Carlos Gonzalez Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant
By Kevin Henry
Carlos Gonzalez once got to meet Kobe Bryant when the two superstars were in Arizona. On Wednesday night at Coors Field, the Colorado Rockies right fielder honored Bryant’s retirement with his attire.
Gonzalez called Bryant “his favorite player,” after meeting him following a spring training game when the Los Angeles Lakers were in town to play the Phoenix Suns. CarGo and Bryant share a love for Nike so it’s no surprise that Nike gear honoring the Black Mamba was part of Gonzalez’s outfit for the Rockies game against the San Francisco Giants.
As you can see from the Instagram video, the Black Mamba was very much on CarGo’s mind before taking the field against the Giants.
Bryant entered the final game of his illustrious 20-year career ranked third in all-time scoring in the NBA behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone and ahead of Michael Jordan. He will cap his what will be a Hall of Fame career with one last game at the Staples Center on Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz. No other player has played more NBA seasons with one team than Bryant.
“He’s always been my favorite player. I watched him all the time growing up,” Gonzalez told The Denver Post. “He’s the man.”
One of Bryant’s most amazing performances came on Jan. 22, 2006, when he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. In that game, Bryant shot 61 percent from the field, averaging 1.93 points per minute over 42 minutes of play. Bryant’s outburst that night is the second-highest scoring output in a single game in NBA history, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point outing in 1962. Bryant and Chamberlain are the only two players to ever score 80 or more in a single game.
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Gonzalez entered Wednesday night’s game batting .357 with three homers and five RBI. CarGo tripled and scored in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game.