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Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers

Royalty in purple and gold.

Kobe Bryant played his final game in the NBA last night; his 20-year career coming to an end. It was a bittersweet celebration with a look back at all the monumental feats he has accomplished, while still taking into account the stark realization that the Kobe era is over.

The night started off with another one of the greatest Lakers ever, Magic Johnson, making a heartfelt speech about how much Bryant has meant to the city of L.A. and the Lakers Organization, saying, “He’s the greatest to wear the purple and gold.”

The two Laker greats then shared a hug.

The crowd was treated to a tribute reel on the Jumbotron, with farewells from Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and former teammates Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, and even Lamar Odom.

Despite the crazy ticket prices, the Staples Center was packed with fans and celebrities alike.

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Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

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Of course, Jack Nicholson, who’s been a season ticket holder since 1972, was there for Bryant’s grand finale.

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And with all the A-listers in the house, it’s only right Bryant put on a show. Coach Byron Scott made it clear early on that Kobe would play around 35 minutes, including the entire first and third quarters, and the second half of the second and fourth quarters. But the time didn’t matter; the Black Mamba went out with a bang, playing the entire second half and adding a few clips to his highlight reel:

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As the building filled with cheers and tears, Kobe was pulled out with 4.1 seconds left after playing his heart out and becoming the first to end his career with a 60-point game.

Kanye West celebrated the unbelievable performance with a picture of his special edition shirt.

Then, at center court, Bryant addressed the media, his fans, and teammates for the very last time with an emotional speech and seemed at peace with leaving the game behind.

Thanks for the memories, Kobe Bryant.

SOURCE: Twitter, Instagram | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram, Twitter, Getty

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