Matt Kemp honored Kobe Bryant's final game with some awesome batting gloves
For Matthew Ryan Kemp -- the young baseball and basketball player growing up in Oklahoma -- Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant ranked 1a and 1b among his favorite all-time hoops superstars.
When Jordan retired, Kemp transitioned to Kobe. Now, with Kobe playing his last game on Wednesday, Kemp said, "This is a sad day in basketball."
Luckily, Kemp found a way to honor (arguably) his favorite basketball player during Wednesday's game against the Phillies: He's sporting personalized batting gloves with purple and gold trim and the No. 24 emblazoned across them to celebrate what is being billed as "Mamba Day." (Mike Trout wore the same gloves during the Angels' game against the A's.)
"I was lucky enough to grow up in both eras of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant," Kemp said. "Those were my two favorite players growing up. Being in L.A. as long as I was and getting to see him and meet him on several occasions and speak to him, this is a sad day basketball. He's one of the greatest players to ever play the game."
Kemp's respect for Bryant runs deep. If not for the health concerns, Kemp said Bryant could play another couple years -- at a high level, too.
"It was indescribable to see him play and to watch him on the court and see how easy he made it look. He used to torch fools."
The Mamba wardrobe inspired Kemp to go 1-for-4 on Wednesday -- and, more importantly, he looked darn good doing it.