by

Kobe Bryant: 40 years, 40 moments

NBAScheduletoday.com. Kobe Bryant: 40 years, 40 moments . The adage is that legends never die… but they get older. To be convinced, it is enough to celebrate the 40 spring of Kobe Bryant, born August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia.

In more than two decades, the young prodigy of the years 1990 has grown to become a giant of world sport and a man with a sporting career certainly ended, but in the professional future full of promises and already prestigious rewards.

To pay homage to this monster, this monument which has been narrated with delicacy and thickness the quarry, back on 40 dates of his life, between cult moments, pieces of history of basketball and small forgotten or neglected jewellery.

His youth in Italy
Even before Philadelphia, the first major stage of Kobe Bryant’s career is in Europe. In Italy, specifically. His father, Joe, spent eight years there – from 1984 to 1991 – in the colours of Rieti, Reggio Calabria, Pistoia and Reggio Emilia. Every time, little Bryant follows his dad, is educated in these cities, learns Italian, becomes a football fan and AC Milan and forges his culture.

Sporty, he follows the European training. His career behind him, he admits to having been able to dribble, shoot left hand or or to have perfected his supports thanks to his Italian years. Without the boot, Kobe wouldn’t have become Bryant. Nevertheless, the look, the attitude were already well there.

Mulhouse
Just after the Italian chapter, Kobe Bryant, always through the career of his father, opens a new parenthesis of his youth, in Mulhouse! The twelve-year-old boy is educated in Switzerland – he wanted to join a French school, but his parents will refuse – but in the evening he is present in the hexagon to chain the shoots in a corner of the gymnasium of FC Mulhouse.

Lower Merin High School
Kobe Byrant’s first notable feats arrived at Lower Merin High School near Philadelphia. True, he is still only his father’s son at this moment, but his talent is enormous. The statistics of his first year? 31.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 5.2 passes. Even better, his last season, he won the state title with staggering averages: 30.8 points, 12 bounces, 6.5 passes, 4 intercepts and 3.8 against!

Best high school student in the country, he imitates Kevin Garnett, drafted in 1995 without having been in college, and decides to embark on the big swim in the NBA. Finally, if he has never regretted this decision, it is not entirely and only the fruit of his will…

Draft, Exchange and Adidas
Indeed, we cite Roland Lazenby, author of a reference biography on Kobe Bryant: “He became a professional at the exit of high school, with the work of the shadow of Adidas.” The story is known: The Young High school student is selected by the Hornets, then exchanged by the Lakers who will associate it with Shaquille O’Neal, signed in July 1996. This genius shot of Jerry West would never have happened without the influence of the Kobe family, paid by Adidas.

Roland Lazenby adds: It was the will of the three-band brand to find the next Michael Jordan. Sonny Vaccaro, who worked for Adidas after being fired from Nike, identified Bryant when he was unknown in the basketball world. The brand has made great efforts to get Kobe to become professional and land at the Lakers. People, when it happened in 1996, thought that it was Kobe and his family who had done all this, that it was a teenager who behaved like the great Jordan. So it generated anger. But it’s Adidas. Joe Bryant had been a professional basketball player for 16 years so we thought he was safe from need. But the real reason that Kobe became professional is because his family needed money. The proof: When he signed this contract with Adidas, Kobe asked Vaccaro if there was a way for his family to have that money at the same time that he could go to college… »

Dunks and Rookie Challenge contest
Eight years after Michael Jordan and three years before Vince Carter – perhaps the two biggest winners of the competition – Kobe Bryant also entered his name on the Slam Dunk contest. His performance does not remain in the annals, his top remaining a “Rider” with the support of the singer Brandy and an attitude already well soaked.

He is even more noticed in the Rookie Challenge where he crashes 31 points with 8 rebounds in 26 minutes. But the West is bowing and it is the number one in the Draft that goes with the MVP trophy. A man named Allen Iverson.

