The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night in Kobe Bryant's final professional game in the city, with Bryant going 1-6 in the fourth quarter as his aging body was unable to conjure up one more clutch performance in his 20th season. But as badly as Bryant played in the fourth quarter, he was just as impressive in the third.
Kobe went supernova in the penultimate period, making 6 of his 12 shots and going 3-6 on three pointers to score 16 points. It was the type of scoring outburst that used to be much more common for Bryant in his younger years, but it still looks just as impressive in "old age."
Rather than tell Bryant he hates him, as some opposing coaches have done this year, legendary Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich couldn't help but enjoy the throwback performance, and it left him comparing Bryant to another superstar shooting guard:
Popovich on Kobe's 16-point third quarter: "It's like watching Michael (Jordan). I was just watching. It was great." https://t.co/aqPZQA0Ma6— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) February 7, 2016
While competitiveness is great, one future Hall-of-Famer paying respect to another is pretty cool too.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.