Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's career is over. After 20 seasons, five championships and thousands of miles on the court, the Black Mamba is finally hanging up all the basketball shoes he has not already given away. Wednesday night was his last game, and he went out with a bang, scoring 60 points on 50 shots and carrying his team to victory over the Utah Jazz.
It was an impressive performance by the 37-year-old, and the Laker faithful who paid big bucks to watch it got their money's worth.
Why did Kobe go off so dramatically? It's possible that he benefitted from a motivational challenge from his former teammate, Shaquille O'Neal.
Back in March, Shaq challenged Kobe to drop 50 points in his career finale. At the time, it seemed unlikely that Bryant could do it. But of course, he never backed down from a challenge. He called Shaq's challenge and raised him 1o points. It was his sixth career 60-point game.
Kobe's final words to the crowd: "Mamba out."
After the game, Shaq had some choice words for Kobe.
Just spoke to Shaq - he said "I challenged him to get 50 and the [expletive deleted] got 60"
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 14, 2016
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