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Career of Kobe Bryant: Kobe's Top 15 Greatest Performances/ Achievements/ Buzzer Beaters | Kobe Bryant Videos
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has established himself as one of the best players in NBA history. Known as the black mamba, Kobe Bryant has lived up to his nickname as a tenacious and deadly assassin on the basketball court. Throughout his career, Kobe has exhibited proficiency in making demoralizing shots, has set off on miraculous scoring binges, and performed with brilliance under pressure. To list all of the Black Mamba’s great games, game-winning shots, clutch performances, remarkable feats, and milestones would go on for days, so I have made it simple and will take you back down memory lane with Kobe Bryant’s top 15 greatest hits.
Note: For the purpose of simplicity, I have given the career achievements more weight than the single-season accomplishments. Similarly, the single-season accomplishments carry more weight than the single-game performances.
Two Crazy Buzzer Beaters to Win Division
Kobe's Two Signature Clutch Playoff Buzzer Beaters vs. Suns
Kobe Bryant’s Greatest Performances (Individual Game)
#15 – NBA Record 12 3-Pointers in a Game | January 7, 2003
On January 7, 2003 Kobe Bryant caught fire from downtown against the Seattle Supersonics as he set the NBA record by making an astonishing 12 3-point shots in the game. Kobe also broke the NBA record in the game by connecting on 9 3-point shots in a row. All together, Bryant shot 12-18 from downtown on his way to 45 points in the Laker win. The record has since been tied by Toronto’s Donyell Marshall in 2005.
#14 – Kobe Torched the Knicks for 61 Points | February 2, 2009
On February 2, 2009 Kobe Bryant scored 61 points, breaking the all-time record at arguably the world’s most historic basketball arena, Madison Square Garden. In the historic performance, Bryant led the Lakers to victory by hitting 19-31 field goals, 20-20 free throws, and drilled 3 3-pointers to a chorus of “MVP” chants by the opposing fans.
#13 – Kobe Bryant Hit Two 3-Pt Buzzer Beaters on Final Game of Regular Season to Win Pacific Division Title | April 14, 2004
On the final day of the NBA regular-season, Kobe Bryant added to his growing reputation for being one of the game’s all-time great clutch performers with a set of remarkable shots in Portland to win the game and the Pacific Division for the Lakers. With the Lakers trailing 87-84 in the closing seconds, the self-proclaimed “Kobe-Stopper” Ruben Patterson was draped all over Bryant, who took the ball at the top of the key and nailed an insane multi-pivoting fade away 3-pointer to tie the game and force overtime. The game went into double-overtime where the Lakers were down 104-102 in their final second of the regular season. Gary Payton threw the ball in to Kobe, who instantly threw the ball up and hit a circus-like, rainbow fall away 3-point shot to win another Pacific Division title for the Lakers. The Lakers took the game 105-104 as Kobe finished the game with 37 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.
#12 – 2006 NBA Playoffs – 1st Round, Game 4: The Black Mamba Hit Two Dramatic Buzzer Beaters to take down the heavily favored Suns | April 30, 2006
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers stole a victory from the jaws of defeat in this overtime thriller. The Suns led by 5 points with 12 seconds left in regulation when Smush Parker hit a 3 pointer to draw the Lakers within two with 8 seconds remaining. The Suns called timeout and advanced the ball to mid-court. All the Suns needed was to inbound the ball successfully to win the game and tie the series at two games apiece. Boris Diaw threw the ball to Nash, when Parker knocked the ball away and tipped it to Devean George. George gained possession and took a few dribbles advancing the ball up the court. George left the ball for Kobe on his right. Kobe drove the ball in and hit an acrobatic and contorted lay-up to dramatically tie the game and force overtime. In the OT, Luke Walton forced a jump-ball against Steve Nash with 6 seconds remaining and the Lakers down one. Walton tipped the ball at mid-court to Kobe. Kobe dribbled the ball up court with the Staples Center crowd going crazy. Bryant hit his spot on the right side of the free throw lane, elevated over two defenders, and drained one the signature shots in his illustrious career to give the #7 seed Lakers a one point win and a 3-1 series lead over the #2 Seed, Phoenix Suns.
