MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you’re a fan of Kobe Bryant, you’ll want to be at Target Center Wednesday night as the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Los Angeles Lakers.
It will be Bryant’s last visit to Target Center as an NBA player and member of the Lakers. He announced at the end of November that he would be retiring at the end of this season, his 20th as an NBA player. Bryant has won five NBA titles and is considered one of the pioneers or professional basketball since the end of the Michael Jordan era.
Bryant is a 17-time NBA All-Star and has won two Olympic gold medals along with the five NBA titles. He was also the league’s MVP in 2008 and is third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.
One of his greatest individual accomplishments came on Jan. 22, 2006, when Bryant scored 81 points in a win over the Toronto Raptors. It’s second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-pont game. Bryant is the only player in NBA history to spend 20 straight seasons with one team.
The first African-American player to play for the Minneapolis Lakers, Bob Williams of Rosemount, will meet Bryant for Wednesday’s game.
The Lakers enter Wednesday’s game 3-18 on the season, so it’s unlikely Bryant’s career will end with a trip to the playoffs.