Kobe said farewell to Phoenix
The Kobe Bryant farewell tour stopped in Phoenix on Wednesday night and if I had not driven to Talking Stick Arena I would have bet I was in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.
Bryant received a standing ovation when he walked on the court, was introduced, after his video tribute and hell, every time he touched the ball.
The Phoenix Suns went on to win the game by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 119 – 107. They Suns were led by sensational rookie Devin Booker who scored 28 points.
But the game was secondary to Kobe playing in his 47th and final game in Phoenix.
On Phoenix, Kobe said, “All the great playoff series we had here… We had some unbelievable games here. That was a real rivalry to me. (The) Sacramento (Kings) thing wasn’t because we beat them every time. Phoenix man they kicked our butts and we had to bounce back and overcome them. That’s a real rivalry.”
Kobe on his thoughts on the Suns, “I hated them. There’s no misunderstanding, no wiggle room. They stopped me from getting a championship, TWICE. Damn right I hated them. Radja (Bell), Steve (Nash) and all those good guys, no question. But at the same time I love them. They brought the best out me and my teammates.
In what will be their only meeting ever, Bryant was full of praises for the Suns rookie guard Booker. Kobe talked about the first time he guarded Booker, “He went straight to my move,” Kobe said chuckling. “You’re not going beat me on my move man. But it was great to see, it was absolutely great. I did the same thing to M.J. (Michael Jordan).”
Kobe stated that this season is his final for sure and when asked if he would ever come back, he simply said, “Nope.
This season will be it for Kobe but Suns fans will never forget him. When he left the court for a final time in Phoenix he received a loud standing ovation. As he waved goodbye to the Phoenix fans, they proved that they, like him, had a love hate relationship with him too.
“Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!” will be the lasting memory of the evening.