Kobe Bryant retires: Stars and athletes pay tribute ahead of final game

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.


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."

Scroll for more tributes to Kobe

David Beckham

Dwyane Wade

Rafael Nadal


You gave us everything...we thank you for that. @kobebryant #MambaDay

A photo posted by Zendaya (@zendaya) on


Red Hot Chili Peppers

Alex Rodriguez

Chris Bosh

Alex Ovechkin

Larry King

Carmelo Anthony

LaLa Anthony
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