Kobe Bryant is hanging up his jersey after 20 years in the NBA following his final game on Wednesday, which Nike has named “Mamba Day,” in honor of the all-star athlete. On his final court appearance at the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers player will go up against the Utah Jazz team.
Now with just a few hours before his last game, a slew of athletes and celebrity figures including Zendaya, Maria Shriver and LaLa Anthony, along with his wife Vanessa Bryant have take to social media to congratulate the Number 24 basketball player on his successful career.
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Tiger Woods tweeted on his Twitter account, “As a diehard @Lakers fan, thank you @kobebryant for all the memories and of course the 5 titles!”
Maria Shriver expressed her sadness over the basketball player’s retirement, tweeting, “My son says @kobebryant has played basketball his entire life & he doesn't know what to do w/ himself now that he's retiring I don't either!”
In the days leadings up to the April 13 game, Nike released a special “Mamba Day” video to honor the 37-year-old. Even some of the world’s biggest names in sports have come forward to pay their respects to the five-time NBA champion including, Rafael Nadal, LeBron James, Serena Williams and more.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
Kobe announced his retirement back in November. In a letter titled "Dear Basketball" on The Players' Tribune website, the Lakers player wrote, “This season is all I have left to give.
He added, “My heart can take the pounding / My mind can handle the grind / But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
Sharing a picture of herself and Kobe, Vanessa also penned a moving message for her retiring husband. "My girls and I are so happy to have Kobe home more often. We've all sacrificed so much time, birthdays, holidays, family functions and special events to be there for Kobe," she wrote. "Kobe has an incredible work ethic and amazing drive to be the best at whatever he sets his mind to and with that comes many sacrifices."
The mom-of-two added, "The road hasn't always been easy. We've had our ups and downs, but I'm so thankful we managed to persevere against the odds. We couldn't have done it without our faith and God's grace."
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Tonight will be full of emotions , happy ones & and sad ones but we celebrate the career of one the games greatest players and a true LAKER ... It's been an honor watching this man win championships and to have done it in style just the way this city expects... Easier said than done... Congrats my friend on a career that many people dream of.... @lakers @kobebryant @lagalaxy
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) April 13, 2016
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) April 13, 2016
— Brandy (@4everBrandy) April 13, 2016
Red Hot Chili Peppers
— Red Hot ChiliPeppers (@ChiliPeppers) April 13, 2016
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) April 13, 2016
— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) April 13, 2016
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) April 13, 2016
— Larry King (@kingsthings) April 13, 2016
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) April 13, 2016
— LA LA (@lala) April 13, 2016