#11 – 2008 Olympic Gold Medal Game: Kobe Clutch in 4th Quarter—Saves United States | August 24, 2008
The USA’s basketball “Redeem Team” had dominated in the 2008 Olympics blowing out their competition by 28 points per game. However, anything less than a Gold Medal for the United States would have been a highly scrutinized disappointment, after falling short for a good part of the decade in International competition. In the Gold Medal game, they ran into a gritty team from Spain which had several NBA players and had played together since they were kids. The United States led most of the game until a furious comeback by the Spaniards drew the game close late in the 4th quarter. With the game in the balance, the mighty U.S. looked shocked—they looked nervous—they looked afraid. Not Kobe Bryant. Bryant assumed the role of team leader and was known as the most clutch player in the NBA. Kobe lived up to his billing as he made several big plays on offense and defense late in the game, including a couple of timely assists and a 4-point play. Kobe scored 13 points in the final 8-plus minutes and carried the Redeem Team back to the Gold Medal stand.
#10 – 2001 Western Conference Semis: Kobe Scores 48 points and Grabs 16 Rebounds in Closing Out a Sweep of the Kings | May 13, 2001
In perhaps the best game of his young career to that point, 22 year old Kobe Bryant crushed the Kings for a gaudy stat line of 48 points and 16 rebounds. Just as impressively, Kobe set the tone in their next game, Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, and duplicated his spectacular performance by putting up 45 points and 10 rebounds in route to another sweep of the Spurs. At that point, it was becoming evident that Kobe was going to be the next closest thing to Michael Jordan. The Lakers won their second consecutive title and capped off one of the most dominant runs in playoff history by finishing the postseason with a 15-1 record.
#9 – Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals: The Lakers complete 15 point comeback in final 10+ minutes with Kobe’s Alley Oop to ShaQ | June 4, 2000
In one of the greatest games in NBA playoff history, Kobe and the Lakers came from 15 points down with 10+ minutes remaining in the 4th quarter of game 7 to shock the Trailblazers and move on to the NBA Finals, where they would eventually defeat the Pacers 4-2. Bryant hit a few clutch shots in the 4 quarter, but it was a perfect alley oop he lobbed to Shaq that secured the comeback and put the game away with under a minute remaining. The Kobe to Shaq alley oop remains to this day as one of the most recognizable basketball plays since the new millennium in what was also one of the best comebacks in NBA history. Kobe finished the game with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 blocks.
Honorable Mention [2000 NBA Finals]: A 21 year old Kobe Bryant would have his coming out party in his first NBA Finals. After missing the better part of games 2 and 3 of the series due to an ankle injury, Kobe wrote the first entry into his legacy. Playing in the difficult Pacer environment, Kobe scored 28 points in 47 minutes, including clutch shot after clutch shot in the final two minutes of overtime subsequent to Shaq fouling out. The win gave the Lakers a 3-1 finals lead. The Lakers would go on to win the series 4-2.
#8 – Kobe Scores 81 Points against the Toronto Raptors | January 22, 2006
On January 22, 2006 Kobe Bryant put on one of the most spectacular performances in the history of the NBA. His 81 points were the second most ever scored in an NBA Game. Upset with the fact his team was trailing by 18 points in the 3rd quarter, Bryant flat out exploded as he single handedly destroyed the Raptors by scoring 55 second half points to lead his team to an 18 point victory. This was one those events that makes you think of what you were doing when you saw it or heard of it. Most people thought it was impossible for a player to score so many points in one game. Besides, Michael Jordan’s career high was 69 points. In his historical performance, Bryant shot 28-46 from the field, including 7 3-pointers, and 18-20 from the foul line.
#7 – Kobe Scores 62 Points in 3 Quarters: Outscores Mavericks by Himself | December 20, 2005
Sure, Kobe’s 81 points was remarkable and historic, but his previous career-high 62 point game a month earlier was even more impressive. Bryant, angry about an ugly loss in the team’s previous game, outscored the Dallas Mavericks 62-61 in the 3 quarters he played. With the Lakers enjoying an enormous lead, there was no need to play the final quarter. Such a feat marked the first time in NBA history (shot clock era) that a player had ever outscored an opposing team for that duration of time. The staggering performance included a Laker record 30 points in the 3rd quarter alone. Let’s not forget, the Dallas Mavericks went on the win the Western Conference Championship before squandering an NBA Finals series lead to the Miami Heat later that season. The level of competition was certainly higher than that of the lowly Raptors, who he victimized for his 81 point game a month earlier. It goes to prove that it doesn’t matter who Kobe is facing—when he gets into one of those zones, he is capable of truly making “amazing happen”. Bryant also added 8 rebounds in his 33 minutes for good measure.
