I've been a Kobe fan since he was drafted. I've loved the Lakers for as long as I can remember and the Lakers without Kobe is going to be very strange for me.
When I heard that Kobe was retiring I knew that I would have to go see him play one more time. When we got back from our Honeymoon, I started looking at tickets for when the Lakers were coming to Chicago. Luckily, they were playing on a Sunday night (so Josh would be able to come with me) in February! I debated about the tickets for a while but in the end I splurged and got us front row tickets on the Club Level! Eek!
I've never been to the United Center before so I did some research and found out that you are allowed to bring in posters so I made one for Kobe:
We arrived at the United Center and found our VIP Parking spot at 5:00 PM. The game didn't start until 7:00 PM but I wanted to get there early so we could look around the arena and get something to eat.
[Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center]
[It was cold but I was EXCITED!]
We waited in line for a few minutes before the doors opened at 5:30 PM. While we were coming in the lady at the metal detector told me that I couldn't bring my poster in! "But how will Kobe know how much I love him?!" I was super sad!
So we entered the arena and found our awesome seats!
We dropped off my Lakers foam finger and our Noah bobble heads then proceeded to walk around the Club Level looking for good food. Josh decided to go with a pulled pork BBQ sandwich with sweet potato fries and I got steak tacos, guacamole, and a margarita. YUM! Totally hit the spot!
We then went back to our seats so we could watch the guys warm up!
I was anxiously waiting for Pau and Kobe to meet at center court. They were so cute! I really miss Gasol! Come back to the Lakers PLEASE!
Then I saw that Kobe was signing basketballs at center court. I told Josh that I needed one. Maybe for Christmas?! ;-)
I knew that during his farewell tour a lot of the other arenas had done tributes for Kobe. And this one was AMAZING! Gasol ended up introducing Kobe! I loved it!
"KO-BE! KO-BE! KO-BE!"
[Kobe and Gasol hugging it out before tip off]
[I took this picture because we were actually ahead and I had no idea when that would happen again, but it ended up being a really close game!]
[The Bulls player at the bottom of the shot lost his shoe but he continued to play anyways. It was so funny!]
During the 4th the whole crowd started chanting, "We want Kobe!" *clap clap clap clap clap* and "MVP! MVP! MVP!" and "KO-BE! KO-BE! KO-BE!"
He was just sitting on the bench cracking up the whole time!
Finally, Byron put him in and the crowd went wild!
With a minute left, Byron called a time out and Kobe left the court for the last time. He was smiling and waving while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. I got a little teary-eyed! Seriously going to miss him!
The Lakers put up a great fight but in the end they lost.
[Can you tell how much I love these guys?!]
Oh and since the Bulls won and scored over 100 points we all got free Big Macs. Um... yeah? I guess it's no better then the Staples Center where you get free tacos from Jack-in-the-Box. YUCK!
Thanks to Josh for putting up with my obsessions! And you don't have to get me anything for our Anniversary, or my birthday, um.... or Christmas? :-)
Thanks Kobe for retiring as a Laker! We will miss you!