End of an Era

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)


(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Brooke Gagnon, Photojournalist

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016, marks the last game that Kobe Bryant will ever play in. Kobe will wrap up his 20th and final NBA season against the Utah Jazz at 7:30 P.M.


There is nobody like Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba, as people have referred to him to for his deadly accuracy in his shots, has five NBA championships and 33, 583 career points. At 37 years old, Kobe has played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The final game will be a home game at the Staples Center. After his final road game Monday, Bryant described how much it has meant to have the career he’s had in a Lakers’ uniform. “It means everything,” the Philadelphia native and likely future Hall of Famer said. “I grew up a die-hard Laker fan. It’s like a dream come true, for a kid to grow up, play for his favorite team and play here for 20 years, his entire career. I’ve seen the city grow. I’ve seen the city develop and vice versa. There’s no place I’d rather end my career.”


In November, Kobe officially announced that this season would be his last in a letter written as a poem on the The Players’ Tribune in November. The Charlotte Hornets drafted Bryant as the 13th pick of the 1996 NBA draft after he  entered the league straight out of high school. He was then traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac. Kobe was the youngest NBA player ever. Ticket prices for the final game have skyrocketed, with the average resale ticket price listed at $2,110 as of Monday afternoon. This is more than 500 percent higher than the average for Lakers home games this year. The cheapest seat is going for $888, and the most expensive ticket is listen at about $25, 700 (CNBC).


Although the Lakers have had a dismal season, going 16-65 and finishing in last in the Western Conference and with the second to worst record in the NBA, Lakers fans everywhere have tuned in to witness Kobe’s last games, as flashes of “vintage Kobe” have often shown through. Ashray Kapuria (11) stated that “I am devastated to see Kobe go. I have grown up watching him play, and I believe he is and always will be a legend in basketball and sports history. It will definitely be different watching Lakers basketball without a 24 on the court.” Kobe will be missed by all, and many fans will surely be tuning in to witness the last minutes that the Black Mamba will ever play.