1. Kobe Bryant Shows A Different Side With Arianna Huffington
Kobe Bryant is, no doubt, one of the respected athletes in the sports industry. He also loves to keep his life private, and many have known him for being distant. However, as Kobe age, Kobe opens more about his experience with the public. Thus, several years ago, fans were shocked when he revealed some of his life’s detail in an interview. Arianna Huffington covered the story, and Kobe was able to tell beautiful information about his life. The topic ranges from his childhood, all the way to meditation. Fans love him more as he also has a brilliant mind and a lovely soul.
2. Kobe And Shaq Buried The Hatchet
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal are one of the basketball’s dynamic duo. The two is known for their feud ever since. As the years’ pass, the two buried the hatchet and can be seen in interviews together. The duo reportedly settled their problems when they went on to settle their respective retirements. Thus, in an interview, the pair closed their long-time feud and gave it a sweet ending. O’Neal said to Bryant that I want people to know I don’t hate you. I know you don’t hate me. I called it a working beef. I was young. You were young. But as I look at it, we won three out of four [championships].” Adding that he just wanted to clear the air and let everybody know that he does not hate Bryant. Their disagreements and arguments fueled them both.
3. Kobe’s Trade Request
In the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Bryant did the unthinkable. His team was eliminated in the first round. Thus, Bryant requested a trade. Given the fact that he did a lot of scoring, he could not carry his whole team, and Bryant wanted to go to a team where he can get all the support. However, he withdraws his request to have a trade. But Bryant’s discontent with the management had motivated the step to get Pau Gasol. The move gave the Lakers a championship-caliber duo for the team to build around.
4. Another Trophy Addition
Aside from being a basketball star, Kobe Bryant has multiple investments. One of those if Granity, which is known in the past as Kobe Studios. The goal of his studio is to tell stories and as well as promote sports. His first project is the “Dear Basketball,” and allowed him to bring home an Oscar Award. The short-animated film is based on a poem that Bryant wrote and was published in The Players Tribune back in 2015. To complete his short animated film, Glen Keane, who is credit for Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, aid Bryant to direct the film.
5. Baptizing Ben Wallace
As a teenager, Kobe Bryant entered the NBA draft straight from High School. The coaches and general managers have seen an exceptional and promising talent from Kobe. As expected, NBA fans do not give much attention to Bryant until he proved them his talent. Fans fund out how good Kobe was when he rocked a facial over Ben Wallace in the preseason of his first year. Many have dropped their comments over Kobe, such as “welcome to the league, rook!” From there on, Kobe was unstoppable, and the rest is history.
6. Destroys Nets, Game 3, 2002 NBA Finals
The legacy of Kobe Bryant is built on the performances that he has shown to the entire world. Together with this team, they were able to win the 2002 NBA Finals championship series for the 2001–02 season. The best of seven playoffs was between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets. The Lakers swept the Nets with a score of 4-0, which made the team the 14th NBA championship and the Laker’s third consecutive NBA championship.
7. Beats the Celtics to add to Lakers legacy
Kobe Bryant is also known to push himself to the limits and give his best performance in every game. However, in 2008, Kobe had a chance to add the Lakers legacy against the Boston, yet he failed, Kobe was devastated. Thus, in 2010, his second chance came. Kobe capitalized and added to the Lakers-Celtics lore with his fifth Championship and also his second Finals MVP. Despite Kobe experienced failure, he was able to stand up and became stronger and was able to achieve his goal. With that, he gained more respect from fans and other basketball personalities.
8. First 50-point drop at 22
Would you remember where were you are what are you doing when you are 22 years old? Some may say that they are studying at a University or working. As for Kobe Bryant, he is clearly not the average guy. At 33 years old, he already dropped a 51 on the Golden State Warriors. Kobe also established himself on the league as one of the promising players, at the said age. It is just evident that he is one of the most talented young athletes in the NBA during that time.
9. Stops the bleeding against the Detroit Pistons
The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves pushed against the wall in Game 2, as unexpectedly, they are down 1-0 against the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. In the anxiety-causing 10.9 seconds of the game, the Pistons were up by three points. On the other hand, Kobe rose from 27 feet to shoot an ice-cold, overtime-clinching three points. However, the Lakers have lost the series, but experts suggest that Kobe carried the whole team. Given that the defeat was quite a disappointing moment, but for Kobe and fans, he is the man of the game.
