A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

If you had a front row seat to Kobe Bryant's 20th season, it might look something like this.
Photos and Words by Ty Nowell
Originally Published: April 12, 2016
Updated: April 14, 2016

A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Oct. 1, 2015

Stan Sheriff Center // Honolulu, Hawaii | The Lakers are running 5-on-5 action during the third practice of training camp when Kobe jumps the passing lane and sprints the other way. With questions swirling about his health and ability to perform in his 20th NBA season, a layup is expected. Instead the Mamba takes flight and throws down the dunk.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Oct. 4, 2015

Stan Sheriff Center // Honolulu, Hawaii | The vet sits sandwiched between the Lakers future, joking with Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Larry Nance, Jr., during the first preseason game of the 2015-16 campaign.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Oct. 11, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | The team’s annual Open Practice event for season seat holders starts at 10:30 a.m., but No. 24 is out on the floor a full hour early, getting shots up from all over the court, with just the sound of a bouncing ball and snapping net echoing through the empty building.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Oct. 12, 2015

Atlantic Aviation // El Segundo, California | A balloon arch spelling out ‘Lakers’ is set up for the gaggle of VIPs who will fly to Las Vegas for the preseason game against Sacramento. Kobe walks through while head coach Byron Scott catches up on the day’s news before boarding the team flight.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Oct. 27, 2015

Toyota Sports Center // El Segundo, California | Kobe is surrounded while talking to the media on the eve of his 20th season opener.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Oct. 29, 2015

Toyota Sports Center // El Segundo, California | General Manager Mitch Kupchak swings by for a quick conversation with his star after the Thursday afternoon practice.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 1, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | A referee admires the warmup jacket as Kobe picks the night’s game ball. As nice as the attire is, the Mamba, a long-time Nike loyalist, can’t bring himself to agree.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 1, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Attacking the paint sucks the defense in, leaving the wraparound pass open, leading to an easy dunk for Roy Hibbert.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 7, 2015

John Jay College // New York, New York | Saturday’s practice has wrapped up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A heavily wrapped Bryant crosses the street to catch a ride back to the hotel.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 8, 2015

Madison Square Garden // New York, New York | While his teammates hit the ramp, Kobe saunters over to the legendary freight elevator for a solitary ride before his last game at the World’s Most Famous Arena.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 8, 2015

Madison Square Garden // New York, New York | The catacombs of the Garden seem even more empty after a late comeback by the home team spoils Bryant’s final performance in an arena where he once dropped 61.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 15, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Celebrating a win with Will Ferrell makes for a pretty nice, little Sunday.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 20, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Showing off that grown-man, three-piece swag on the way into STAPLES for a matchup with Toronto. #MambaStyle


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 20, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Making sure that Raptors global ambassador, Drake, knows it’s all about the purple and gold when you’re at STAPLES, not the OVO black and gold.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 22, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | The tools of the trade on display as Kobe takes a break during the matchup against the Blazers.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 23, 2015

Atlantic Aviation // El Segundo, California | The walk across the tarmac after a trip in the Mamba Copter is a lot more convenient than battling the 405 during holiday season. Kobe heads into the terminal to get a fresh cut from his barber before hopping on the team flight to the Bay Area.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Nov. 24, 2015

Oracle Arena // Oakland, California | Breaking away for a moment of focus after the anthem in the East Bay.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 2, 2015

Verizon Center // Washington, D.C. | The farewell tour is in full effect three days after publicly announcing that this season will be his last. An afternoon at the White House for lunch with President Obama doesn’t stop Kobe from going into full Mamba mode against the Wizards. He finishes with 31 points as the Lakers surprise Washington on the second night of a back-to-back.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 6, 2015

The Palace of Auburn Hills // Auburn Hills, Michigan | Stopping to acknowledge the Motor City crowd as the Pistons PA announcer rattles off Bryant’s laundry list of career accomplishments.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 6, 2015

The Palace of Auburn Hills // Auburn Hills, Michigan | Seeing double.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 6, 2015

Oakland County International Airport // Waterford Township, Michigan | Two stalwarts of the Lakers, Gary Vitti and Kobe Bryant, walk through the crisp Michigan evening, boarding another of the thousands of flights they’ve made together during their time with the team.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 9, 2015

