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Kobe Bryant.

Kobe Bryant gives signed game-worn sneakers to fans during Lakers game

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Since Kobe Bryant announced that the 2015-16 NBA season would be his last back in November 2015, the Los Angeles Lakers star has made something of a habit of handing out signed game-worn sneakers to his fellow pros.

The likes of Paul George, Draymond Green and Steph Curry have all received the Black Mamba's footwear in recent months as a sign of respect from the 37-year-old.

Memorable gesture

As Bryant continued his farewell tour in Denver last night, however, it was two young Lakers fans sat behind the team's bench who were the latest to get their hands on a priceless memento.

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Finding himself on the bench late on in the fourth quarter against the Nuggets, Kobe took time out to sign his sneakers before passing them on to two boys decked out in Lakers gear.

The smile on Bryant's face after the gesture was nearly as wide as that of the fans receiving the shoes. You can watch the moment itself via this link.

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According to NBA.com, the reason the two fans were chosen in particular was actually because they correctly managed to guess the name of Bryant's dog - an extension of a conversation that had spanned several timeouts.

He also signed up to 50 autographs for other fans.

Farewell tour

After 20 years in the league, the Lakers star's final season in the NBA has, quite rightly, become one of the 2015-16 campaign's biggest stories.

Kobe may not have always been the most popular player in the league, but fans from every franchise have shown their appreciation for him when the five-time champion and his team have rolled into town.

It is great to see him give something back, especially to the younger generation of NBA fans.

Unfortunately for Bryant and the two young Lakers fans, while they were left smiling in the fourth-quarter, it wasn't a night to remember for the franchise on the court as they succumbed to a 117-107 defeat.

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Bryant himself was forced to sit out the entire second half after suffering a recurrence of the sore shoulder that kept him out the Lakers' previous two games.

Last time in Denver

He finished his final visit to Denver's Pepsi Center with five points, two rebounds and one assist in just over 10 minutes of playing time.

For Kobe, though, the whole experience was an important one, despite the result:

"It was important to get out there and play and show appreciation for all these years," he explained after the game. "Had it not been the case, I wouldn't have played. I wanted to get out there, though."

"Had it not been the case, I wouldn't have played. I wanted to get out there, though."

In the grand scheme of things, the Lakers' loss won't live long in the memories of most fans - it is their 50th of the season. Bryant's gesture did, at least, ensure two fans will remember it for a lifetime.

Topics:
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Kobe Bryant
Denver Nuggets
Northwest Division

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