10. Clinches first NBA Championship without Shaq
In the earlier years, a lot of basketball experts have doubted Kobe Bryan’s ability to get a team and lead it to the Championship, especially without Shaquille O’Neal. Of course, Kobe is determined to win the championships. Known for having a quiet personality, Kobe proves himself once again that he could do things when others doubted him. Kobe put up 3- points away from the Orlando Magic and was able to secure his 4th Championship. He simply proved that he could lead the team successfully and earned the team another championship.
11. Downs the Hawks with a dunk and a shot
Kobe Bryant was tagged as washed by the critics at 34 years old. As usual, the Black Mamba proved his critics wrong without saying a word and showed them his performance. In 2013, the Los Angeles Lakers had a lot of critics, but Bryant subtly verified that he is still up for the task of carrying the team. Bryant turned back the clock to perform a poster dunk over Josh Smith and achieved a game-winning shot against the Atlanta Hawks.
12. Pulled the Lakers to victory over Raptors in 2013
Different match brings out the different side of Kobe Bryant. In an adrenaline rush back and forth game in the last minute, Bryant hits two clutch threes, and it enabled the team to have an extra frame. He then showed up in perfect time and did a winning shot to sink the Raptors. Bryant then finishes that game owning 41 points.
13. Shakes and Bakes James Harden in the Drew League for a game-winner
Expectedly, when the NBA locked out some players, there are a lot of ballers who are out of a job. True to its form, Bryant took his game from the bright lights to the enclosed gym of Drew League. But even so, Bryant put out a show. Not only had that Bryant contributed a total of 45 points, but he also happens to snipe the game-winning shot over the rising star James Harden. Bryant must have let Harden experience some challenge in his young career.
14. Shuts down Rucker Park
People would never know who’s going to show up at Rucker Park in the summer. Hence, fans can sometimes be put up into a surprise. Just like in 2002, coming off his third straight title, Kobe Bryant stepped into the legendary court for the first time in his career. Thus, before having a nickname of the Black Mamba, Bryant received a lot of different ones. Fans would call him the iconic Rucker Park announcer, Hannibal, and the one who stands-out more is the “Lord of the Rings.”
15. Gives LeBron James a dagger
The prime of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James did no totally overlap, but it was there long enough for some of the unforgettable duels between the two superstars. As expected, Bryant gave the audience some epic show. He stamps on the rivalry with a beautiful rainbow shot over James in Cleveland to provide the final blow to the chances of the Cavaliers.
16. Dunks over LeBron and wins the 2011 All-Star MVP
Kobe Bryant would always make sure that his better will be overlapped by his best. He happened to prove that a couple of times throughout his career. Bryant was able to achieve four times at the NBA All-Star Game and was able to have four MVP awards. The last award was one of the most memorable. Bryant dunked on trailing LeBron James and aided the West to blowout the East. Black Mamba once again showed his skills to LeBron James. Fans considered it to be one of the epic “in your face” event.
17. Releases “Detail”
Many have mentioned that to label Kobe Bryant as a “student of the game” would be underselling his wisdom and knowledge when it comes to playing basketball. Thus, Bryant took that knowledge to the fans for a relaxed take in his ESPN series called “Detail.” The series enabled to give fans some incites, habits, solutions, and tendencies that could be seen in the game. Every fan who watched brings them closer to the game and its complexity.
18. 1997 Slam Dunk Champ
Another fact that Kobe Bryant is an exceptional athlete is when he was 18 years old. He barely took off his training wheels when he surfaced into the spotlight with a series of high-flying dunks. Bryant is also the winner of the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. Thus, it is just one among the dozen of trophies that Bryant owns in the span of his career.
19. Putting Vincent Yarbrough through the spin cycle
Another poster dunks that Kobe Bryant performed is this one. It is considered to be one of the smoothest poster dunks that have ever occurred in the NBA. Bryant not only dribbled that ball behind the back to get the necessary atmosphere to perform the dunks, but he also added a fantastic 360. Given to say that he could have quickly just gone up with two hands, but Bryant loves to perform in front of his audiences and provide them with the show.
