‘I Could Sense Fear’: When LA Clippers Pissed Off Kobe Bryant & Got Immediately Served

Published 01/09/2021, 10:51 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 26: Laker’s Kobe Bryant ,24, celebrates a three pointer in the fourth quarter as the Lakers beat the Nuggets 122-107 during a first round playoff basketball game between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers April 23. 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)


The NBA and all of its fans dearly miss Kobe Bryant, and the least one can do is cheer up by looking at memories of his playing career. Bryant was an ice-cold killer on the court and he would find different ways to gain leverage over his opponents and overcome them.

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Kobe Bryant emulated Michael Jordan in the NBA and the former replicated several aspects of the Chicago Bulls legend’s game. Likewise, he was also meticulous in gaining external motivation before games, something that Jordan gained a reputation for

Boston, Massachusettes–June 17, 2008 Lakers Kobe Bryant walks off the court as the Celtics celebrate the championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the TD Banknorth Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Hence, when Bryant was on a terrific scoring run during the 2005-06 season, the Los Angeles Lakers took on city rival LA Clippers on one fine evening, but the Clippers enjoyed home privileges during that particular encounter. They implied several restrictions for which they faced the consequences! 

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When Kobe Bryant torched the Clippers after being denied shooting practice

Kobe Bryant always carried a special game whenever the Lakers played the Clippers. The significance of the rivalry always gave him a push to perform well, but that wasn’t the case on January 7, 2006

We’re all aware that the Lakers and the Clippers share the Staples Center as their home arena. When these two teams met in January 2006, the Clips had the home-court advantage and controlled the pre-match proceedings. 

The Clippers apparently reserved the arena two hours before the game, which obstructed Kobe from performing his routine shooting practice. This ended up frustrating the Mamba, who entered the game with vengeance in mind as he was denied of his pre-game warmup. 

So the LA Clippers faced the wrath of an angry Mamba throughout the game, who dropped 50 points in the Lakers’ 112-109 victory. What’s more amazing is that the five-time NBA champion made 40 of his 50 points in the second half! 

What Kobe said of his spectacular second-half performance

The match ended in the Lakers’ favor and the Staples Center crowd was mind-blown by Kobe’s display. Not often do you see a player drop 40 points in two quarters- such was the talent that Bryant possessed.

The spectacular effort also marked Kobe Bryant’s third consecutive 40-point game in the regular season, and he went to have two more in a similar fashion. The Mamba was beaming with confidence during this particular phase, and the Clippers ended up on the wrong side of the court fifteen years ago. 

“I saw that they kept switching players on me, and I could sense fear in the first player that was guarding me. Once I started turning it up, they switched and brought another player there, and I wanted to take him to that breaking point, and the next one,” said Bryant after the game. 

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Lakers guard Kobe Bryant chews on his jersey for a few seconds as he runs downcourt against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“My thing is, no matter who’s guarding me, I believe that you’re going to crack before I will. I’m just going to keep on pushing at you until you give in,” he added. 

Well, that’s just how Kobe Bryant competed in the NBA. He entered every game as if it was his last and had the energy of a rookie throughout his 20-year career. His torching of the Clippers is just one fine example among many!

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Arjun Athreya

1914 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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