Roughly 30 minutes after first pitch at Dodger between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, Kobe Bryant took the court for the final game of his career as the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Utah Jazz.
Since Bryant announced last November that the 2015-2016 NBA season would be his last, he’s been embraced by Lakers and opposing fans alike. The five-time NBA champion embarked on a farewell tour that at times, helped ease the sting of another poor Lakers season.
Along the way Bryant was showered with gifts from other other NBA organizations, ranging from paid stays at exclusive resorts to hand-written letters from his peers to the Atlanta Hawks coordinating with the Atlanta Zoo to name a snake ‘Black Mamba’ in honor of Bryant’s nickname.
In the days leading up to his final game, Nike, whom Bryant has his signature shoe and clothing line with, launched a #MambaDay campaign. Nike-sponsored professional athletes across all sports took to social media to share how they’ve been inspired by Bryant.
On Monday, Yasiel Puig thanked Bryant on Monday with a Twitter post:
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) April 11, 2016
Puig then shared a photo of his Bryant-themed batting gloves and cleats he wore in Wednesday’s game:
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) April 13, 2016
Prior to making his way to Dodger Stadium, Justin Turner paid his respect to Bryant’s career, via Turner’s Twitter account:
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) April 13, 2016
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez recalled his attending Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, via his Twitter account:
— Adrian Gonzalez (@Adrian_ElTitan) April 13, 2016
Gonzalez was also among the players to wear batting gloves in Bryant’s honor, via DodgerTalk host David Vassegh:
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) April 13, 2016
On the same night Bryant electrified Staples Center by scoring 60 points, Gonzalez hit his first home run of the season:
— Adrian Gonzalez (@Adrian_ElTitan) April 14, 2016
Both the Dodgers and Lakers were victorious on Wednesday, putting a nice ribbon on a historic night in Los Angeles.