The Kobe Bryant retirement tour has been in full effect for months, and for the first time in his 20-year career, the future Hall of Famer has been able to take his foot off the gas pedal. No longer obsessed with dominating his opponent, with the Lakers currently the worst team in the Western Conference at 12-50, Bryant has taken a light-hearted approach to his final season. And we saw an awesome example of it on Wednesday night.
On the road against the Denver Nuggets, with Los Angeles trailing in the final seconds, opposing fans pleaded for Kobe to re-enter the game one last time -- this would be his final game in Denver. And while their "We want Kobe" chants were for naught, Bryant was able to please a few fans in a pretty spectacular way.
With about 30 seconds remaining, and the Nuggets icing the game with free throws, Bryant proceeded to take off his Nikes while sitting on the bench, grab a Sharpie and hand out the sneakers to a pair of young fans sitting near the Lakers bench.
Kobe has made his fair share of enemies around the league over his two decades, but it's nice to see all the emotion finally turn around for the better -- and for Kobe to reciprocate the love being hurled at him.
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Kobe Bryant gave fans his autographed sneakers during a game