The airballs of Utah
The ascent of the Golden Boy is not as dazzling as one can imagine. Nicknamed “Showboat” (translation: swagger, poser), his talent is certain, his qualities in one-against-one undeniable, but sometimes lacks power and above all collective sense. His coach, Del Harris, uses it sparingly. The smell of the playoffs allows him to have his chance. In Game 4 of the conference semifinals, the Lakers and Jazz did not get loose in the money-time, but Shaquille O’Neal came out for six faults. The last balloons pass by Kobe Bryant. The last possession is a gift from his coach, determined to take advantage of the individual talent of his pearl. The shoot is a air ball. The extension becomes a nightmare: the back has the shoots, but they put on the airballs.

A 19-year-old kid could have been destroyed not this episode. It was not afraid, but was missing in large widths. Only, Kobe Bryant is not made of the same wood as the others. He will use these moments as a motivation. Jerry West will even go so far as to declare that this May 1997 evening is “the decisive moment of his career”.

The first duels with Michael Jordan
The clashes between the young Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan will remain in history as witness passages between the two best backs of history. The symbol is perfect: A young talent of 18 years comes to defy the greatest player in history, with whom he shares the same morphology, the same athletic qualities and the same mentality. It’s a unique moment, as if Shaquille O’Neal had faced Wilt Chamberlain. The first duel between the two players dates from 17 December 1996, then will come those of the 1997-1998 season and in particular a meeting in December 1997.

The bulls are deprived of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan ensures the current business with 36 points and victory. Opposite, the young Kobe shines in front of the Chicago public with 33 points. He even allows himself to ask the master for advice.

The first All-Star Game
A few weeks after this game remained in memory, both players meet at Madison Square Garden. Kobe Bryant is now an All-Star and he is determined to steal the spotlight from the best players in the world. Especially since Michael Jordan is ill and never far from his handkerchief. But a sick Jordan – the “Flu Game” proved it – is not good to take anyway. At the top of his technique, the Bulls legend unfolds his offensive outfit against a Californian back that behaves like a crazy young dog – some will think that he has done too much by shooting 16 times in 22 minutes.

Micahel Jordan finishes with 23 points, 8 passes, 6 rebounds and MVP in pocket after the victory of the east. Kobe Bryant makes 18 points and 6 rebounds. The talent and audacity were with Kobe, experience and mastery with Jordan. It is also the beginning of the legend since a few years later, he will become the best marker in the history of the All-Star Games with 290 points – he is then surpassed by LeBron James.

Game 4 of the finals 2000
Three years after his mishap in Utah, Kobe Bryant is in the finals in front of the Pacers, with Shaquille O’Neal at the top at his side. Only, as in the face of Jazz in 1997, Shaq is hit by faults in Game 4 and must join the bench while the game is heading for overtime. Lack of luck also for Bryant, he is not at 100% since he missed the Game 3 following an ankle injury, voluntarily caused by Jalen Rose in the second inning.

But the context is too good to pass up the opportunity to be a hero. In front of a disillusioned Conseco Fieldhouse, Kobe Bryant, not yet 22 years old, takes matters into his own hands and marks three capital shoots in the Lakers ‘ victory. Los Angeles leads 3-1 and spins to the title in Game 6. Wouldn’t that be the first big game of his career?

The playoffs 2001
If the Lakers ‘ triplets in the early years 2000 logically carries the (big) mark of Shaq, Kobe Bryant has often basis the peaks. The 2001 playoffs are a shining proof. In the second round, against the Kings, he compiles 35 points to 47% success, 9 rebounds and 4.3 average passes. In the last game of the series, it makes a monstrous copy: 48 points and 16 rebounds! Nobody, except Hakeem Olajuwon, has done better or as well since 1975, nor since…

In the conference final, in front of the Spurs, champions in 1999, the penalty is the same and the averages always sublime: 33.3 points to 51% success, 7 rebounds, 7 passes. His final against Philadelphia, all a symbol since the title will be won in the city of fraternal love, is solid, but then again, Shaq takes the whole place although he was sometimes better than him in some series of playoffs, settling as a Real alter ego, not just a lieutenant or a water carrier.

