Kobe donates money for students before final game at FedExForum - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Kobe donates money for students before final game at FedExForum

Kobe Bryant (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives) Kobe Bryant (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

In front of a sold out crowd on Wednesday night, future hall of famer Kobe Bryant will play in his last NBA game at FedExForum.

The Los Angeles Lakers guard is retiring after this season.

Bryant has been known to torch the Grizzlies at times, but people are paying more for one last chance to see him play than they have for any other Grizz game this season.

"Whether you like or you dislike Kobe, I think you have to respect him as an athlete," Ryan Shwaigert said.

He's known as the Black Mamba, casting a huge shadow over the NBA for 20 years now, picking up five championship rings along the way.

"He's idolized by millions," Shwaigert said.

"Sad that this is his last game. You know, we wish we could keep him forever. But, I want to commend him for what he's done," Dollann Williams said.

Eric Vernon, Co-owner of The Bar-B-Q Shop, welcomed fans to his business to enjoy Kobe's last game.

"I, myself, am not a big Kobe Bryant fan. I'm more of a Tony Allen fan. But, in general, it will be good to see him play tonight," Vernon said.

Kobe, likewise, is giving back to Grizz nation as well.

He made a huge donation to the children of Memphis by donating to Shoes for Kids Campaign, a campaign dedicated to getting shoes for children in Shelby County Schools.

"I think that's phenomenal," Shwaigert said. "My hat's off to him for doing something like that."

"I think that shows a little bit about Kobe Bryant's character, that he would do this on his way out," Vernon said.

For others, Memphis and Bryant's donation will now become part of Bryant's legacy.

"I think it's part of his legacy, and I think it's going to continue to be part of his legacy," Williams said.

But, no matter how much love they show Kobe, there's no question where their ultimate loyalty lies.

"I have to say that I'm always rooting for our home team," Williams said.

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