Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Kobe shows the way: Strong sporting farewells

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant smiles during the first half of Bryant's last NBA basketball game, against the Utah Jazz. Photo / AP.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant smiles during the first half of Bryant's last NBA basketball game, against the Utah Jazz. Photo / AP.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant laid out reminders of his greatness in his final game at the Staples Centre. Those mementos dwindled as his career wound down through injury and poor team performances.

However with the sense of timing which marked his golden years of NBA glory, Bryant drained a season-high 60 points and outscored the Jazz by himself in the final quarter.

It was Bryant's twinkle in a year when Stephen Curry has been a galaxy.

Fans love those sentimental exits which Peyton Manning delivered in Super Bowl this year rather than the anguish delivered by Bradman's second ball duck in his final test innings or Stevie Gerrard's aching 6-1 Liverpool exit.

In the love to leave ya basket, some golden departures have been:

* Richie McCaw and his senior All Blacks who left at the summit with their World Cup triumph.

* Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa was No 1 when she finished her career in 2010.

* Brendon McCullum scored the fastest test ton in his farewell test.

* Pete Sampras won the 2002 US Open in his final tournament appearance.

* Dublin footballer Alan Brogan kicked the winning point in the 2015 All-Ireland final and headed into retirement.
.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 25 Feb 2017 13:43:31 Processing Time: 437ms