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Final three minutes of Kobe Bryant's last NBA game is the stuff of legend

Kit Roberts

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Final three minutes of Kobe Bryant's last NBA game is the stuff of legend

Featured Image Credit: Time Warner

Tomorrow the world will remember basketball legend Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 45th birthday.

The legendary athlete died in a helicopter crash in Southern California in January 2020, aged just 41. Among the eight other people onboard the helicopter was his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Bryant's last game with the Lakers in 2016 showed the extraordinarily gifted athlete he was as he led the Lakers to a comeback victory against the Utah Jazz.

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The match saw Bryant play for 42 minutes, taking a career-high of 50 shots. The game ended as the fifth-highest-scoring game in his career, as well as making him the oldest player to score 50 points in an NBA game.

Bryant pauses to catch his breath. Credit: YouTube / NBA Highlights
Bryant pauses to catch his breath. Credit: YouTube / NBA Highlights

Video of the game's final three minutes of play shows a sweating Bryant pushing through the fatigue to relatedly push through the opposition. In the end, he managed to pull the Los Angeles Lakers back from a defeat to a surprise victory.

He said: "What else can I say? Mamba out.

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"The perfect ending would have been a championship. But tonight was (me) trying to go out, play hard and try to put on a show as much as I possibly could. It felt good to be able to do that one last time."

The final match saw Bryant rack up a whopping 60 points for the Los Angeles team.

Speaking to the crowd afterwards, he said: "I think the most important part is that we all stayed together throughout. "You'll always be in my heart, and I sincerely, sincerely appreciate it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys."

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Bryant takes the shot that took the Lakers into the lead. Credit: YouTube / NBA Highlights
Bryant takes the shot that took the Lakers into the lead. Credit: YouTube / NBA Highlights

Footage from the game shows Bryant taking a shot that would push him into scoring 50 points in the game. As the legendary athlete paused to catch his breath the crowd could be heard chanting his name.

It was an extraordinary end to an extraordinary career for Bryant, who became the first NBA player to win 30,000 points and 6,000 assists over the course of his career.

He is now regarded as having been one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

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Tragically, just a few years after his retirement from top level play aged 38 his life was cut short by a helicopter crash.

Bryant's tragic and premature death sparked an outpouring of mourning, with basketball fans across the world expressing their grief at his loss.

Topics: Celebrity, Kobe Bryant, Basketball, Sport, News, US News

Kit Roberts
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