NBA Season Ends on a High Note

April 13, 2016, will be remembered by NBA fans for years to come. Players both broke records and set them, and fans celebrated the career of a player whose legacy will live on long after he walks off the court. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers ended his final season of basketball at home while the Golden State Warriors broke the record for most wins in a season with a 73 and 9 record.

April 13 was deemed “Mamba Day” and quickly turned into Mamba Night as fans poured into the sold-out Staples Center to get once last glimpse of 38-year-old Bryant doing what he does best: impress people. And impress people he did.

Kobe’s goodbye was as spectacular as his career as he scored 60 points, marking the first game in which he scored at least 50 since February 2009. Bryant got his last points the same way he got his first: at the free-throw line. After earning his 60th point, he checked out for the final time with 4.1 seconds left. And with that, we heard one final “Mamba out.”

Some 360 miles northwest, the Golden State Warriors faced off against the Memphis Grizzlies for the fourth time that season. However, the stakes were higher than they had ever been. The Warriors were one win away from breaking the record set by the 1995-96 Bulls for most wins in a season.

Head coach of the Warriors, Steve Kerr, played for the Bulls with Michael Jordan when they set the record at 72 wins. Now, he led the Warriors to beat the Grizzles 125-104, earning win number 73. “It just feels like a right-place-right-time thing to be part of two teams that have performed like this and won at this level for the entire season,” said Kerr.

Michael Jordan reached out to Warriors after the game. “I want to congratulate the Warriors on their amazing season,” said Jordan. “The game of basketball is always evolving and records are made to be broken.”

And evolving it is. As we recognize a new record, we know that this is not the last time it will be broken. And while we know Kobe Bryant will not be forgotten, we understand there will soon be someone to fill the space he left.