Kobe's 6 Game-Winning Buzzer Beating Shots in 2009-'10
Kobe Bryant's 4 Consecutive 50+ Point Games
Kobe Bryant: Season--Achievements, Feats, Highlights
#6 – 2009-2010: Kobe Bryant Hit 6 Game-Winning Buzzer Beaters
No need for a lot of words. Enjoy the Kobe Bryant video of all 6 of his 2009-2010 game-winning buzzer beating shots. The Heat, Bucks, Kings, Celtics, and Raptors were all victims to the best closer in the NBA today--and perhaps of all-time, along with Michael Jordan.
#5 – 2005-2006: Kobe Bryant led the NBA in Scoring with 35.4 Points Per Game
Kobe Bryant notched his first scoring title in the 2005-2006 NBA campaign. He did not just win the scoring title-- he put an all out scoring assault on the rest of the league as he averaged an astounding 35.4 points per game. The 35.4 points per game were the second highest scoring average in the previous 38 NBA seasons (Jordan – 37.1 –’86-’87) and has not been challenged since. Kobe’s historic season included 27 40-point games, a Lakers single season scoring record, and a scoring average of 43 points per game in the month of January.
#4 – Kobe Bryant Scores 50+ Points in 4 Consecutive Games; Including 2-60+ Point Performances | March 16-23, 2007
Kobe was back “doin’ work” in the 2006-2007 season, as he followed up his first scoring title with yet another. Kobe’s 2nd consecutive scoring title included a remarkable 10 50-point scoring games. Highlighted in those 50+ point scoring games was a one week long scoring rampage that consisted of four (4) consecutive 50+ scoring games (including two 60+ single-game outputs). Kobe’s scoring spree joined him with only Wilt Chamberlain as the only two players to ever achieve such a feat. The following performances made up Kobe’s record breaking week:
Kobe – March 16, 2007: 65 points vs. Portland (2nd highest total of career)
Kobe – March 18, 2007: 50 points vs. Minnesota
Kobe – March 22, 2007: 60 points vs. Memphis
Kobe – March 23, 2007: 50 points vs. New Orleans
#3 – Kobe’s Assault on the NBA: 9 Consecutive Games of Scoring 40+ Points | February 6-23, 2003
Having already won three NBA Championships, 24 year old Kobe Bryant let it be known to the world that his days in the shadow of dominant teammate Shaquille O’Neal were over. Bryant made an emphatic statement to the rest of the NBA that he was going to be the best player in the world of basketball for many years to come with his consecutive scoring games of 46, 42, 51 (in 3 qtrs), 44, 40, 52, 40, 40, 41. Bryant’s streak of 9 straight 40+ point games (and 11/13) put him in a class with Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan as the only players to record such a feat.
Where does Kobe Bryant Rank in Terms of Greatest Basketball Players of All-Time?
Kobe Bryant: Career Achievements
#2 – Los Angeles Lakers All-Time Leading Scorer
On February 1, 2010 Kobe Bryant surpassed fellow Laker great Jerry West as the all-time leading scorer in the illustrious history of the Minneapolis/L.A. Lakers. The Lakers career scoring record is considered one of Kobe’s greatest achievements, considering many of the greatest players in NBA history have suited up for the franchise such as Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, George Mikan, Gail Goodrich.
Currently with 25,790 career points, Bryant’s mark currently places him 12th all-time in the NBA scoring ranks. He figures to catapult himself into the top 6 after the 2010-2011 season in which he will only be 32 years old. Kobe was the youngest player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points. If he plays another 7 years, Kobe has a realistic shot at being the all-time NBA scoring leader. Unquestionably, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest scorers (and all-around players) in the history of basketball.
#1 – 5 NBA Championships (1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2008-2009, 2009-2010)
In today’s sports world, and especially within the NBA, the level of greatness of star players is measured and defined by how many championships they win. With 5 Championships under his belt, Kobe Bryant at age 32 is only one title shy of the player whom he is compared to most, Michael Jordan. Bryant’s 5 titles tie him for #1 amongst active players and are the most for any active star player. Until the Lakers title in 2009, Kobe had been slighted for his first three championships (age 21,22,23) because he was perceived as the team’s second best player to Shaq, who was in his prime. He was often criticized because many believed he could not win a championship without Shaq. Kobe and the Lakers have now won two consecutive titles, as Kobe continues to move up in the discussion of the greatest to ever play in the NBA.
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