OAKLAND, Calif. — Kobe Bryant‘s eyes welled with tears as the video tribute began to roll. He fought his emotions, but he didn’t win, couldn’t win. There have been many powerful moments that have tugged at him throughout his farewell tour, but Thursday offered something none of his other stops could match. It left him helpless.
Before Bryant’s final game in Oakland, his final appearance at Oracle Arena, the Los Angeles Lakers star sat on his team’s bench during player introductions and watched in spotlighted darkness as Jerry West, who helped bring Bryant to the Lakers two decades ago, delivered a taped farewell speech.