Twenty years passed with moments so breathtaking that the time does not feel long at all.
Kobe Bryant made game winners no one else could. He overcame injuries no one could even try. He won five NBA championships that the Pacers, 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Magic and Celtics wished they had.
Bryant has a chance to provide one last encore in his career finale when the Lakers (16-65) host the Utah Jazz (40-41) on Wednesday at Staples Center. Nothing will be more poetic than another game-winning shot. Nothing will be more fitting than Bryant fighting through more injuries that require icing, stretching and massage therapy on a daily basis. And even if his last game does not end with pouring purple and gold confetti to celebrate another NBA title, the same streamers could drop to celebrate Bryant’s accomplished career.
Yet once that moment ends, Bryant will still remain on the basketball court wearing his No. 24 Lakers jersey. It will not happen in real time. Instead, it will happen on the NBA2K17 Legends edition, where Bryant’s presence will be pronounced on the video game’s cover.
The NBA2K17 Legends edition will be available in both digital and physical formats for $79.99 on Playstation4 and Xbox one beginning in September. Fans can pre-order the game at select North American retail and online vendors to ensure their copy has the in-game bonuses featuring Bryant.
That will include Bryant-themed memorabilia and in-game digital content, including a limited edition Bryant poster and Black Mamba game controller skin. The in-game items will also include Nike Kobe XI shoes, No. 8 jerseys, a Bryant hoodie and more undisclosed items.
Then, Bryant can provide more on-court memories just as he did in real life.
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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org