When Kobe Bryant is eligible for the Hall of Fame, we have no doubt he will get in during his first year of eligibility. One of the best shooting guards in NBA history, Bryant put up many memorable moments throughout his career. Today, we look at the five best moments Kobe experienced in a Lakers uniform as he etched his way into NBA history books.
1. Kobe Bryant’s four consecutive 50-point games
Bryant had one of his finest seasons in 2006-07, going on a scoring tear as he averaged over 31 points per game. In a four-game span, he cemented himself as the best NBA scorer. The Black Mamba began by dropping 65 against the Trailblazers, then 50 versus the Timberwolves. Then, Bryant put up 60 against the Grizzlies and finally 50 against New Orleans.
2. Averaging 40 points for a month
Most NBA players never get the chance to put up 40 points in a single game. But Bryant averaged over 40 points in February 2003. The 24-year-old was considered a top-5 player during the month he put up 40 points or more in 10 of the Lakers’ 14 games. The team went 11-3 for the month en route to a playoff run.
3. Winning his fifth championship
When Kobe and Shaq split up, many thought Bryant wouldn’t win another championship. Then, the team traded Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol and the Lakers became title contenders again. LA went on to win back-to-back finals against the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics. The win over the Celtics was even sweeter for Bryant; he lost Game 7 to Boston in the previous season.
Bryant surpassed Shaq with his fifth championship. Although the two get along now, this was a focal point of Bryant’s jabs at O’Neal in the past.
4. Outscoring the Mavericks on his own
In just three-quarters of play, Kobe put up more points than the entire Dallas team. The quarter ended with Bryant scoring 62; the Mavs only had 61. During the season where he averaged over 35 points per game, Bryant was masterful against Dallas. He played 32 minutes and shot 18-31 from the field. The other amazing stat? He was 22-25 from the free-throw line.
5. Bryant’s 81-point performance
Kobe put up the second-highest single-game total in NBA history, and he did it without talking a lot of trash. Modern NBA fans had never seen a show like this, and we doubt it’ll ever happen again.
The most memorable things about Bryant’s performance involved the Raptors’ inability to stop him and their head coach’s inability to make adjustments to slow him down. Bryant shot 18-36 from the field and was 18-20 from the free-throw line. The 2005-06 season was arguably the best of his career, as he put up more than 40 points in 27 games that year.
Which Kobe Bryant memory is your favorite?
Looking at our five most memorable moments of Kobe Bryant’s career, which one is your favorite? We have to go with the 81-point game against Toronto. If you want more news and notes from around the league, check out our NBA section.