Kobe Bryant is one of the best players we have seen in the NBA. He is an 18-times NBA All Star, 5-times NBA Champion and the Laker’s all-time leading scorer. Kobe overtook Wilt Chamberlain in the NBA All-Time Scoring List after a jumper from the free throw line against the Sacramento Kings. Then, he was about 900 points behind Michael Jordan but way off from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had 38,000 over points. Before he retired in 2016, he became third in the NBA All-Time Leading scorers with 33,643 points. This was of course before LeBron James came in to take over the 3rd spot earlier this year.
The Black Mamba was just exceptional. Even during his final game for the Lakers, he didn’t fail to put up a show for the fans. Kobe lead the Lakers to a 101-96 win over the Utah Jazz with 60 points to his name. He played like as if he wasn’t going to retire that night. With the entire Staples Centre chanting his name, Kobe scored 13 straight points in the final 2 minutes to secure the win. He outscored everyone on the court just like how the young Black Mamba would. That night was definitely a bittersweet feeling for Kobe and the Laker Family. Kobe left the NBA with one of the most impressive resumes in the NBA History.
Looking back at his 20 years in the NBA, Kobe had put up some spectacular numbers. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game was something out of this world and one the NBA fans knew wouldn’t happen in the near future. Since then, the 70-point mark have only been crossed 6 times. That’s not until Kobe showed up in 2006.
22 January 2006, one of the GREATEST single-game performances in the NBA History. Kobe led the Lakers to a 122-104 win over the Toronto Raptors. Kobe finished the game with 81 points that night. Yes, he scored over 65% of his entire team’s points. Kobe was on a 28-of-46 shooting, these included 7-of-13 from behind the arc and 18-of-20 from the charity stripe. Kobe became the only other person to score more than 80 points in a game and that is something spectacular.
With that performance, Kobe climbed to number 2 for single game leaders for points in the NBA. Behind none other than Wilt Chamberlain who scored 100 points in 1962. In the 21st Century, only one other player crossed the 70-point mark and that was Devin Booker, who scored 70 points.
Kobe’s work ethic is something we could learn a lot from. He would be at the training facility two hours before practice, putting up shots. Even when he was injured. When he broke his right wrist, he was found hours before practice putting up shots with his left hand. That’s what we call the Mamba Mentality. Kobe may not have had the best starts to his NBA career, but he has shown the world what hard work and discipline would give you. His will to win is admirable and something we could take away from the late Kobe Bryant.