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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
“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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