The Los Angeles Lakers visited Oracle Arena for the final time this season on Thursday night, and it was the last time the fans in Oakland would get to see Kobe Bryant. Bryant has been on this retirement tour for a few months now, but this was one of the more special nights for him. Despite the 116-98 loss to the Warriors, Bryant clearly enjoyed his last game against his long time division rivals.
Prior to tip off, the Warriors showed a tribute video for Bryant and it featured a quite touching message from Jerry West. West drafted Bryant while with the Lakers and the five-time champion was seen tearing up a bit on the sidelines.
After the game, Bryant spoke to the media and admitted the video was a very emotional one for him, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Kobe talking about how special/emotional Jerry West’s tribute video was: “Tough one for me to get through. That one got me a little bit.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 15, 2016
Bryant has been dealing with a sore Achilles and he was questionable to play right before tip off. However, knowing that this was his final game at Oracle Arena, Bryant did not want to miss out in playing in front of the fans once last time.
Kobe finished the night with just eight points and six rebounds, but it was obvious that his injuries were keeping him from playing 100 percent. Nevertheless, the Lakers did play very well in the first half as they trailed by only three points at halftime. It seemed as though the game would be a close one down the stretch, but the Warriors kicked it up a notch after intermission.
Stephen Curry led the charge with 26 points and his eight three-pointers proved crucial as the Warriors walked away with the win.