Kobe Bryant pokes fun at himself and the L.A. Lakers during ESPY awards

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Football News

Kobe Bryant's career ended in spectacular style on the final day of the regular season as he dropped 60 points in an unbelievable performance against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center.

It was a fitting end to a stunning career that saw the Black Mamba claim five championship rings, two Finals MVP awards, the 2008 Most Valuable Player title and 18 All-Star game selections.

The dust has now settled around Bryant's retirement following a farewell tour that threw up some truly fantastic moments on and off the court. The Lakers are preparing for their first campaign without Kobe in 20 years and the former shooting guard is embracing the next stage in his life.

After an incredible career and a brilliant goodbye, Bryant was chosen for the Icon Award at the annual Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly awards.

His speech kicked off with some self-deprecating humour as he compared the Lakers' franchise-worst season to the finishes Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach - who also received the accolade - experienced. Manning won the Super Bowl and Wambach the Women's World Cup.

He went on to say: “We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability. We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days. We’re up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to make us stronger.”

His career on the hardwood may be over but his life is just beginning, and he has huge plans for the future.

“I believe that there’s time for resting at the end, but for me that time is not now,” Bryant said. “Thank you for this tremendous honour and honouring my basketball career, but I’m far from done. My next dream is to be honoured one day for inspiring the next generation of athletes to have a dream, sacrifice for it and never, ever rest in the middle.”

Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference

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