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24
Sat, Aug

- TEAM TTO THRIVE - 

Kobe Bryant salutes the fans after his extraordinary performance for the Los Angeles Lakers

BASKETBALL

Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final game of basketball as the Los Angeles Lakers produced a stunning comeback to beat the Utah Jazz.

The five-time NBA champion thrilled a packed Staples Center in his retirement game with his sixth 60-point haul of his career - only the great Wilt Chamberlain has more.

The 37-year-old announced in November the current campaign would be his last, leading to a 'farewell tour' which saw the 18-time NBA All-Star honoured in various arenas.

But the biggest celebration was saved for in front of the Lakers' home crowd as he called time on a 20-year career in stunning fashion in front of a star-studded crowd that featured Jay Z, David Beckham and Jack Nicholson.

Bryant had the fans on their feet early on, scoring a couple of three-pointers as he posted 22 of the Lakers' 42 first-half points. But more was to come in the second half as Bryant hauled the Lakers from behind to snatch a 101-96 victory at the end.

Bryant addressed the crowd afterwards and said: "I grew up a die-hard Laker fan - die-hard - so to be drafted and traded to this organisation and spend 20 years here, you can't write something like that."

Bryant, nicknamed "The Black Mamba", was all smiles as he spoke to the crowd.

"I can't believe how fast 20 years went by, this is crazy," he said. "To be standing here centre court with you guys, my team-mates behind me, we've been through our ups and we've been through our downs and stayed together throughout.

"I'm more proud, not about the championships but about the down years because we didn't run, we played through all that stuff, we got our championships and we did it the right way.

"What's funny is the fact I go through 20 years of everybody screaming to pass the ball, then the last night they're like 'don't pass it!' What can I say? Mamba out!"

Reflecting on his remarkable final game, he told ESPN: "All night long my team-mates were just continuing to feed me the ball, I just had to take the challenge.

"I tried to not watch the news, to just stay in the present because I didn't want to come out here and completely stink it up - which I did for the first five minutes!

"I was just like, 'okay, I've got to settle down'. Defensively I got some plays - I got some steals, I got a block - and that kind of got me into the game a little bit."

Bryant retires third on the all-time NBA points-scoring list, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone, and third behind Chamberlain and Michael Jordan in 50-point games after recording his 25th.

His 81-point haul against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 was bettered only by Chamberlain's 100 for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in 1962.

Bryant earned a record 18 consecutive all-star game selections - only Abdul-Jabbar, with 19, has more overall.

He won five NBA championships and was named league MVP in 2008, the same year he won the first of his two Olympic gold medals with the United States.

He added: "To carry on the legacy and tradition of all the great Lakers that came before... it's unfathomable, I can't express what a dream this is.

"I gave everything I could to the game, that's why I'm so comfortable walking away. I bared my soul to this game, I left it all here.

"When I go to sleep tonight, going to thank God for this beautiful opportunity, continue to thank my family, spend as much time as I can with them and just enjoy the future."

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Rheeza Grant Interview - August 2019 - 2019 Pan Am Games, Lima, Peru

Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates after winning men's sprint gold at the Pan American Games ©Getty Images

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis has praised his nation's athletes after the country recorded their best medal performance at the Pan American Games in Lima.

Colin Murray | colomurray@gmail.com

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

A few fans stopped me to ask what I thought about the West In­dies' per­for­mance so far in the se­ries against In­dia in both the T20's and the ODIs.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDALLIST! Nicholas Paul of T&T celebrates beating compatriot Phillip Njisanel, also of T&T, to win the gold medal in the track cycling men's sprint final at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 3. (AP)

2019 Pan Amer­i­can Games

The Pan Amer­i­can Games closed on Sun­day but T&T is still cel­e­brat­ing its his­toric per­for­mance, claim­ing 13 medals, the most ever.

I happen to be initially browsing but having caught my attention, I then perused thoroughly, the 2018 Oxford Business Group country report on Trinidad and Tobago.  There were a number of perespectives, snap shots and overviews written. If one wanted to get a well researched and documented overview of the economic and business landscape within the twin Island Republic.

31 July is CANOC day. A message was sent out. That it barely registered or caught the attention of sport stakeholders in the Caribbean is an opportunity not a slight. CANOC must embrace the opportunity to heighten awareness and engage in enhanced outreach to provide information about the organisation.

It is cold in Lima, Peru, host city of the 2019 Pan Am Games. In fact, it is winter here in the South American nation.

With the one-year countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially underway, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, (TTOC) has announced that TTO athletes will benefit from a pre-games training camp at the Japan Athlete Training Center Osumi, in Osaki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, as part of Japan’s Host Town Initiative.

Dylan Carter

Tokyo 2020

National swimmer Dylan Carter has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan after reaching the semi-final in the 100m freestyle at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

In this file photo, (from L) TT's Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender, Richard Thompson and Marc Burns celebrate after winning silver in the men's 4×100m relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.

Tokyo 2020

TEAM TTO has been assured of a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Twelve years after their second place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games, sprinters Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Keston Bledman will receive their 4x100m relay gold.

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