"Thank you guys for all the years of support, all the motivation, all the inspiration," said the legendary player.
Former teammate Shaquille O’Neal sat courtside, along with Jay Z, Kanye West, David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, Paula Abdul, Jack Nicholson and Magic Johnson. Various NBA players and coaches also paid their respects to the now retired basketball legend in a video shown before the big game.
After the game, Kobe addressed the crowd, sharing that he’s most proud of the tough years that the Los Angeles Lakes faced, “We didn’t run, we played through and did it the right way…You can’t write something better than this…Thank you guys for all the years of support, all the motivation, all the inspiration.”
Kobe ended his speech with a reference to his nickname, saying, “Mamba out.”
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!