Target Center // Minneapolis, Minnesota | Kobe collects his warmup gear as the team attendant sees to other duties. After 24 minutes of action, the future Hall of Famer would let the kids go, allowing D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle to carry the load down the stretch.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 9, 2015

Target Center // Minneapolis, Minnesota | Coming full circle. Kobe finds D’Angelo Russell and throws a consoling arm around him after the rookie’s overtime heroics fell just short, reenacting the scene between Shaq and Kobe during Bryant’s rookie season.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 12, 2015

Toyota Center // Houston, Texas | Tracy McGrady sat courtside in Houston alongside Steve Francis, watching their contemporary still going at it, long after both of them had hung it up. After the game T-Mac catches up with his former rival in the hallways of Toyota Center.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 17, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Flea and Kobe. Two of LA’s favorite sons. Two of the best at what they do. Two of the most loyal in Lakersland.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 17, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | A smile creeps across Kobe’s face as he brings the ball up against former teammate, Trevor Ariza. The ex-Laker pays homage to the championship the two won together by wearing the 2009 Finals edition of the Nike Zoom Kobe IV.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 17, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | In a move that shocked even himself, the Mamba rises for the vicious throwdown over Clint Capela. “It’s like the Casey Jr. train,” Bryant said. “‘I think I can, I think I can,’ sort of thing. First dribble, second dribble, I was like, ‘My legs feel pretty good.’ And then I bent and they still feel pretty good. Then I jumped and was like, ‘Oh, I’m still going up.’”


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 17, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Staying hydrated.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 22, 2015

Pepsi Center // Denver, Colorado | The master of the baseline finds a way to hit the fadeaway from behind the hoop while falling out of bounds.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 22, 2015

Pepsi Center // Denver, Colorado | Surveying the action.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 23, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | A smile and a wink for KD in the midst of Kobe catching fire for a five-minute stretch against the Thunder.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 25, 2015

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | The 16th and final Christmas Day jersey with Bryant on the back is wrapped in parchment and sealed with a wax NBA logo.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 27, 2015

FedExForum // Memphis, Tennessee | The narrow hallway in Memphis leads to a tighter-than-usual pregame huddle for the Lakers and their captain.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 28, 2015

Time Warner Cable Arena // Charlotte, North Carolina | A final thank you and goodbye to Kobe’s almost-home of Charlotte.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 29, 2015

Logan International Airport // Boston, Massachusetts | The Mamba finds a solitary moment in the back row of the players' section as the Lakers' flight taxis the runway in Bean Town.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Dec. 30, 2015

TD Garden // Boston, Massachusetts | Taking down the Celtics in Boston one last time leads to a moment of appreciation. “Honestly, if I could chant for them, I would. I don’t think the fans here really understand how much they drove me.”


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 7, 2016

Sleep Train Arena // Sacramento, California | Kicking it out in Sac-Town.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 7, 2016

Sleep Train Arena // Sacramento, California | On the night that he surpassed 33,000 career points, Bryant finds time to hang with a couple of the French Train heroes he befriended earlier in the year, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 14, 2016

Oracle Arena // Oakland, California | Whether it’s Frobe attacking the rim, the technician fading away baseline or KB rising up for a clutch 3, it’s never been hard to imagine Kobe flying beautifully.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 20, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Naw, but for real, what happened was…


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 23, 2016

Moda Center // Portland, Oregon | On his last trip to Portland, Kobe pays homage to Dr. Jack Ramsay with a plaid suit that would rival any that the legendary Blazers coach famously wore throughout the '70s and '80s.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 26, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Always teaching.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 28, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Part of the routine for every home game includes a visit to the baseline nearest the home bench right after intros where Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong sits. The renowned doctor and entrepreneur became part of the Lakers in 2010 when he bought Magic Johnson’s stake in the team and struck up a friendship with No. 24.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Jan. 28, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Graceful.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 2, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Mamba Mode.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 6, 2016

AT&T Center // San Antonio, Texas | Kobe's normal pregame stretching routine is interrupted by a line of Silver Star dancers being led to the floor by someone that doesn't fit the build. A deadpanned "New dancer?" comment draws a laugh from the security guard.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 6, 2016

AT&T Center // San Antonio, Texas | And sometimes, when fadeaway 23-footers fall after multiple pump-fakes, you have to just ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 19, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Soccer legend Thierry Henry is on hand to interview Kobe about their shared journey at the top of their sports. He stops by courtside to watch the Mamba work.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 19, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Getting right back up.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 19, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | A dislocated finger late in the fourth quarter would render most players unable to continue. For Kobe, it just meant looking at his old friend, Gary Vitti, and saying, “Do something about it.” Vitti did, popping the finger back into place so Bryant could return to action. 