Booed at home
Always a little misleaded by the Philadelphia public since his arrival in the NBA, Kobe Bryant will live one of the most difficult evenings of his career during the all-Star Game 2002. No one is a prophet in his country, as we know, which is also true with Allen Iverson. The MVP of the Sixers, who paid homage to Julius Erving with a flocked jersey of No. 6, missed his match with 5 points. From this game, we will remember the huge dunk of Tracy McGrady and the return of Michael Jordan.

Kobe Bryant, MVP with 31 points, is whistled by the public at the time of receiving this title.

The Triple
While not yet celebrating his 24th birthday, Kobe Bryant entered the league’s history with a third consecutive title, easily won against the Nets of Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin (4-0). It’s still Shaquille O’Neal who leaves with the MVP trophy, but Kobe has secured with a very clean series: 26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.3 passes, 51% success and 54% at 3-pts. The Lakers remain at the top, Kobe continues to progress, Shaq remains the strongest in the racket, everything is aligned so that they dominate still a few years…

The nine matches in a row at over 40 points
Especially as the next season, that of the eventual quadruple so, Kobe Bryant takes a new dimension. He concludes the exercise with 30 points of average, 6.9 rebounds and 5.9 passes, making him a true candidate for the title of MVP – he will finish 3rd of the votes. Only, to integrate the race of the great scorers in the history of the NBA, two essential qualities must be accumulated: scoring a lot of points obviously, but especially keeping the hand warm.

It will be perfectly done between 6 and 23 February 2003 since it follows nine games in a row at 40 points!

The average is so monstrous: 44 points to 49.6% success and 47% to 3-pts! We can also not forget the four encounters at over 35 previous points to this historical series. The future MVP 2008 will therefore register more than 35 points for 13 games in a row for 42.4 points per game at 48.7% and 45.5% at 3-pts! When he has the keys, Kobe Bryant is the most formidable striker in the league and one of the prolifics of history.

55 points facing Michael Jordan
For his season to become magical, one had to have a last great performance against Micahel Jordan, who then played his last in the Wizards ‘ jersey.

Unfortunately, if “His Airness” was at the top of the Bulls ‘ time, and Kobe Bryant still a little tender, this time, Bryant is in full force of age when Jordan is aging and embarrassed by his knees. Kobe does not make any sense and he releases one of his biggest matches: 55 points to 9/13 to 3-pts. Michael Jordan (23 points) can only see that the pupil has also become a master. He glued 42 points to the Wizards just in the first half!

The rape charge
If the Lakers did not win a fourth title in a row, Kobe Bryant’s career really took off. He is not yet 25 years old, he is three times champion, multiple All-Star, and is one of the best players in the world.

He is the future of the league and the comparison with Michael Jordan begins to become more and more striking. In July 2003, his life toppled, however: he was accused of rape by a 19-year-old employee of the hotel where he stayed. After several weeks, Kobe Bryant confesses the sexual relationship, thus adultery, but denies rape.

Besides the personal impact on his life, his career is affected. His media image is tarnished, he is economically discarded by some of the brands in contract with him – McDonald’s or Nutella – and his jersey is no longer so popular.

Throughout the season, he has to juggle training, games and hearings in front of the judges in Colorado. Finally, the criminal charges will be abandoned when the complainant refuses to testify at the trial. But both sides found an arrangement at the civil trial, Kobe Bryant Publishing a communiqué explaining “now understand that she was not consenting at this meeting.”

The failure of the finals 2004
He was still not far from hanging a fourth ring at his fingers. The Lakers ‘ superteam with Karl Malone and Gary Payton managed to reach the finals to face the Pistons, a blue-collar team led by Larry Brown. Detroit will impose his defense on the Lakers, his sense of rhythm in the matches and the injury of Karl Malone will also well lead to the hopes of Phil Jackson and his troupe.

