After being the leading vote-getter, Kobe Bryant enters his 18th and final All-Star Game in Toronto for the Los Angeles Lakers. While his team is just 11-44 through the first 55 games of the season, the farewell tour has been special to watch as opposing fans have shown their appreciation for the five-time champion.
While Bryant would like to play 10 minutes in his final All-Star appearance, he shared he is honored to see the progression of the game during his press conference according to ESPN NBA:
"I'm seeing guys that I'm playing with that are tearing the league up that were 4 for my 1st All-Star game." – Kobehttps://t.co/5YGs0miDAl
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 12, 2016
From Michael Jordan to Stephen Curry, Bryant has played through multiple eras and it provides another example of his longevity. The five-time champion set a new NBA record for most seasons played for one franchise in the season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves, surpassing John Stockton of the Utah Jazz.
With this being his final All-Star appearance, the NBA and his peers have talked about how much Bryant has impacted the game of basketball. Although Bryant says he will not be aiming for his fifth All-Star Most Valuable Player award, there is reportedly a special ceremony for him during halftime.
Bryant is averaging 16.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 29.3 minutes.