In memoriam, to the late Kobe “Bean” Bryant. Here are some top five basketball moments we can enjoy the late 5-time NBA Champion!
1. 81 points later
Kobe’s 81-point game is one of the most memorable scoring affairs in the NBA. As of today, nobody has come close to cracking 80 since Devin Booker in 2017. Booker dropped 70 points. Kobe remains cemented at second place in the all-time single-game scoring list.
2. The 2008 Beijing Olympics redemption
The United States of America’s Olympic basketball team suffered disappointing Olympic tournaments in the early 2000s. The men’s team finished with the Bronze medal in the 2004 tournament as countries like Argentina, Lithuania, and Puerto Rico defeated the 2004 team in group play. It was time to turnaround the program and none other than the NBA’s best committed to the summer games in China. Kobe Bryant made sure the team wouldn’t walk away without the gold. Bryant produced a 13-point fourth quarter in the championship game against Spain while knocking down a crucial three-point field goal with 3:12 left in the game.
3. The youngest All-Star and still…
The ONLY teenager to ever play in an NBA All-Star game is Kobe Bryant! A record that he also still holds to this day. The 1998 All-Star could almost be seen as a passing of the torch. Michael Jordan’s last All-Star game prior to his Chicago Bulls retirement and Kobe as the young hungry kid was one of the headlines.
4. Buzzer beater to remember
They might argue about the “most clutch” player ever but Kobe gave us a buzzer-beater to remember. I’d say the best buzzer-beater from Mr. Bryant in the playoffs. A thrilling hair raising finish to this game. Kobe rose up over Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to seal the game in overtime.
5. Oop there it is!
55 seconds left and Shaq grabs a rebound as Kobe heads up the court. The Portland Trailblazer defense collapses on Kobe’s drive to the basket only to have a hand waving out of the right corner. The famous moment between Shaq and Kobe was one of the best before their relationship took a little rough patch. Not only did the Lakers win the game but it was a Game 7 clinching basket to move on to the NBA Finals, in which the Los Angeles Lakers would eventually win.
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