But it is Kobe Bryant, certainly Game 2 heroes with his decisive shoot, who misses his series. Little concerned collectively, he takes complicated shoots and fails to get out of the markings of Tayshuan Prince. It finishes with 22.6 points averaging 38% success and 17% at 3-pts! Los Angeles Bows 4-1. The end of an era.

The departure of Shaquille O’Neal
The Lakers dynasty exploded in the summer of 2004. Shaquille O’Neal is sent to Miami, Phil Jackson leaves the ship. Kobe Bryant, he, stays and extends for seven seasons and 136.4 million dollars. He now has to assume the Los Angeles franchise alone, become his face, the boss.

Moreover, at that time, his judicial problems have not yet been completed. His image is still blurred in many observers. The critics of Phil Jackson, judging him impossible to coach, will hurt him media, not forgetting the beautiful performances of Shaq in Miami.

A season without flavor
While he galleyed to take his troop to the playoffs. The team is weak, Kobe Bryant is not yet a leader, he is too cash, without filter and he benefits especially to have the keys of the truck to drive at the speed he desires. He even gained weight (he weighs 105 kg) to face this new challenge, this new chapter. It’s a collective and individual disappointment. He received no voice for the title of MVP and settled as the most cleaving athlete in the country.

Rudy Tomjanovich’s offensive system lacks landmarks and Kobe Bryant begins to regret Phil Jackson’s triangle attack. The 2005 All-Star Game is, ironically, organized in Denver, Colorado. The reception is icy, its game without flavor. Like its season…

The return of Phil Jackson
The rich career of Kobe Bryant is an accumulation of turning points. The departures of Shaq and Jackson were a severe turn. The return of the last city also. The legendary coach of the Bulls and Lakers hesitated for a long time, sometimes reversed but he signed the Lakers in June 2005.

Kobe Bryant will find the triangle attack and a coach he can trust blindly, despite the passive and the polemics. Kobe Bryant, who did not seem convinced by his coming a few weeks earlier, called Phil on the morning of the announcement. The success of the Lakers will go through with their agreement.

A historic season
If the triangle attack allows the Lakers to regain an offensive balance, Phil Jackson allows himself liberties as he had done with Shaq. Kobe Bryant is at the top of his individual art. It cartons with 35.4 average points!

Reading this season is always complicated more than ten years after: Is this the most beautiful demonstration of the talent of Kobe Bryant, real genius ball in hand and monster in one-on-one? Or, on the contrary, proof that he is only a soloist who prefers to shoot at 9 meters on two defenders than to make a pass? The suite will bring answers. Meanwhile, the “Black Mamba” offers an individual show never seen since Michael Jordan in the second part of the years 1980.

81 points
The figure is still amazing. On January 22, 2006, against the Raptors, Kobe Bryant realized the unthinkable: Tutoyer the 100 points of Wilt Chamberlain. Certainly it is still 19 lengths, but never a player had approached this myth.

His statistical line? 81 points to 28/46 shoots (61%) 7/13 to 3-pts, 18/20 to pitches, 6 rebounds and 3 intercepts. His 81 points are carved into the marble of the NBA plates. There are matches that mark an era and install a unique souvenir in the head of all the basketball fans of the world. This Sunday in January 2006 is part of it.

8 vs 24
Skin change. After ten years of wearing number 8, Kobe Bryant decided to take number 24, his original high school number, before taking the 33 as a tribute to his father. He had chosen the “8” younger, in a camp ABCD of Adidas, where he had been spotted. He then wore the number 143, he simply operated an addition game: 1 + 4 + 3 = 8.

