The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs are two of the most successful franchises in NBA history, and the two especially dominated the decade from the year 2000 to 2010, representing the Western Conference in all but one of the NBA Finals held over those years.
Two of the men most responsible for those runs are nearing the end of their careers. Tim Duncan of the Spurs is still effective even at age 39, quarterbacking a San Antonio defense that ranks among the best in league history. The Spurs are currently 42-8, good for second in the Western Conference, and Duncan has not decided whether or not he will continue to play next year.
Kobe Bryant is definitely done after this season, already announcing that it will be his final year as a professional basketball player. Saturday night marks Kobe's final trip to San Antonio, the site of so many memorable playoff battles. To commemorate the moment, the Spurs filmed a two and a half minute video tribute to say farewell to the Lakers legend, featuring reflections from Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Gregg Popovich.
Highlights included Parker calling Bryant "the Michael Jordan of our generation" and Popovich saying that Bryant's competitiveness set him apart:
Spurs' tribute to Kobe Bryant will give you chills
The San Antonio Spurs tribute to Kobe Bryant was perfect. Nothing but class as they reflected on his legendary career. Courtesy of Time Warner Cable SportsNetPosted by Silver Screen and Roll on Saturday, February 6, 2016
Really nice stuff from one of the classiest franchises in all of sports.