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Los Angeles gives a heartfelt goodbye to Kobe Bryant

Thousands of people gathered at the Staples Center to pay tribute to basketball great, Kobe Bryant, and watched the Lakers win at his final game.

TAGS: LA Los Angeles Basketball NBA Thank you Goodbye Championships Retire Kobe Bryant Last Game Lakers Staples Center Kobe Mamba

The grainy video clip popped up on the Staples Center scoreboard toward the start of Wednesday’s pre-game festivities. There was Kobe Bryant as a rookie, talking to legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn and predicting he would play “19 or 20 [years], at least.”

Who knew that the brash gifted teenager would end up being correct?

Bryant played the final game of his 20-year career, ending an era with five championships, 18 All-Star game appearances and way too many outsiders’ opinions, pro or con, to ever tally.

His 1,556th and last box score showed a stunning 60 points on 22-for-50 shooting in a 101-96 Lakers victory over the Utah Jazz.

It was chaotic, it was beyond memorable, it was so very Bryant.

The raucous crowd couldn’t care less about the final score, cheering with piercing volume every time Bryant scored during his 42 minutes.