We’re dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on the Kobe Bryant chapter of NBA history. Wednesday was a significant piece of those final pages.
The Los Angeles Lakers star was welcomed with open arms — quite literally — by the Cleveland Cavalier fans and players during his final visit to The Land.
Kobe first captivated fans with his showcase in the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest (in Cleveland), when the then 18-year-old officially put himself on the map.
They repaid him with plenty of love Wednesday night in the Cavs’ 120-111 victory over L.A.
Bryant and LeBron James shared a moment before the game.
The fans got their chance, too, as they nearly blew the roof off the arena during Bryant’s chilling introduction.
James, who finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists in the victory, was asked postgame about the evening.
Bryant was, unsurprisingly, grateful.
Bryant finished the game with a respectable 17 points, and though the two teams will play again next month, Wednesday offered James and all of Cleveland a chance to contribute to Bryant’s farewell tour.
Either way, the night was one we’ll always remember.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images
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