Kobe Bryant has shared some emotional farewells on the vast majority of his road games this season, that in itself is nothing new.
However, at the Oklahoma City Thunder's Chesapeake State Arena on Monday night, he received a special gift from two world-class talents.
In a private room, the two superstars of the Thunder gifted the Black Mamba with a special book which contained candid thoughts from the Thunder players about Bryant and what his legacy meant to them.
Article continues below
The home side - like many before them this season - also played a two-minute video before Bryant was introduced in the starting lineup.
The video paid homage to everything Bryant has done for the game with his 20-year NBA career drawing to a close. The Thunder even added a special touch by having Kobe's high school coach, Gregg Downer, narrate the video.
Durant went off for 34 points in the demolition of the Lakers, but he also took to heart the greater significance of the game.
"It meant the world," Durant said after the win. "It was the first time that I've gone through this with a guy like that, leaving the game. So many people love him for what he's done for our game, and I'm one of those guys."
Westbrook had echoed some similar sentiments as his 2014 MVP winning teammate, however, given his California roots, his comments seemed to carry that much more weight.
"It was very special for me, man," he said. "Growing up in L.A., a young boy watching the Lakers and watching him kind of take over the town, and to be here now, in the NBA, being a part of his last (road) game is something special to me. It's a blessing. It's something I never take for granted."
After starting hot with 13 points in the first quarter, Bryant wasn't able to add to his tally before his permanent withdrawal in the third quarter.
The partisan Kobe crowd chanted "we want Kobe" throughout the final quarter, but the 18-time All-Star simply had no gas left in the tank.
"I couldn't move, man," Bryant said laughing. "I played the first quarter and I tried to give it all I had, and then sitting down in the second quarter, I tried to loosen up in the locker room coming out for the second half, but I couldn't move well at all. That and the fact that we were losing by 40. I would've liked to play against [Durant] and chase Russell around a little bit more, but I'm still appreciative of the fans' reaction."
The final stop on the Kobe Bryant retirement tour takes place tomorrow night at the Staples Center against the Utah Jazz.