(Photo via nj.com)
Last Wednesday, I witnessed probably one of the greatest sports performances of all-time, for the sole reason that Kobe Bryant did it. I’m speaking for my entire generation of sports fans, 60 points in his final game and showing generations behind us what Kobe Bryant was while we grew up is what it was all about.
Sure, he threw up 50 shots and missed a lot of threes he attempted, but were you not entertained? Did it not throw you back to 10 maybe 15 years ago when we witnessed the cold-bloodedness of the Black Mamba? My eyes were glued to Kobe all night, trying not to accept the fact that I would never see this icon play again. I started getting the same feeling I had watching Derek Jeter at shortstop in his final game in the Bronx, and going absolutely NUTS seeing Jeter hit the signature opposite field game winner. And I pretty much celebrated the same way after seeing Kobe hit the three-pointer and two-pointer in the last minute, vintage Kobe. Obviously its no Peyton Manning exit, with their final record being the worst in franchise history. That’s not how to send a 5-time NBA Champion off, especially after losing Pau Gasol after his last 2-rings, leaving Kobe in the dust to end his career.
None of that mattered to me while I was watching him play the Jazz last week because all I could think about was taking in every second he was on the court and appreciate what he has done for me as a die-hard sports fan. “From Lower Merion High School, number 24 …”
– M. Gress