Kobe Bryant rode the bus to the arena, took in the cheers of the crowd and waved a sincere goodbye to his fans on the road for the final time of his NBA career on Monday night. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted his final road game at Chesapeake Bay Arena, opening up the night by playing a tribute video narrated by Bryant’s high school coach in the starting introductions (see below).
After the game, Westbrook talked about what an honor it was to host the final game of the 20 year NBA veteran, a player from the team he grew up idolizing as child. Kobe has always said that the ultimate sign of respect is true competition, the opponent putting their best foot forward. Fittingly, Westbrook did just that, recording a triple-double by the time the first half concluded.
Bryant talks about his similarities with Westbrook, his admiration for Durant, his greatest accomplishments and the gift presented to him before the game. Plus, with every single practice behind him, he relives that time he absolutely crushed J.R. Rider in a game of one-on-one, many years ago.
Kobe, Has Anyone Beaten You 1-On-1?
After His Final Road Game Of His Career
Russell Westbrook After Final Matchup Against Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant Ranks Russell Westbrook No. 1 In This Category
Oklahoma City Thunder Video Tribute