Besides, let’s listen to Kobe Bryant who tells this change: “It’s clear as rock water to me because they are two different people in a certain sense.” We have a certain mindset when we get into the league, we’re literally a headhunter, right? Because you want to make a name for yourself and say, ‘ I have my place here ‘. And for that, everyone has to leave. Then you reach a level of maturity and this number 24 arrives, it is less domination, but rather to ask: ‘ How can I help others to grow, how to bring a set of guys to form a group? ‘. That’s a big difference. »

The four matches in a row at 50 points
The numbers are staggering. Between March 16 and 23, Kobe Bryant scored 225 points with 76 registered shoots, or 56 points averaging 54% success! A prodigious record for a back that shoots so far. We then add 56 free throws to 93%, and we get the most impressive offensive series of the last 40 years. In detail: 65 points against Portland, 50 against Minnesota, 60 against Memphis, 50 against New Orleans.

The fifth game he “fails” at 43 points against the Warriors. Thus, he joined Wilt Chamberlain on a single planet where he remained the only external player. The performance is immense, historical and monstrous. Just choose the most accurate adjective: “Kobesque” maybe. Praise is multiplying, the pure Bryant scorer is at its peak and never since Michael Jordan, the league had observed such a phenomenon at scoring. So full, so prolific, so fluid.

MVP 2008
This change of mindset, symbolized by number 24, translates into the beginning of the 2007-2008 season. The Lakers are advancing and doing very good first months. There is still an element missing so that they become a heavyweight but the basics are interesting. This element is the arrival of Pau Gasol in February 2008.

Los Angeles then becomes the best team in the west and Kobe Bryant finally touches the MVP trophy, in front of young Chris Paul in particular. The league’s top scorer, champion, MVP, Kobe Bryant garnishes his trophy wardrobe and, at almost 30 years, he doesn’t miss much of his prize.

Boston Humiliation
The rivalry between the Celtics and the Lakers opens a new page of its history in 2008. Boston’s “Big Three” (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen) face the Bryant-Gasol duo. Best defense of the country, Doc Rivers ‘ training makes it outplay Kobe Bryant and the triangle. Pau Gasol is too soft to destabilize Boston’s solid racket.

The finals change direction when the Celtics return from a 24-point delay in the Game 4 at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant and his band were a few minutes back to 2-2, they are led 3-1 and will be humiliated in Game 6 in Boston: + 39! The post-match press conference will show a chagrined Kobe, deeply touched.

Olympic Champion 2008
Before 2008, Kobe Bryant had never worn the Team USA jersey at the Olympics, while with his level he could have participated in Sydney in 2000. After the chess, home in 2002 for the World Championships, then in 2004 in Athens, USA Basketball began a reconstruction of its model.

Knee surgery, the “Mamba” misses the 2006 World Championships, where Team USA bows to the semifinals and arrives in Beijing in 2008, in a country where he is seen as a god, with a golden image and a desire to do well, to win of course. He is the leader, the best defender, the team and the “redeem team” returns to the country with the gold medal and a legendary match in the final against Spain, in which Kobe Bryant was excellent and clutch.

The 61 points in New York
Here is what we wrote to begin the summary of this meeting, February 2, 2009: It was the garden of Michael Jordan. It became LeBron James’s. There was only one missing: Kobe Bryant. With 61 points, Kobe Bryant definitely enters the legend of Madison Square Garden and even allows himself to house Spike Lee after the meeting, believing with humour that the greatest performances in the history of the “Mecca of basketball” are his fault.

MVP of the All-Star Game with Shaq
Part of the reconciliation between Shaq and Kobe occurs in February 2009. Shaq is at the end of his career, but he always keeps a title ahead of Kobe, won with the Heat in 2006. Kobe Byrant, he, has remade a virginity, he is the MVP and finalist in title. The Phoenix All-Star Game is an opportunity for Shaq, then a Suns player, to shine one last time, but Kobe Bryant, already sacred in 2002 and 2007, is also in great shape.

