Despite the current global situation and the various crises we are all facing, the world is still reeling from the loss of one of its favorite athletes, Kobe Bryant. His sudden and untimely death shook us all, and it reminded us that even one of the greatest athletes in history is mortal. Yet, his legacy is immortal, and Bryant will always be remembered for his on and off-court charisma and raw athleticism. Bryant started calling himself “Black Mamba” after being inspired by the deadly assassin played by Uma Thurman and her impressive skills in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Despite having a significant impact out of the basketball court, his greatest moments remain within one. These are the Mamba’s greatest basketball moments.
Bryant’s on-court performance has impressed people throughout his long career, giving us one impressive performance after the other and a lot of memorable moments. One of the most impressive stunts he did on the court was passing the ball to himself using the backboard before getting it on the rebound and scoring. He did it quite a few times, and it was always amazing to see. Despite being a risky move, the Mamba had the guts to do it in the 2008 playoffs against the Utah Jazz, which definitely wasn’t easy to pull off.
If you asked most Kobe fans what his most memorable performance was, many will say this 2006 match against the Raptors. He scored a whopping 81 points, giving one of the sport’s most memorable performances, one that people will remember for years to come. He got a 28-of-46 from the field, 18 out of 20 from the line, and 7-of-13 from 3. His performance wasn’t just fascinating on the offensive level, but also on the team play level. The Mamba grabbed 6 boards, got a block, swiped 3 steals, and even-handed out 2 assists.
That incredible 81-point record is one that will likely stand the test of time, and it shows just how formidable a player Bryant was at his peak level. The score registered on this game was 63.5, which is the second-highest ever recorded, and it’s a testament to how good he was and the powerful impact he had on games.
The expectations were high for what most people believed to be the last game Michael Jordan would ever play against Bryant back in 2003, and the match certainly didn’t disappoint. The torch was passed on during that match, and the younger Bryant proved himself to be the future as he led the Lakers to an impressive win. Jordan had the upper hand earlier in the match, but as time went on, Bryant showed why he was a worthy successor as he led his team to victory, proving that if anyone is going to wrestle Jordan for the ‘greatest of all time’ mantle, it might just be him.
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal’s relationship was complicated, and it took a turn for the worst at some point in their careers, which resulted in Shaq leaving the team. But before all that happened, they had one of the best alley-oops in basketball history back in 2000. Watching these athletes jump and fly around the court can be quite breathtaking, and you can’t help but wonder how they do what they do. If you happen to be living in Australia, your first question should be about the gear, because it makes a huge difference in a player’s game. You should start by getting Basketball Shoes Australia made so you can compete with other players and feel free to jump and move around the court. It will be tough to replicate that 2000 alley-oop against Portland Trail Blazers, though, and they even did it in the fourth quarter of game 7! That connection between the two stars for that memorable alley-oop will always be one of the sport’s greatest moments.
Going to the Olympics was never an easy decision, especially for an athlete in his prime, but Bryant joined Team USA and he was the last star to join, chasing after the gold medal dream. While the majority of his teammates were significantly younger, Bryant had quite a tangible impact on the team in more ways than one. His fighting spirit and relentless attitude were the reason why the American team was able to fight back against Spain’s basketball team. Bryant kept pushing his team in the fourth quarter, and his presence on the court was the biggest reason why his team managed to stand their ground despite Spain’s attempts. Team USA won the gold medal that year, adding yet another accolade to his trophy cabinet.
Bryant was renowned for his fighting spirit, and not even a serious injury would have stopped him from competing, as shown by the one he had versus the Golden State Warriors. In 2013, the Mamba was already having a great season, scoring 47 points in 48 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers, and his performances only kept getting better. But it was the match against the Golden State Warriors that will linger on as one of the greatest moments in Bryant’s illustrious career. A little over three minutes remained on the clock, and Bryant injured himself while trying to tie the score, suffering from a ruptured Achilles –– one of the worst injuries a basketball player could suffer from. Yet, that didn’t stop him from limping to the line and making the 2 free throws, before stepping off. The Lakers won the game shortly after.
There is much that can be said about Bryant’s career, and there are countless impressive basketball moments that we could talk about. His legacy will stand the test of time because he was much more than a basketball player. Kobe was a role model for younger generations showing them that you can get to your dreams if you work hard enough. Giving up was never an option for him, which is why history will remember him as one of Basketball’s greatest fighters and the sport’s top athletes.