The Los Angeles Lakers made sure to give Kobe Bryanta memorable sendoff fit for a king before the NBA legend played his final NBA game Wednesday night with the Purple and Gold hosting the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center.
The pre-game festivities began with a moving final highlight reel, covering Bryant's 20 years in the league, including his five championships, a league MVP, two Finals MVPs and 18 All-Star Game selections.
From there, Magic took the court, giving Bryant his just due as not only one of the Lakers' greats, but one of the greatest players the game has ever seen, period.
Magic Johnson to Kobe: "He's played through injuries. He's played hurt. And we've got five championship banners to show for it."
Before taking the Staples Center court to be showered with deafening applause one last time, Bryant was treated to a video montage with some of his former teammates, including Shaquille O'Neal, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom, in addition to ex-Lakers coach Phil Jackson, and stars around the league like LeBron James, Stephen Curryand Carmelo Anthony. It even closed with acting legend and die-hard Lakers fan Jack Nicholson commenting about the Black Mamba's greatness.