The first finishes with 17 points in 10 minutes out of the bench, the second with 27 points. They are named co-MVP as Shaq was with Tim Duncan in 2000. Deserved reward for Shaq? No matter, it’s an All-Star Game and the picture is beautiful.

Champion 2009
The 2008-2009 season was golden for the Lakers. 65 wins in the regular season, a new presence in the finals against Orlando. The Magic succeeded a big post season survey by eliminating the Celtics, deprived of Kevin Garnett, wounded, then Cleveland and the MVP LeBron James, who did not expect to stumble on this Florida OS.

Only, Los Angeles is an overly balanced training to be embarrassed by Dwight Howard and company. If Courtney Lee had not missed the decisive shoot in Game 2, the finals could have been different. With 32.4 points, 7.4 passes, 5.4 rebounds, a superb Bryant is (finally) elected MVP of the finals and adds a fourth ring to his fingers.

The mess with Matt Barnes
On March 7, 2010, Kobe Bryant will offer one of the images become cult. In a meeting with the Magic, in the third quarter, he hangs with Matt Barnes, never the last to come tickle the superstars. On a replay, he chews his chewing gum with a provocative look, when Matt Barnes decides to direct the ball to his face to scare him. Kobe Bryant doesn’t react. Really, not even a blink of the eyes, which would have been a human reflex…

Orlando’s winger remembers: “It scared me a little.” It was not human. I had seen the idle and I was close to it, it did not flinch. » How did Kobe Bryant do? “He’s crazy, but not enough to put the ball in my head. So I didn’t bother to react. »

His biggest hot stroke
The revenge, with a year’s delay, between the Celtics and the Lakers took place in 2010. In Game 5, in Boston, Kobe Bryant will offer some of his best career minutes. However, at the break, he recorded only ten points with a very low percentage (4/12). One observes then a return of the bad Kobe, that of the finals 2008, which forces, plays too alone and forgets his teammates.

But in the second half, for four minutes and forty seconds, he offers all his panoply and joins the biggest and most beautiful hot shots in the history of the finals – Michael Jordan in 1992 against Portland, Isiah Thomas in 1988 against the Lakers or Dwyane Wade in 2006 against Dallas. It inscribes 17 points at 100% and all registers are present: Fadeaway, a sublime lay-up on alley-oop and three baskets at 3-pts including the last one at more than nine meters!

The performance is already exceptional but the context makes it just unreal: at the Boston Garden, in a Game 5 of the finals, facing the best defense of the league. A great basketball moment, unforgettable for all those who have had the chance to live it.

Final 2010 Champion and MVP
Aware, even though he hid it during the series, of the long and important history and rivalry between Boston and Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant knew that Game 7 would probably be the most fundamental of his career. A victory and here it is even more in the legend of the Lakers, perhaps even as the best player in the history of the franchise. A defeat, thus a second setback against Boston, would have blocked him behind Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Despite his injury to the right forefinger, his chronic clumsiness because of Boston’s defense, Kobe Bryant emptied his offensive, defensive, physical and mental registry to win this Game 7 in a stifling atmosphere. Champion and MVP of the finals, again, but more than ever, he’s at the top of the planet basketball.

“One More than Shaq”
In a press conference, a few minutes after winning this fifth title and surrounded by his daughters, he is asked about the individual meaning of this trophy. Kobe Bryant, smiling, says: “I have one more than Shaq.” It’s carved in marble. The whole room laughed, even the interested one, who concluded: “You know me, you know how I am.” »

MVP All-Star Game 2011
Undisputed king of the league, Kobe Bryant takes advantage of the Los Angeles All-Star Game – The second of his career after 2004 – to sit even more in his grip. He wanted to shine, win and leave with a new MVP under his arm. With 37 points and 14 rebounds in front of his audience, he won again the trophy of the meeting of the Stars and became the second sacred player four times after Bob Pettit.

