On his road to retirement, Kobe Bryant returned to his native Philadelphia on Wednesday only to be beaten 103-91, giving the 76rs their first win of the season.The man dubbed “the Prince of Philly” received a hero’s welcome as he entered the court to thunderous applause ahead of his final hometown game, having announced his retirement earlier this week.
The fighting pride of Lower Merion High School, where Bryant first applied his trade, presented the five time NBA champion with a framed jersey before the game as the city paid homage to its brightest basketball star. Unfortunately for the former league MVP, it was not to be the Lakers night.
Bryant started in vintage scoring style, hitting three three-pointers in the opening minutes to get the crowed on the feet. Though it was short lived, with 2015 Kobe Bryant eventually showing he simply no longer has the same touch, throwing up three air-balls and finishing with 19 misses from his 26 attempts.
The city’s newest prodigy, center and number three draft pick Jahlil Okafor, put out another solid performance to ensure that the 76rs broke their 28 game losing streak, tied for longest all time with the 09-10 Brooklyn Nets.
After 20 years in the NBA, five championships and three MVP awards, it wasn’t the send-off Bryant would have liked.
The Lakers look like an uninspired team at the moment, with number one overall draft pick Deangelo Russel, still
struggling to find his feet at the top level.
Latest Update: Kobe Bryant scored 31 points in his final game in D.C against Washington Wizards as LA Lakers beat the host 108-104 today. – Jackson Thomas
Top photo of Kobe Bryant from La Lakers’ Facebook page.