Kobe Bryant battled good friend and rival Carmelo Anthony for the 29th and last time in a Lakers loss to the visiting New York Knicks. In a rough shooting night for both teams, Bryant finished with 14 points and Melo added 26 points plus 12 rebounds in a close New York win.
“It was a very emotional situation, from the standpoint of competing against one of the greats, a friend and brother, for the last time,” Anthony said. “This isn’t just a basketball relationship. I mean, basketball brought us together, but this goes way beyond the court and we’ve taken it to another level.”
Even after 20 seasons, Melo still respects the killer instincts of Kobe.
“He’s an assassin, man. You can’t take no plays off, going against him,” Anthony said. “Even now, you’re seeing flashes of him out there. He still has that look in his eyes when he gets the ball, and you have to play close attention to him. So we’re definitely going to miss that.”