Kobe Bryant: Top 5 Career Highlights

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers

GiveMeSport will be spotlighting what we believe to be Kobe Bryant’s top five career highlights as the basketball world pays tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers great on what would have been his birthday.

Kobe Bryant, a Lakers legend who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, 26th January 2020, is still remembered and revered today despite the time that has passed. Bryant’s legend has grown since he passed away as a result of his entrance into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the NBA renaming the All-Star MVP award in his honour. 

Kobe, who went by the nickname “Black Mamba,” is regarded as one of the best shooting guards in NBA history. He earned the MVP title in 2008 and two Finals MVP medals in 2009 and 2010. In 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2010, the LA Lakers won five NBA championships with the assistance of the 18-time NBA All-Star.

In 1,346 regular-season games throughout his 20-year career, Black Mamba averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He was devoted to the Lakers, playing for them throughout his entire career.

In honour of Kobe Bryant, GiveMeSport has chosen five career highlights of his that caught our eye.

5. First 60+ point game

Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a free throw against the Miami Heat

In a 62-point performance against the Dallas Mavericks on December 20, 2005, Kobe notched his first 60+ point game and third-highest total. Bryant shocked the eventual NBA champions by scoring more points than the whole Mavs squad, including 30 in the third quarter alone. He was rested and leading 95-61 into the fourth.

4. Jumping the great wall

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 1
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers holds up Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets

In a game that went into double overtime against the Houston Rockets in 2003, Kobe Bryant scored 52 points while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Yao Ming, a star from Houston, came on the court to show Bryant that he wasn’t to be taken lightly. Then Bryant did what everybody was anticipating. Standing at 6-foot-4, Kobe Bryant sprang over Yao Ming, who is 7-6, to dunk the ball with a point to make.

3. Scoring a record 61 in MSG

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the New York Knicks

Kobe went off for 61 points in New York City at the most renowned basketball venue in the world, shattering the MSG scoring record and surpassing MJ’s 55. This was a beating against a New York Knicks squad that executed bullfighter-style defence.

2. Dropping 55 on MJ

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves the court after the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves

Bryant scored 55 points, including 15 for 29 from the field, nine three-pointers, and 16 of 18 free throws, to light up his Airness and the Washington Wizards in what was effectively a handing of the torch. We all agree that there will never be another Jordan, but in this case, the Lakers’ star helped fans realize that there won’t be another Bryant too.

1. Scoring 81 points

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket past Fred Jones of the Toronto Raptors

Bryant attempted the unthinkable just a month after his 62-point masterpiece against the Mavericks. The Toronto Raptors could do nothing that night to stop Kobe and his onslaught of points as he scored a career-high 81 points against them. In doing so, he scored the second-most points ever in an NBA game, trailing only the legendary Wilt Chamberlain, who famously scored 100 points in 1962.

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