20. Welcome to the league, Dwight
When Dwight Howard stepped into the Los Angeles Lakers, he and Kobe Bryant did not get along well. Experts suggest that the highlight hung over the big man’s head. As a result, people mentioned that they could see Howard’s hatred towards Kobe. Bryant previously shared that he tried to show Howard how to win the championship, but Howard does not want to deal with the challenge.
21. Great Wall of Yao crumbles
Kobe Bryant does not let other players, especially opponents, intimidate him, and Yao Ming is not an exception. The 7ft 6 inches player does not have many challengers in the NBA, considering his height. However, for Bryant, he would never saw a challenge that he could not solve. Hence, when Bryant has given a chance to face off the Great Wall of China, he was able to come through him and scored 52 points.
22. Averages 40 points for a month
Most likely, NBA players can have a good stretch of around four to five games, especially if the players are on fire. However, Kobe Bryant, as an exceptional athlete as a five-game stretch, is the norm for him. In the entire month of February in 2003, Bryant showed off an incredible scoring and performances. With that, people already labeled him as a legend.
23. Shooting free throws with a torn Achilles
Kobe Bryant always makes sure that he could finish what he has started. The determination of Bryant is remarkable and was given praise by fans and other athletes as well. He managed to push himself and performed two free throws after ripping apart his Achilles tendon. What Bryant did is quite a dangerous performance knowing that the season could end for him or, in the worst case, his basketball career.
24. Claim the Pacific Division in 2004
The Los Angeles Lakers need the W against the Trail Blazers for the team to finish up on the Pacific Division and to secure themselves higher seed in the playoffs. Of course, Portland did not go smoothly and gave Los Angeles a challenging fight. This type of battle in which fans could thank that Kobe Bryant is on their side. He happens to sink a game-tying shot in regulation and game-winning rainbow overtime. It must have been hard for Ruben “Kobe Stopper” Patterson to take the defeat.
25. Four straight games of 50+ points 2007
A die-hard fan of the NBA would sometimes opt to play the NBA 2k video game franchise. However, some commented that the game ruined the standard for the fantastic performance that has been done in real life. Well, not for Kobe Bryant. He happened to cope up with the game standard and made the real thing look like the game at the rookie difficulty settings with an incredible stretch of games.
26. Downing Spain in 2008
Thanks to Larry Brown, the USA basketball team needed a reboot after 2004. Thus, Kobe Bryant signed up to pull the country up back to the top of international basketball. However, Spain wanted to play the spoiler over the USA’s return with the Redeem Team in 2008. But the best players showed up when his country needed him the most. Bryant was able to do clutch shots the demoralized a four-point play. With his performance, fans labeled him as a hero.
27. Kobe stops shooting vs. Phoenix, Game 7
Being a legend does not mean that all of your performances are great. Just like Kobe Bryant, it has already been established how good he is in basketball, but a legend like him also has a bad day. Among his less glamorous games is when the Los Angeles Lakers loss against Phoenix Suns. Both critics and the media blamed Bryant for it. They claimed that Bryant became selfish and did not trust his teammates. They also said that Bryant responded to those claims by appearing to pass it shot after shoe to show fans and media what will happen if he is not the one scoring. As a result, the Lakers were blown out by 31 points. In addition, they accused Bryant that he tanked off the series to make a point. Bryant, of course, denied it in an interview with TNT.
28. Matt Barnes in-bounds play
Another tough opponent that Kobe Bryant faces is Matt Barnes. According to critics, Matt Barnes is one of the athletes that a player would not want to test when it comes to toughness. Not for Kobe Bryant, of course. The legend is not intimidated by him at all. Bryant did not react to any of his most desperate ploys, such as the fake chest pass to the face.
29. Profanity-laden rant at practice
In the final years of the career of Kobe Bryant, it is most likely full of losses. Thus, the Lakers were rebuilding, and a lot of games were lost for them to keep their first-round picks. This downfall did not put Bryant in a good mood, especially when the team is not practicing hard or giving their best. Bryant uses some colorful language to let his general manager Mitch Kupchak and his teammates know about his thoughts with the issue.
