Kobe Bryant’s last game had all the ingredients of a Hollywood blockbuster — drama, excitement, huge stars and a happy ending. The Lakers...
Kobe Bryant’s Hollywood Ending: See Which Stars Went to Lakers Legend’s Last Game
The Lakers legend had his dream send-off Wednesday night after 20 years and countless wins throughout his iconic NBA career, which began as a 17-year-old in 1996.
And he wasn’t going to do it alone. Despite the Lakers nearing the end of their worst season in team history, Bryant, 37, went out on a very high note by scoring 60 points in the 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.
While Bryant admitted to reporters a fter the game t hat the perfect ending “would have been a championship,” he said he would accept a script like this for his new story company.
As for the real Hollywood heavyweights sat cheering him on, Jack Nicholson did a rare interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters from the courtside seat that he’s resided in since 1972. “Kobe makes it worthwhile knowing something abo ut the game,” he sa id.
“No player has been with a team for 20 years before, he really is one of the great players you will ever see play the game. No doubt about that. Competitive winner … love watching him,” the Oscar winner told the veteran reporter.
“When he’s happy, we’re happy. Unfortunately I missed the 81-point game, I let my daughter come,” the diehard Lakers fan revealed, referring to Bryant’s historic score over the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006.
Also in attendance were David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, George Lopez, Kanye West, Adam Levine, Jeremy Piven and Paula Abdul.
As for Kobe’s past teammates, fellow Lakers icon Magic Johnson delivered an emotional introduction before Bryant took to the court, saying: “We are here to celebrate greatness for 20 years. Excellence for 20 years. Kobe Bryant has never cheate d the game, neve r cheated us as the fans. He has played through injury, he has played hurt. And we have five championship banners to show for it.
“When you think about this town for the last 20 years this man has been the biggest and greatest celebrity we’ve had,” Johnson told the sell-out crowd, as they erupted into cheers.
Even Shaquille O’Neal, who had an infamous falling out with Kobe during which he accused him of being a selfish player, was sat courtside for the milestone night.
Meanwhile, troubled former player and close friend Lamar Odom was sat next to none other than Kanye.
Having described the run up to the game as a “z ircus” (a cross between a zoo and a circus), Lakers spokesperson John Black told TheWrap that they didn’t know which stars would attend. “Most of them get their seats through their agents, managers, studios, networks, law firms, record companies, producers, etc … who are the people who actually own the seats.”
Tickets sold out long ago, he explained, and the most expensive ones available on StubHub before the 7:30 p.m. tip off were going for $25,000 (the cheapest were $750).