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Fit Tribute To Kobe At The Staples Center

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By Rhode InStyle

As one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center. A member of the NBA league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division they have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics.

With a total of five NBA championships rings, the Lakers have celebrated their 2000 and 2010 victories at Staples Center. Fits of superhuman achievement have been accomplished by Kobe and his teammates at Staples Center.

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On June 19, 2000 the Los Angeles Lakers won a hotly contested NBA Championship against the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 with Shaquille O’Neal playing alongside Kobe taking home the coveted MVP.

It was sweet victory on June 17, 2010 as the Lakers won the NBA Championship at home. The hotly contested finals against the Boston Celtics were won in a historic Game 7 which saw Kobe Bryant take home his second straight NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award after averaging 28.6 points, eight rebounds, and almost four assists in the series win.

Gettyimages | Wally Skalij

On Jan. 22, 2006, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant shocked the league when he scored 81 points in a 122-104 win over the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. This marked the second-highest scoring total in a game in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.

In recent years great scorers like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant , none have come close to matching or surpassing Bryant’s 81 points. Since the 2005-06 season, there have only been six games in which a player scored 60 or more points. PS, Kobe has half of them with players like James, Carmelo Anthony and Gilbert Arenas with one each.

Gettyimages | Harry How

Kobes' last game as a professional basketball player was at the Staples Center on April 13, 2016, where he scored 60 points. It was all the more astonishing by the fact that the final years of Kobe's career were plagued by injuries leading to a substantial dropoff in his play.

But on that night, Bryant resurrected the Mamba Mentality one last time. Looking on from the sidelines was his family and a glittering array of celebrities in the stands.

At 37 years of age, his performance that night represented the most points ever by a player of that age, with some fans left wondering if he had enough left in the tank to return for just one more season.

"The perfect ending would have been a championship," Bryant said after that game. "But tonight was (me) trying to go out, play hard and try to put on a show as much as I possibly could. It felt good to be able to do that one last time."

Unsplash | Rap Dela Rea

It is a given that Kobe will be immortalized with a statue outside of Staples Center with Lakers Hall of Famers; Shaquille O'Neal, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Lakers broadcaster Francis “Chick” Hearn at the Star Plaza. The announcement could come soon as Lakers protocol is to unveil a statue when a former Lakers player enters the Hall of Fame. In the meantime, the great city of Los Angeles is still mourning the death of a member of their family.

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