Kendrick Lamar and Kobe Bryant share a connection that goes deeper than their ties to Los Angeles. When Kendrick faced off against Jay Z for the first time on a track, he chose the iconic photo of a young Kobe lined up against the aging Michael Jordan, as the cover art. It was clear that K. Dot likened his own competitiveness to Kobe’s, and he put the world on notice that he was coming for Jay’s throne. While Kendrick saw himself as that 1997 version of Kobe, Father Time waits for no man, and Kobe has now become that grizzled veteran. After overcoming a number of injuries over the last few years, he declared this to be his final NBA season and, on the eve of his last game, Kendrick celebrates him with a video tribute.
With the instrumental to his song “untitled 07.levitate” as the background, Kendrick recites a script written by Scoop Jackson, in a video produced by ESPN. The visuals alternate between Kendrick and some of the countless highlights from Kobe’s career. It is a cool sendoff to one of the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood floor.