I am not much of a pro basketball fan at any time of the year, not even during the playoffs. Nonetheless, tonight there were two compelling stories from the league. First, could the Golden State Warriors defeat the Memphis Grizzlies to get their 73rd win of the season in 82 games to pass the previous record of 72 set by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls of 1995-1996? Yes they could. They did it with their star Stephen Curry making 402 3-point shots in a single season, blowing right past the previous record of 286 set just last year by, you guessed it, Curry.
That was one of the big stories. The second story was this: tonight Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant was to play the final game of his 20-year career. He’s been missing most of the last two seasons, sidelined by injuries each year. This year he’s been physically healthy but not very good, and the Lakers have been just as bad as he has. Bryant made only 35.4% of his shots this year, far below his career average of 44.7%. The Lakers finished last in the Western Conference, winning only 17 games and losing 65. Tonight, though, it was as if the Lakers and Bryant reverted to their form of five or six years ago. Bryant scored 60 points (!) in his last game and led the Lakers to a 101-96 upset over the Utah Jazz.
The Commissioner of the league was probably so happy he turned backflips.