The NBA is full of drama.
There’s the kind of drama where our favorite teams, after a bad season start and some faulty decisions – battle their way through to win a championship, or at the very least make the playoffs. And then there’s the kind of drama that makes fans tear up just a bit, like when a player close to their heart decides to switch teams or retire. Today, the latter is up for discussion, as PlayPH features some memorable farewells of famous basketball players.
A night to remember. Kobe Bryant waved goodbye to the NBA with 60 points.
A strong start to this list would be the Black Mamba’s final game. It was perfect because the game was played in front of LA’s wonderful crowd, where Bryant’s most loyal fans came out to see him put on a show last time.
And so he did. It was vintage Kobe Bryant all over again. He scored 60 unbelievable points, leaving fans across the globe with an everlasting memory of his hoop legacy.
Greg Popovich gave words of love to his All-Star forward, after spending a lifetime mentoring him.
The silent 3-time MVP and 5-time champ deserved a meaningful retirement ceremony. Old and new members of the Spurs organization close to Tim Duncan’s heart gave speeches about fond memories, and tributes to a colorful career. The evening’s highlight came when Spurs longtime coach Greg Popovich gave a few words about his power forward.
The speech lasted nine minutes. Fans shed a tear or two as Popovich and Timmy reflected on their father-son relationship. Who knew what kind of a connection those two greats had.
21 memorable seasons later, The Big Ticket bid farewell to the league and everyone who’s supported him.
After 21 seasons on the court, the most passionate and electrifying player announced his retirement late last year. There wasn’t any big ceremony for Kevin Garnett. In fact, the Big Ticket broke the news through his Instagram account in the form of a short video, talking about his thoughts on retirement.
KG was a beloved player by the league, whose competitive spirit helped him gain respect from fellow greats. He’s a decorated player with 15 All-Star appearances, an NBA Title, and an MVP Award under his belt.
Jordan’s iconic final shot as a Chicago Bull gave him his 6th NBA title.
The interesting thing about Air Jordan’s retirement was that it happened twice in his career, with the first one being more memorable, mostly because of the decision to play baseball. But MJ’s most iconic moment would come in 1998 in Game 6 against the Utah Jazz.
The Breakdown: John Stockton just hit a big three to silence the bulls with just about 40 seconds remaining, putting the Jazz up by 3. Next possession, Jordan scores a fast layup within seconds to get them within striking distance. With a chance to seal the deal, Karl Malone posts up on the left wing with his back to the basket. Jordan sneaks in and swipes the ball from Malone and calmly brings the ball to their end.
Bryon Russel, Utah’s designated MJ defender stays low in front of Jordan, just enough to quickly react to any first step. Jordan drives right and then pulls back, lightly pushing the defender sideways. He pulls up from the left elbow, sinks it, wins his 6th NBA championship and waves goodbye to a wonderful Chicago Bulls career.