Atlanta Hawks host Lakers on Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour


The Atlanta Hawks (12-9) will host the Los Angeles Lakers (3-15) Friday night at 8:00 PM ET in what will be Kobe Bryant‘s final game at Philips Arena.

The Atlanta Hawks will pay their respects to one of the NBA’s all-time greats when the Los Angeles Lakers take the court tonight at Philips Arena. Since the Los Angeles Lakers are terrible and he will never wear another jersey but the purple and gold, this will be the last time Kobe Bryant will play at Philips Arena.

After announcing his retirement last week via The Players’ Tribune, Bryant has received gracious accolades during his NBA farewell tour. Zoo Atlanta did its part by name its black mamba after the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant.

-= Related: Atlanta Hawks fall to Toronto Raptors, 96-86 =-

All the attention in this game will be on Kobe Bryant without question, as he is one of the ten greatest players to ever play basketball. Only Michael Jordan was a better shooting guard in the history of the National Basketball Association.

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However, the Atlanta Hawks have a game to play and will want to not have back-to-back losses at home, especially to the worst team in the Western Conference in the Los Angeles Lakers. Atlanta let a 14-point halftime lead to the Atlantic Division leading Toronto Raptors fall to the wayside Wednesday night, losing to Toronto 96-86.

Atlanta is about to play its 22nd game in 39 days, which is still by far the most games played by any team in the NBA. The Hawks will play shorthanded in this game as well. The Atlanta Hawks announced Thursday that both shooting guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. and center Walter Tavares would get some playing time in the D-League with the Canton Charge, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ affiliate.

To me, that’s a little surprising since playing a bad team at home like the Los Angeles Lakers would serve as a great opportunity for sparingly used players like Hardaway and Tavares to get some much-needed playing time. Nevertheless, they’ll both be in Ohio instead of riding pine during this game.

If the Atlanta Hawks cannot get mesmerized by the glitz and glamor of playing Kobe Bryant on his farewell tour, the Hawks should win this game handedly as long as they are not crushed on the glass. Kobe will take and miss a lot of questionable shots in this game. He’s shooting an abysmal 31.1% from the field and an awful 22.2% from three-point range.

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Be ready for some sort of lavish spectacle celebrating the illustrious career of Kobe Bryant. Philips Arena surely has something extravagant in the works. They’ll have to top Zoo Atlanta tonight, though naming a real life black mamba after Kobe Bryant is pretty awesome. Let’s Go Hawks!