Tonight Kobe Bryant will suit-up for the last time as a Los Angeles Laker.  The 37-year old, Lakers legend and five-time NBA champion will play his last NBA game.  After his final road game in Oklahoma City Monday, the press was there to capture the monumental game.  After which they ask the Philly native how being a Laker changed his life.  He said,

"It means everything.  I grew up a die-hard Laker fan. It's like a dream come true, for a kid to grow up, play for his favorite team and play here for 20 years, his entire career. I've seen the city grow. I've seen the city develop and vice versa. There's no place I'd rather end my career."

Throughout the year he's been given props, gifts, tributes and standing ovations from fans and fellow players.  Last year Bryant announced that the 2016 season would be his last in the form of a poem on The Players' Tribune tittle, Dear Basketball:

From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.

A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.

And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.

I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.

And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,

Tonight Kobe Bryant will play the game he fell in love with for the last time, bringing an end to era and one the most celebrated athletic careers in the history of the game.  Kobe has had an unbelievable 20-year career on one team!  That is extremely rare.  Matter of fact ESPN'S Arash Markazi reports only 11 players in the world of sports have done it.  So tonight will be bitter-sweet as it all comes to a close with his Los Angeles Lakers having home court advantage against the Utah Jazz at 9:30 p.m. CT!

Bryant began his pro basketball career as the third youngest player to be drafted straight out of high school.  He signed with the Charlotte Hornets after being selected as the 13th pick of the 1996 NBA draft. His one and only trade was when he was traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac and the rest is history...literally.  Kobe Bryants list of achievements from that point till now are so incredible, they have their own Wikipedia page.

Unfortunately his team stats this season have been horrible, so Kobe's farewell to the league hasn't been a good one.  According to reports the Lakers' are young and rebuilding right now.  The team has suffered 65 loses including a brutal loss to the Jazz  who beat them by 48 points, the largest loss in the Lakers' history.  For the last three years injuries have slowed the NBA legend down and his numbers for his final year have paid the price.  But no matter what, he's still going out as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

When asked if he thought he was going to be able to keep his emotions in check for tonight's game he said simply,
"Tough to say.  We'll see Wednesday. So far I've been pretty cool about everything. I've been very thankful about everything, been very happy about everything. It hasn't really hit me yet. We'll see if it does."
If he cries, it's all right.  We'll probably cry with him.  As Kobe Bryant says goodbye to basketball tonight, Kendrick Lamar released a fitting tribute to give the five-time champ a formal farewell.  The “Fade to Black” video features Kobe's highlight reel, including some of his greatest moments in the NBA.  K-Dots words were dynamic and poetic, but not his own.  The words were actually written by ESPN's, Scoop Jackson.  Kendrick brought the words to life, reciting them over his single "Levitate."  Peep the video below.

We'll miss you in the game Kobe, thanks for the 20-years!  More than likely he wont be far from it possibly showing up as a coach or sports analyst in the near future.  It's all good. Don't miss the final show tonight.  Meanwhile for all things entertainment listen to Tha Wire twice a day, every weekday at 12:50 p.m. and 3:35 p.m. on The Peoples Station 107 Jamz.