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 21, 2016

United Center // Chicago, Illinois | “Legends. Brothers.” That’s how Pau Gasol captioned his version of this photo. Postgame, Kobe spoke about how much the Bulls’ tribute video, featuring his former teammate, Gasol, meant to him.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 22, 2016

BMO Harris Bradley Center // Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Twenty years of experience teaches a person a myriad of things. While this stage of his career requires more icing, he’s also become such a pro at it that he knows the trainer’s wrapping routines without even looking.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 24, 2016

FedExForum // Memphis, Tennessee | Cheesin’


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Feb. 24, 2016

FedExForum // Memphis, Tennessee | Swing It.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 6, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | The first player to be honored with commemorative socks. Every Lakers player wore the 2-4 around their ankles in the win over the Warriors.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 6, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | “6-6, out of Lower Merion High School…”


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 7, 2016

Toyota Sports Center // El Segundo, California | Kobe’s personal message to the only trainer he’s ever known, Gary Vitti: “You are the best. Thank you for always having my back and showing me how to act like a pro! I love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know.” 


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 10, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Always the coolest guy in the room.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 10, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Mamba vs. King


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 10, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Respect


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 10, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Queen Mamba


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 13, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Two thumbs up, ready to go


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 13, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Center of Attention


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 22, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Eye of the Storm


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 23, 2016

Talking Stick Arena // Phoenix, Arizona | As much as the Phoenix fans loved to hate Kobe, the feeling was mutual, "There's no misunderstanding, there's no wiggle room there — I hated them, absolutely.” In the end it was all respect on both ends.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 25, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Take 10 steps off the floor and you’re just someone’s dad.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 27, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Dr. Judy Seto, who has put the Mamba’s body back together as many times as anyone, in her trusty seat behind Kobe on the bench.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 28, 2016

Vivint Smart Home Arena // Salt Lake City, Utah | A final signature for the Lakers faithful in Jazz country.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Mar. 30, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Calling for the ball


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 3, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | A moment between GOATs


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 3, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | The final dunk


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 3, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | A taste for the finer things.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 5, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | All of the lights.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 6, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | The penultimate pregame huddle at STAPLES Center.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 6, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Basketball Family. Kobe lifts Olympic teammate Chris Paul’s son, Little Chris, into the air following their final on court matchup.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 10, 2016

Toyota Center // Houston, Texas | After spinning away from Trevor Ariza baseline, Kobe finds himself with the advantage over once-teammate Dwight Howard. The Mamba rises and gets the finger roll to go.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 10, 2016

William P. Hobby Airport // Houston, Texas | The sun breaks through to welcome Kobe to his second-to-last flight as a professional basketball player.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 10, 2016

William P. Hobby Airport // Houston, Texas | Snake on a Plane


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 11, 2016

Chesapeake Energy Arena // Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | Looking towards his final road game.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 11, 2016

Chesapeake Energy Arena // Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | In a pregame meeting with Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Bryant is presented with a photo book in which each Thunder player has written a personal memory about Kobe.


A Season In Photos: Kobe Bryant's 20th

Apr. 11, 2016

Chesapeake Energy Arena // Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | Kobe takes a minute to thumb through the gift, lingering on Durant’s page, while waiting for Westbrook to return. The L.A. native had a pair of custom Jordan 8s in Lakers colors for Kobe to sign, along with a gold No. 24 Lakers jersey for his mother. After the game KD would remark, "Once I got in the league, he easily became my favorite player."


Apr. 13, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | The one and only #24 for the final time on the NBA hardwood.


Apr. 13, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | Pulling up from 20 feet out for the 13,733rd career bucket. The final field goal of his career proves to be the final go-ahead shot as well for the man who relished crunch time as much as anyone.


Apr. 13, 2016

STAPLES Center // Los Angeles, California | A night — and career — for the ages.


Photos by Ty Nowell/Lakers Digital

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