30. Kobe steps up with Shaq out vs. Pacers, Game 4, 2000 NBA Finals
As fans could remember, Shaquille O’Neal was fouled out on the Game 3 of the NBA Finals in overtime. Thus, the Los Angeles Lakers were only up to one with a 2:13 time left in the extra frame. Once again, the legendary Kobe Bryant played with an injured ankle. He scored six of the last eight points for the Lakers. The team was able to win with a 3-1 lead in the finals.
31. Fun with Alvin Gentry vs. Phoenix Suns
The spot of Los Angeles Lakers is on the lines for the Finals. Thus, Kobe Bryant is not letting the Phoenix Suns win the match. With 35 seconds to go, Bryant hit a fierce fade away over Grant Hill and stuck the dagger against the Phoenix. Meanwhile, Bryant does not want to pass up an opportunity to throw a little salt on the wound. He gave Alvin Gentry, who is the head coach of the Suns, a parting pat on the rear end after sending the Phoenix home.
32. 45 points, 10 rebounds vs. Spurs, Game 1, 2001 Western Conference Finals
The San Antonio Spurs is best known that have the best defense in the league. Spurs entered the Western Conference Finals and have the home-court advantage. As usual, Kobe Bryant will not back down. In 2001, Bryant dominated the Spurs from the get-go, and the Lakers would go on to record a 16-1 playoff record of the year.
33. 61 at the Garden
Not everyone, especially NBA players, has the courage to perform under the bright light of Madison Square Garden. But for Kobe Bryant, he seems comfortable in it. He was able to surpass the “Double-Nickel” game of Michael Jordan with a 61 point outburst against the Knicks. It is another record that has been slashed off by Bryant on MJ’s book.
34. 40-8-8 vs. Magic, Game 1, 2009 NBA Finals
In 2008, the Lakers ended the season watching the Celtics celebrating on their defeat in the NBA Finals. Thus, questions surfaced whether Kobe Bryant could win the title without Shaq. Bryant remained quiet and proved that he can win the Finals against Orlando Magic and even got the MVP title.
35. You’re not the only one who can shoot threes, Ray Allen
As many would know, Michael Jordan is one of the legendary players of all time. However, he was not the best with three-pointer shots. Kobe Bryant is also known for that weapon, though. Bryant showed off his talent when it comes to range against the Seattle Supersonics. Bryant then knocked down an NBA record of 12 three-pointer shots.
36. Anything you can do, I can do better
Many would want to compete against their idols. Just like Kobe Bryant, however, in his case, he performed much better. Michael Jordan was way past his prime but still wanted to show odd some grit with his old-man game. Also, MJ does not allow to give the young ones an easy game. During the game, Bryant made his own “double nickel” against his Airness. It must be Bryant’s gift to MJ for his third retirement.
37. Game-winner vs. Phoenix, Game 4, 2006 First Round
In 2005, Phil Jackson made a comeback to the Los Angeles Lakers. He then got the squad back to the postseason. However, the team was facing off against the Western Conference’s No. 2 team: the seven-seconds-or-less Phoenix Suns. Thus, up in 2-1 in the series, the LA Lakers were down to the Suns by one, with 6.1 seconds of time left. As usual, the hero stepped in and made the shot.
38. Kobe 62, Mavericks 61
This game is also evidence that Kobe Bryant can pull his entire team. Bryant once outscored a whole team on his own. Yes! ON HIS OWN. Fans and the media claimed that Bryant faced his opponents alone, and is considered to be the most significant scoring performance ever.
January 22 of 2006 is one of the dates that marked in the history of the NBA. Kobe Bryant scored a total of 81 points for himself. The match is against the Toronto Raptors. It is considered to be the second-most prolific single-game scoring performance in the history of the NBA.
40. Kobe’s Final Game
As expected by fans, Kobe Bryant’s final game brought yet another victory on the team. Trailing the Utah Jazz for most of the night, Bryant brought the spark over his team in the fourth quarter. He single-handedly rallied them to a 101-96 win. Thus, Bryan wrote in “Dear Basketball,” refereeing to his retirement, “This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye. “And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go.”
When the news broke, Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crashed, the entire world mourned his death. Not only the die-hard fans mourned him, but also people whose lives have been touched by Kobe. His death is one of the devastating news in the first month of 2020. It goes to show that Kobe is a hero and an inspiration to many.