ATLANTA — Kobe Bryant did not come up big in his last game against the Atlanta Hawks, but he attracted big money into the downtown Atlanta.
Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin stated tickets for Kobe Bryant’s last game at Philips Arena brought in more than $2 million.
And that’s before you even take into account the revenue brought in through parking, concessions and merchandising sales.
“It brings a lot of revenue into downtown, and more importantly it brings a lot of people into downtown,” Koonin told WSBTV.
Restaurants and hotels were also beneficiaries of Bryant’s appearance as they were packed on Friday night.
Bryant was introduced to thunderous applause inside the packed Philips Arena for Kobe Bryant’s last game in Atlanta. Unfortunately, that was the best part of his evening as the Lakers have yet to put together a two-game winning streak during Bryant’s swan song in the NBA.
The Hawks dominated the Lakers, leading by as much as 19 points in the first half. Bryant, the star attraction this night, failed to quench fans’ thirst for a breakout game, shooting just 4-19 from the field, including missing 8 out of 10 three pointers.
The consolation is that Bryant’s two made long-range bombs came during the Lakers furious comeback as they closed the gap to just four points late in the fourth quarter. But then the Lakers, and particularly the “Black Mamba,” ran out of steam as the Hawks closed the game on a torrid shooting clip led by Paul Milsap and won the game 100-87.
Bryant finished with a paltry 14 points in 35 grueling minutes with five assists and two turnovers. Lou Williams led the Lakers with 18 points.
The Hawks were led by Al Horford with 16 points. Paul Milsap and Kent Bazemore added 15, while Mike Scott added 14 and Jeff Teague 13.
Atlanta shot 50.0% from the field 38.5% from three-point range (10-26) and 80.0% from the line (16-20). The Lakers hit 37.2%, 48.1% (13-27) and 76.9% (10-13), respectively.
There were celebrity appearances as the likes of comedian-actor Chris Tucker, singer Keri Hilson and Ludacris’ business partner Chaka Zulu were among the throngs who packed out the arena.