Now that Kobe Bryant has announced he plans to retire at the current NBA season, every team the Lakers visit get to partake in a closing campaign that’ll draw huge crowds—and pricey tickets—as the 20-year Lakers veteran plays his final games.
The “retirement tour” passes through DC tonight, where Bryant will play his last game at the Verizon Center against the Wizards (barring an extremely improbably Lakers-Wizards Finals). But if you’re looking to score a seat, you’ll have to pay up. Nosebleeds are going for $75 and up, compared to tickets for Friday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, which start at less than $10. Prices have also soared in second-hand markets on sites like SeatGeek and StubHub since Bryant announced he’s hanging it up.
This is all in spite of Bryant’s struggles on the court and his team’s position as one of the league’s worst. In 14 games this season, Bryant is putting up career-worst shooting numbers on a last-place Lakers team that just lost to the formerly winless Philadelphia 76ers.
But die-hard Wizards fans may still have a vested interest in catching the game, if only to reminisce over what almost happened in Bryant’s prime. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that in 2003, Bryant contemplated leaving Los Angeles to play in Washington under Michael Jordan, who had been the Wizards’ president of basketball operations before appoint himself the team’s small forward. The move fell through when Jordan was fired a year before Bryant entered free agency, and he decided to stay a Laker.
If you want to catch one of the NBA greats play his last game in town, tickets are available here. The game starts at 7 PM.