA history

* 18: Consecutive All-Star Game selections (the longest streak in NBA history) and All-Star Game selections overall (the second most all time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 19)

* 16: Appearances on Christmas Day, the most in NBA history

* 15: All-Star Game starts, the most in NBA history

* 13: Overall selection by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 NBA Draft

* 11: All-NBA First Team selections, tied with Karl Malone for the most in NBA history

* 9: NBA All-Defensive First Team selections, tied with Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan and Gary Payton for the most in NBA history

* 5: NBA championships, tied with Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs for the highest total among active players

* 4: All-Star MVP Awards (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011), tied with Bob Pettit for the most in NBA history

* 2: Finals MVP Awards (2009, 2010)

* 1: NBA Most Valuable Player Award (2007-08)


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