Dwyane Wade took a moment to honor the retiring Kobe Bryant on Instagram Thursday.
The struggling Lakers narrowly beat the playoff-bound Heat in Los Angeles Wednesday night, 102–100 in overtime.
Bryant, 37, and Wade, 34, faced off for the last time in the game. The two players, regarded as two of the top shooting guards in history, have enjoyed a healthy mutual respect throughout their careers, teaming with USA Basketball and squaring off as members of the Lakers and Heat. Bryant played just the first quarter due to soreness, but the moment resonated with Wade nonetheless.
One last time! @kobebryant thank you for all the memories and giving me a level of greatness to shoot for when I came into this league. I've never stopped trying to get on your eye level. This picture is one of my favorite moments and it came playing with Kobe in the 08' Beijing Olympic... Him on one wing and me on the other. Man oh Man that was scary..#kb20 #respect
A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on
Wade made an uninvited appearance at Bryant’s postgame press conference Wednesday as well, taking a second to mess with his friend a little and tell him his family was waiting on him.
“By the way, he knows he’s going to be the oldest guy in the league next year,” Bryant said with a laugh. “I love him. He’s a vicious competitor. He’s vicious. He’s mean. We could have those type of battles, then, afterwards hang out and have a conversation. And lace them up and go right back at it. I enjoyed competing against him.”
- Jeremy Woo