Posts Tagged ‘Kobe Bryant’

Kobe says goodbye, even to the haters

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As Kobe Bryant preps to play his final home game with the Los Angeles Lakers tonight against the Utah Jazz (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), the tributes just keep coming. And this new commercial from Nike — with guest spots (and singing!) from Phil Jackson to Rasheed Wallace — manages to convey one interesting aspect of the Kobe experience: Win or lose, love or hate, Kobe always found fuel to thrive.

VIDEO: The Conductor

Which number should the Lakers retire for Kobe Bryant?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s the final day of the NBA season, April 13, which means today is Mamba Day, the final day in the legendary career of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. And while it’s safe to assume the Lakers will have some sort of extended tribute tonight for Bryant when they host the Jazz (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2), they’ve already revealed one facet of their celebration:

Because even though Kobe has worn number 24 since 2006, for the first decade of his career he wore the number 8. It works out pretty evenly: ten years wearing number 8, ten years wearing number 24.

Which leads to an interesting question: Which number should the Lakers retire in honor of Kobe Bryant? Cast your vote below…

Kendrick Lamar pays tribute to Kobe Bryant

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With just hours left before Kobe Bryant‘s final game in Los Angeles, who better to pay tribute to Kobe than a Los Angeles native, hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar? This song, “Fade To Black,” which was written by my main man Scoop Jackson, goes through the entire Kobe history, detailing all the highlights, and explaining why Kobe has meant so much to Los Angeles. And I love the moment before the song starts when we see Lamar struggling to even grasp the concept of Kobe leaving. He’s not the only one who feels that way…

VIDEO: Fade to Black

Don’t tell Kobe Bryant he’s getting old

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the things we love about Kobe Bryant is his competitive spirit. As Kobe has aged, he’s worked harder and harder, and even now, with just days left in his career, he’s maintaining the same high standards. This new commercial for Apple TV plays on that part of Kobe’s spirit, as we find out what it would be like if the actor Michael B. Jordan was playing Kobe in a biopic. Short answer? Don’t tell Kobe he’s getting older…

VIDEO: Kobe Father Time

Nike declares April 13 “Mamba Day”

VIDEO: Mamba Day

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’ve known for a while now that this would be Kobe Bryant‘s final season, but the clock is about to finally run out. Next week, on Wednesday, April 13, Kobe Bryant will play his final NBA game. And to celebrate his final appearance on an NBA court, Nike has named that date “Mamba Day.”

According to a release from Nike…

Beginning today, Nike-sponsored athletes worldwide will celebrate the player many love to hate by wearing black and gold shoes, a metaphoric nod to Bryant’s golden career fading to black on April 13.

From the golf course in Augusta to football pitches in Europe and numerous fields of play in between, accomplished athletes including Rory McIlroy, Mike Trout and Carli Lloyd will honor one of the world’s most polarizing champions. Bryant is a hero to fans and a villain to others, but nobody can question his fierce competitiveness, which has led to five world championships, 18 All-Star appearances and two gold medals.

And already, Nike athletes are rocking their black and gold. Yesterday at round one of The Masters, for instance, Rory McIlroy broke out some spikes that fit the bill, and even had 4/13 written on them…

Wade crashes Kobe’s postgame news conference

By Jeff Case

Just seven games remain in the Kobe Bryant farewell tour (and only two more in Los Angeles). Last night marked the final showdown between Bryant and Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade, which Bryant’s crew won in overtime thanks to youngster Julius Randle‘s hook shot.

Afterward, Kobe did his traditional news conference … and got an unexpected guest as Wade crashed it.

Fast-forward to the 8:40 or so mark below to see a classic exchange between the two future Hall of Famers …

VIDEO: Wade crashes Kobe’s news conference

Lakers fans take big whiff of Kobe’s armband

By Jeff Case

After last night’s loss in Salt Lake City to the Utah Jazz, only eight games remain on the Kobe Bryant farewell tour. Fans have been coming out in droves all season for Bryant’s final appearances at each arena, and last night at Vivint Smart Home Arena was no different.

During a break in the fourth quarter of the blowout loss, some Lakers fans sitting near the team’s bench were clamoring for Bryant’s armband/shooting sleeve. Bryant tossed it into the crowd and, after a pair of Lakers fans wrestled it away from the first fan, the Kobe backers took a long whiff of their momento (literally) …

VIDEO: Lakers fan gets Kobe’s armband

A decade of the NBA on Twitter

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Today is Twitter’s tenth birthday, and over the last decade the social media platform has become an invaluable tool to use while following the NBA. Not only can fans and teams interact in real time, but NBA players and front office members have also taken to Twitter as a way to communicate with fans.

So, to celebrate Twitter’s tenth birthday, we got into the wayback machine and checked out some of our favorite NBA people’s first tweets…


Kobe giving away tickets to his final game

VIDEO: Kobe Omaze

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Perhaps the hottest ticket in the NBA this season will be on Wednesday, April 13, when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Utah Jazz. Barring any surprises, this should be the final home game in the legendary career of Kobe Bryant. And while tickets can be obtained for a lot of money, there’s still an opportunity to get two front row tickets (plus travel and lodging) for as little as $10…thanks to Kobe himself.

Bryant is partnering with the fundraising website Omaze, where a donation of as little as $10 qualifies entrants for the chance to win two tickets donated by Kobe for the Jazz/Lakers game. The proceeds will go to several charitable organizations, including The Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, the Positive Coaching Alliance and The After-School All-Stars of Los Angeles. And hurry up, the contest ends on April 8.

Lakers pay tribute to Kobe today with custom socks

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — All season long, teams around the NBA have paid tribute to Kobe Bryant with gifts and on-court moments. Today, for their game against the Warriors (3:30 P.M. ET, ABC) the Lakers will do something no NBA team has ever done before, and honor Kobe Bryant by wearing custom Stance socks. This will mark the first time an NBA team has worn a piece of equipment to honor a current player.

From a release from Stance…

The socks, all of which pay homage to Bryant’s eye for detail, personal aesthetic and year-long #KB20 campaign, celebrate the guard’s incredible, record-breaking 20-season NBA career.

The first of the socks, called ‘The Final,’ is purple/gold/white/black and is adorned with the number TWO on the right sock and FOUR on the left. This style is built on Stance’s performance basketball block — with superior breathability, moisture management and targeted cushioning — and will be worn on-court by the Lakers this coming Sunday, March 6, when they face off with the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center.

‘K. Bryant,’ the second of the three styles, is a casual sock that depicts a cartoon caricature of Bryant. The twist, though, is that the left sock depicts the guard as he would’ve looked at the turn of the century, complete with a No. 8 Lakers jersey, classic haircut and full goatee. Meanwhile, the right sock features Bryant in the No. 24, with a shaved head and his infamous jutted jaw.

The final style, ‘Kobe Faces,’ is a black/purple/gold/white mismatched casual sock that draws inspiration from Bryant’s HeroVillain line of merchandise. Most noticeably, HERO and VILLAIN are written in Mandarin on the socks, and the foot features the HeroVillain and KB20 logo.

The limited-edition Stance x Kobe socks are now available on,, and at Staples Center.