Kobe Bryant is simply one of the greatest basketball players ever to play the game!!! He has led the Lakers to five NBA championships since he burst into the league, and he has broken several records and won numerous awards along the way! Sadly, all great things must come to an end, and this season will be Kobe’s last. As a man who can lay claim to being one of the five best players in the NBA, you can bet he’ll want to end this final season with a bang. To celebrate his career and to get excited about what’s to come, here are five of his greatest moments.
January 28, 1997 – Bryant Becomes the Youngest Player to Start an NBA Game
It seems like Kobe was destined for greatness early on in his career! He was drafted right out of high school and then played regularly for the Lakers at the age of 18. On this date, he became the youngest player to start an NBA game!!! Although he didn’t play particularly well at this game, it was a precursor to the greatness that was to come.
January 22, 2006 – Kobe Drops 81 on the Raptors
There are some athletes who make it look easy. That was Kobe on January 22, 2006!!! He only had 26 points at half-time but put up 27 in the third quarter and 28 in the fourth quarter for a total of 81 points. It was one of the greatest single-game performances ever and ranks 2nd all-time in points scored!!! He was so dominant that he outscored the entire Raptors team in the 2nd half, 55-41.
December 17, 1997 – Kobe Battles Michael Jordan
Kobe has spent much of his career comparing himself, and being compared by others, to Michael Jordan, who was perhaps the greatest player ever. In Kobe’s 2nd year, he finally announced to Michael and the rest of the league that he was destined to take the crown! Their teams were two of the best in the league, and Kobe and Michael went back and forth for much of the game. Although the Bulls won with 36 points from Jordan, Kobe had 33 points of his own and proved that he could play with the best!!!
February 2003 – Kobe’s Historic Month
Sometimes a “great moment” stretches out for longer than just one moment. In Kobe’s case, he had great moments throughout the entire month of February in 2003!!! He averaged 40.6 points that month, which is something that's never been done before. In the midst of it, he went nine consecutive games in which he scored 40 points or more. What an amazing month by an amazing player!!!!
August 24, 2008 – Kobe helps Team USA bring home the gold
In 2004, the United States, who is considered the greatest basketball nation, took home a disappointing bronze at the Greece games. Entering 2008, nothing less than a gold medal would have been acceptable to silence the critics around the world. The U.S. team made it all the way to the gold-medal game but found themselves in a close battle with Spain. Kobe refused to allow his country to lose. Determined to win, he scored 13 points in the 4th quarter to take control and lead the team to victory.
A complete list of Kobe’s greatest achievements far exceeds the 5 listed above! We haven’t even touched on any of his five championships, his MVP award, or his 18 All-Star appearances. The question remains: What will he do for a finale? The season is nearing its end, so we are excited to find out soon.
Be a part of history and see Kobe Bryant play before the all-time great is ready to hang up his sneakers!!! Upcoming Lakers games at the Staples Center include games against the Cavaliers and the Clippers. The Lakers play the Cavaliers and Lebron James on March 10th at 7:30 P.M. Be there in person to watch this legendary game and cheer on Kobe for as low as $206 through ACEBSA!!! On April 6th at 7:30 P.M., the Lakers take on their hometown rivals, the Clippers. Tickets to see the battle of Los Angeles are available starting at $124. For more information, call (413) 485-2485 or visit our ACEBSA stores at 201 N. Los Angeles St. Suites 15 and 17, Los Angeles California, 90012.