Kobe Bryant - Basketball God..or Devil?

Kobe Bryant is a 6'6'' basketball player named after a Japanese place. His father was Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, a good NBA player and a star in the Italian League where he finished his career.

Kobe came on to the NBA in 1996 at age 18, directly from the high school. His first season was a learning one, averaging just less than 8 ppg while showing immense "jordanesque" talent. In the playoffs, againts the Jazz, he took the lead and missed 3 key shots where he picked up the ball and took charges. Well, he missed, but managed to lead the team, which was unbelievable if we recall that Nick van Exel, Shaq and Eddie Jones where already experienced players.

In the next few years Kobe became and All-Star and the Lakers were 3 time champions.

Just before the 2003-4 season, a young girl working in a hotel accused Kobe of rape. Nike immediatly terminated his sponsorship contract, even before any verdict was announced. Kobe, a married man, managed to prove he had consentual sex with the girl but that she was trying to extort money. He offered a huge diamond ring to his wife , who showed up publicly supporting him, and become object of mock in the media.

The trial lasted the whole season and made Kobe lose many practive session. Once he scored 45 points in a game where he arrived only minutes prior to tip-off, after a whole day in court. In the end the Lakers would lose to the Pistons in the Finals, with the whole team looking very tired of so much distraction.

Kobe's popularity was on the gutter, having refused to participate in the Olympic games. The Kobe x Shaq feud came to an end after Shaq was dealt on a "him or me" Kobe blackmail to the team. Don't count the fact that Shaq was far away, due to recurrent injuries and lack of off-season selfconditioning, from his ShaqAttack form.

To worsen thing, Karl Malone was accused by Kobe to flirt with his wife. Malone ended up not signing up with the Lakers and eventualy retired. The Lakers went from NBA finalists to a lottery team, while Kobe was the ball hog of the league.

Well, This season, Phil Jax came back, only to colect big bucks as the team is quite weak. The team improved and seems playoff contender, yet a title doesn't seem nowhere near. Kobe started strong and averaged 30ppg from early on. On one stretch he had 6 straight games over 40 points. One game he poured in 62 points, not even playing in the 4th at all.

An altercation suspension for Kobe came in a game against the Sonics and the lakers where tumbling.

Then a game against the Heat. Shaq and Kobe were seen shaking hands and talking to each other.

Kobe was also annouced as a member of Colangelo's USA Basketball team, having comitted to a three year program.

A few days afterwards the Lakers hosted the awfull Raptors at the Staples Center. The Raptors led by as many as 18 in the 3rd quarter. The final score was 122-104, Lakers win.

Yes, a 36 point turn, fueled by Kobe's 55 points in the second half, for a total of 81 points.

That is the second highest point total EVER in the NBA. The record is still held by Wilt Chamberlain who scored 100 points for Philadelphia against the New York Knicks on March 2 1962. At that time the league had only 8 teams, and Wilt oversized all other centers non-named Bill Russell. Scoring was high, all teams scored over 111ppg.

There have been only 5 scores equal or over 70pts in a NBA game. Not even Michael Jordan managed to get more than 69.

Bryant left the court with 4.2 seconds remaining, having shot 28-of-46 from the floor and 18-of-20 from the foul line. He was also accurate from 3-point range, making 7-of-13.



For the more supersticious, this was his 666th NBA game. Devil or God?

Suddently Kobe is a good guy again.

I sincerely thank you, Kobe. You make this game worthwhile seeing. I must admit I never did like you for your arrogant and sometimes childish behavior, yet I always enjoyed seeing you play. From now on, I'll just consider you a small genius on the court.

Comments

JSilvio said…
O gajo joga bem...
Hoje em dia marcar tantos pontos num jogo...é mesmo...fora-de-série...ai o jeitao que ele dava no SLB :) ou no CAB ;)

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