“Amnesty That”
During the 2012-2013 season, the Lakers built a new “superteam” with the arrivals of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Only in order to keep this nucleus in the future, the franchise was faced with many choices to make, economically. Never stingy with provocation, Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks had suggested to the Californian to cut Kobe Bryant and his salary of 30.5 million…

Of the race of the Lords, Kobe Bryant is a player who works with motivation. He is always ready to play, but when he is offered an extra source of energy, then the sanction falls. In February 2013, he moved to Dallas to charge Mark Cuban. This game is a little technical gem, forgotten because drowned in the many big matches of the “Black Mamba”. Result: 38 points to 61%, 12 rebounds and 7 passes. As if that wasn’t enough, Kobe Bryant tweets: “Amnesty that”.

His last big game
The Lakers season was a disappointment. Called urgently after the dismissal of Mike Brown, Mike of Antoni must find an osmosis between the stars on the job. Dwight Howard was hardly recovering from a DOS operation, Steve Nash was also mired in physical worries, and the Lakers were never able to enter the Top 4 of the West.

In this season’s galley and far from the displayed ambitions, Kobe Bryant held his team at arm’s-end. His season was huge: 27.3 points to 46% success, 6 passes and 5.6 rebounds from average to 34 years ago. On April 10, 2013, opposite Portland, he scored 47 points at 52%, took 8 rebounds, issued 5 passes, against 4 shots and intercepted 3 balloons! This is probably the last big game of his career since on April 12th, his Achilles tendon loose…

His biggest free throws
Mark Jackson probably had the same reaction as the whole world. When Kobe Bryant Falls, the warrior coach does not imagine such an injury: “In my head, I was thinking: ‘ Don’t fall into the trap, he’s fine, don’t let him get his hands on the game.” But the back of the Lakers just lived the worst injury of his career.

Soon 35 years old, he understands that his career will attack a downward slope. He will never be able to return to his former level. His tears in his eyes after the encounter show it. Nevertheless, and this is perhaps the most powerful mental feat of his life, Kobe Bryant will return to the parquet, limping, to try the two free throws he has obtained. Better: He’s going to put them on. How many players would have dropped mentally? Wouldn’t even try to shoot?

The third scorer in history
Back to the competition after long months of waiting, Kobe Bryant becomes a record hunter. On December 14, 2014, against the Wolves, he surpassed Michael Jordan in scoring the top scorers in NBA history on two pitches. As his first points in the league in 1996 at Madison Square Garden. A time-out later, it is ovation by the public.

The most prolific outdoor scorer of all time in the NBA can finally blow: by climbing Jordan Mountain, he has achieved one of the most insane challenges of his career. His most beautiful? Most symbolic certainly.

60 points for his last game
The wounds have sealed the career end of Kobe Bryant. Long months of absence have forced him to live difficult reeducations for a player so old. Thus, his last two seasons and his last matches have often been painful to observe but this farewell tour – considered exaggerated for some – has brought back a lot of memories.

But Kobe Bryant has not become one of the greatest players and competitors in history to let himself be offered flowers and mark on little defenders who enjoy seeing the star shine one last time. To finish twenty years devoted to basketball, you had to sign the last chapter of a final point, even exclamation. This will be a XXL performance: 60 points against Utah (in 50 shoots!), shooting the victory and a new unforgettable evening.

Oscar and Jerseys withdrawn

After hanging up the shoes, Kobe Bryant starts a new career. On December 18, 2017, he became the first player in NBA history to see two numbers withdrawn by the same franchise. His number 8 and 24 will no longer be worn by Lakers players. A deserved homage.

In addition, he has successfully started writing and producing. His “detail” series on ESPN becomes a “must-see” for basketball fans. But his first big feat outside of the parquets will remain his Oscar won for his film “Dear Basketball”, this film inspired by his poem written on the evening of the announcement of his retirement and published on November 29th, 2015 on the Players ‘ Tribune. On the evening of the statuette’s reception, Kobe Bryant will confess: “It’s even better than an NBA title.”

Watch NBA Live Free