The Kobe Bryant retirement tour continued on Sunday.
This time, the Chicago Bulls said farewell to the Los Angeles Lakers guard with an unusual player introduction at the United Center. Former teammate and Bulls center Pau Gasol did the pregame honors, saying, “My former teammate, my friend, from Lower Merion High School, No. 24 Kobe Bryant.”
Gasol and Bryant played together in Los Angeles for 6 1/2 seasons from 2007–14.
Before the game, Bryant spoke to the media about the final visit to Chicago, including his relationship with Michael Jordan.
“He was extremely open to having a relationship, a mental relationship, and giving me a great amount of advice, an amazing amount of detail—strategies, workout regimens and things like that” Bryant told reporters. “Seriously, I don’t think people understand the amount of impact he’s had on me as a player and as a leader.”
Bryant scored 22 points in his Chicago finale, but the Lakers lost 126–115 to the Bulls. Gasol scored 21 points with seven rebounds and five assists for Chicago who improved to 29–26.
L.A. fell to 11–46.