On the last night of the 2015-2016 NBA regular season, two major landmarks in basketball history took place: the Golden State Warriors won their record 73rd game of the season and Kobe Bryant played his final game. Considering the team the Warriors passed to hit 73 — Michael Jordan's 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls — and Lakers' fans aggressive obsession with Bryant, it's no wonder tickets to both games were selling for an obscene sum.
In the case of the latter, Bryant didn't disappoint the fans that paid an arm and a leg, and maybe a few other body parts to watch him in person one last time. On the Nike-dubbed "Mamba Day," The Black Mamba did everything he could to put on a show, and a show he delivered. After missing his first five shots of the game, he didn't stop shooting — if anything, he shot even more. His teammates kept passing him the ball, and by the time the final buzzer sounded, he had lifted up 50 shots and drained 60 points.
The score didn't really matter, but Bryant scored 15 of his team's final 17 points to lift the Lakers to a come-from-behind victory. He scored the go-ahead bucket with 31.6 seconds left, and with 14 seconds left, hit the final two points of his career from the free throw line. Then, when the game was actually over, he took the microphone to address the crowd, sweat pouring down his face.
"To be drafted and then traded to this organization, and then to spend 20 years here, you can't write something better than this," he said. "All I can do here is thank you guys. This has been absolutely beautiful. I can't believe this comes to an end."