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How Flea and Other Celebs and Athletes Paid Tribute to Kobe Bryant’s Phenomenal, Final NBA Game

Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game began with a bass solo. It was a bizarre way to send off the Laker great, but it came from a die-hard fan. “I’ve watched, listened to or at least read about pretty much every game that Kobe Bryant played his entire career,” Flea told Rolling Stone earlier Wednesday. “I look at him as someone like, you know, Charlie Parker or John Coltrane or Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix, you know? He’s been able to change and evolve and grow and be such a master of his craft.” With his all-black weapon of choice and the National Anthem (watch above), the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist rang in the Staples Center’s last Lake Show of the 2015-2016 season.

As for the game itself, Bryant proved as dominant as ever, leading the Lakers to a 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz and finishing with 60 points, four assists, and four rebounds. “You can’t write something better than this,” Bryant said afterward, pleased his two daughters got to see him play the way he used to play. “What’s funny — the thing that had me cracking up all night long — is the fact that I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball, and then the last night they’re like, Don’t pass it!”

The Black Mamba’s competitive edge especially exploded in the fourth quarter, in the form of 23 points, a go-ahead dagger, and two clutch free-throws. (Full game recap available here.) As the Los Angeles Times noted, it was the perfect Hollywood ending for the L.A. legend. Read on to see how others reacted to and feted Bryant’s phenomenal performance:

Caption: “A Farewell For Kobe Bryant by LEMON [Anderson] —Fade to Black— Let us all 
gather around 
And bid our farewells 
to the Beautiful game 
of the Black Mamba… For these are the last days 
of a legendary fade away,
As he Fades away 
to Blackness,

Let us scatter 
Purple and Gold roses
Along the seas,
across the Atlas
As our hero takes on 
his final journey and 
Fades away back to Blackness… Back To the 
Lower Merion number
dripping from his shoulders
Glory hanging from the rim
rumors spreading of
a child’s Dark love 
for winning
While he remained 
By his destiny 
shooting for perfection 
inside the hollows 
of an empty gym.

Oh, how the critics 
spread word
To and fro of 
His growing game 
how his glowing handles 
will only go so far
Yet, all that mattered 
was his chase 
for the undying zone
Not the stones they threw
nor the stats they claimed
Not even a nationwide repertoire… Just the chase,
The impossible, 
A relentless will 
To Fight or Fly
to fight through injuries, 
For the Black mamba 
pain is for the weak,
And fear is a Lie,

to live in your legend
You must be greater 
than the greatest of all nations
To be written in history
was not enough 
Like having his game written 
as the brightest star 
amongst the basketball

And so he faded
Back to mastery 
remained cold blooded
Always striking 
with a Venomous sting
No matter how loud 
the rival crowds would yell
you can hear the rattle 
of our snake 
from all of his championship rings, 
All the records shattered 
and he still picks up the glass
All the years have gone
And he still remained 
patiently waiting 
by the wooden war painted 
basketball court 
with his Fangs in the grass

Waiting to fade back again
one last time
Waiting for one last game to strike
one last liquid clutch 
from the silence 
of the three point line, 
One last game to 
leave the heroes journey 
in a beautiful dark Bliss 
as all must eventually go home 
and fade away back 
to Blackness.”

How Flea and Other Celebs Paid Tribute to Kobe