WHO is considered the best screenwriter in Hollywood right now? I have no clue who that person is, but I am glad the Lakers brought them on for this final chapter.
The 2015-2016 L.A. Laker season up until this point had been chockfull of suitable gags and anecdotes. How fitting was it for Kobe’s final season to end the way many Laker fans of the last two decades remembered it – Kobe being KOBE.
“The perfect ending would have been a championship,” according to Mr Bryant himself.
But to us, true fans; a title in the end wouldn’t have done Kobe any justice. Bash the guy all you want, watching that final performance it’s hard to forget the Black Mamba’s impact on the sport and more so, on us all.
His final four quarters could only be described as a microcosm of his entire career. KOBE the ball hog, Kobe in the fourth, Kobe putting up points, Kobe being hated, Kobe being loved; Kobe being KOBE. Kobe was so KOBE last night, it’s astonishing.
He started off slow, 0 for 5 from the field against the Jazz. It was a good reminder of Kobe early playoff success, he went 0-3 in the playoffs over his first three seasons.
If you recall. shortly after the Lakers traded for Kobe during the 96’ draft, the team signed mega-star Shaquille O’Neal. The team was immediately pushed into the spotlight. Not the championship spotlight, no, not by a long shot. Everyone wanted to see what the team could do. The Lakers got to the playoffs – Kobe looked like an over-eager kid attempting to do way too much, way too fast.
Against the Jazz he tried everything to get going, missed his two attempts from deep, missed two lay-ups and his patented fader. He was trying again to do way to much, way too fast.
Kobe in his finale could only be described as a great talent that dwindled to just average.
The 1999-2000 Lakers were a good team that had the potential to be great. Many remember the tandem of Kobe/Shaq taking it to the Blazers in game seven of the Western Conference finals.
I remember young Kobe in game four of the NBA finals taking it to the Pacers in overtime after Shaq fouled out.
He got going then and he got it going last night.
Kobe poured in 15 points in the 1st quarter. For a three minute stretch, Kobe lit up the Jazz like vintage Mamba. got em!
Quarters two and three, that was all the 04-07 Kobe.
Between the two quarters 22 points. Some came spurts, others came with a sputter. Some looked incredible, others, they were frustrating to say the least. In the 2nd quarter Kobe basically chucked it up while his teammates lingered around him as if they paid for ticket.
Laker fans were okay with it. I for one wanted him to throw it up – it wasn’t like we were playing for something. We were bad. Admittedly, we were bad to some extent because of Kobe. His farewell tour took emphasis away from true development for the younger guys.
In ‘04, Kobe’s ego took away from the Lakers’ chance to be one of the greatest teams in NBA history. He ran Shaq out of town, ostracized teammates – he made it all about him.
In his finale – again it was all about him.
I was expecting him to switch jerseys at half time –
After a third quarter steal the Lakers hustled up the court and the ball automatically found him a weary Kobe, so reminiscent of the years he chased scoring records – he shot the ball as if that’s all he knew how to do. Kobe was being Kobe – what else did you expect.
Then came the fourth quarter.
In 2008, the Lakers pulled off the Pau Gasol trade and immediately became title contenders. At that point we all had all written Kobe off as a bitter, spoiled brat that could never win without Shaq. However, the Lakers went on to win two titles – Kobe even got his season MVP.
Similar to 2008 season, when Kobe walked onto the court to start the fourth quarter; you just know something special was going to happen.
The Lakers were down nine points, Kobe gave them 23 points in the quarter, a stretch of 13 consecutive.
All of those Kobe haters had a couple more points to hate on –
– Look he still shooting?
– He could hog eh!
– This dude like shoot bui.
– That gone in?
– He can’t get 50.
– Ok, that 50 was cool.
– He can’t get 60 though!
– How you could shoot 50 shots? You know that’s the only way he score 60 rights?
Kobe during his career
Kobe this season
Kobe last night
For the fans, this was all what we wanted! Kobe posted his first 60-point game since March of 2007. KOBE was KOBE one last time!