Has Shaq ever got a three-pointer

Kobe Bryant heroes come and go, but legends stay forever

As an introduction to a text about probably the largest after Jordan, I'll use an anecdote that I read on reddit a long time ago (I think it was reddit).

Summer 2012 in Las Vegas the preparations of the American national team before leaving for the Olympic Games. The story was told to reddit.com by a certain fitness trainer Robert, who was in charge of training with NBA stars, and that's how he met Bryant. He immediately established a good relationship with them, they exchanged numbers with each other and told them to call him whenever they wanted a good fitness workout. He certainly wasn't expecting a 4am call, but Kobe called him and asked, "Hey, Robert, can you come for some training?" An invitation that wasn't turned down, and Robert roughly walked into the training hall twenty minutes. He saw Bryant stepping in the corner, wet on his skin. This was followed by a two-hour training session that worked on fitness and strength. The trainer got ready, said goodbye to Bryant, and set off. National training was scheduled for 11 a.m. and Robert had to reappear. And he came and again in the same corner he saw Kobe shooting at the basket. He approached him and said, “Hey, Kobe, the workout was good, wasn't it? When are you finished "He received an explicit answer:" Yes, well, thank you. Finished what? "Robert asked again," So shooting practice? "Bryant said coldly," Right now. I wanted 800 hits. "

Is there anything else to add? So much training before the Olympics and even without it, the United States with all its national teams would easily wipe the floor. Seven hours of continuous work at the age of 34 and with five rings and gold from previous Olympics. A ruthless genius and yet an invisible hardworking man. Kobe Bryant!

This is his story.

Kobe Bryant was born on the 23rd. August 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the last child of Joe and Pam Bryant and had two older sisters - Sharia and Shaya. Still, life in the Bryant family wasn't that easy. His father Joe, a high school game legend John Bartram, was in the middle of a professional basketball career that took him to three different countries. So there were a lot of suitcases and trips. "Jellybean Joe" was ahead of the game with classic playmaker skills but never found his place in the NBA. After three fantastic years at the University of La Salle, it was designed by the Warriors. Since he got no real chance there, however, he looked for his place in other franchise companies and recorded 606 games for the Sixers, Rockets and Clippers (then the San Diego Clippers), in which he averaged 8.7 points. He also had his exhibition in Europe, more precisely in Italy and France, where he still showed a glimmer of his talent, enough for the simple life of loved ones. It is never known why such high school talent could not find his place under the stars. Some feel that he was not patient and couldn't wait for his chance, while others believe he was way ahead of his time. Either way, he gave birth to the Los Angeles superstar and one of the greatest ever.

Kobe ate, slept, and breathed basketball. When he was born, his father signed for the Clippers, and a change in environment was beneficial to the Bryants. Sunny California suited them very well, especially the kids, as there were very few rainy days so they could spend most of the days in the playgrounds. At the age of three, Kobe fell in love with a hoop and a basketball. He told people he wanted to be an NBA superstar. Usually the reactions were like raising an eyebrow or smiling. Neither of them suspected that the three-year-old was telling the truth. In the summer of 1982, the Bryants packed their bags and drove to Texas and Houston, which were then signed by Bryant of the Clippers. Kobe was beginning to understand his father's "business" and the NBA was increasingly on his mind. He still didn't see his role model in Dad. His hope was Magic Johnson - a playmaker in the body of a classic striker as opposed to his father. Since Magic was a Lakers legend, Kobe referred to the Lakers as his favorite franchise.

Joe only stayed with the Rockets for one season, however, and when they refused to offer him a new contract, he went to Italy. The migration odyssey continued. Life in Italy was particularly difficult for his children as the foreign language made it even more difficult for them to meet and speak with friends at school. Every day after school they learned sentences and words from the Italian language together. Within a few months, they spoke Italian very fluently and understood it perfectly. And there, in Rieti, Joe turned into this child prodigy from the streets of Philadelphia. An average of 30-40 points was enough to improve the family's financial situation, and the people of this town began to appreciate the Bryants. The salary grew and grew, and although some at the time thought NBA players' departure to such a small club was a disaster, it was there that Bryant found his own fame. And Kobe closely followed his father's every step and was present at every training session. He scanned his movements, dribbled, walked by and tried to emulate them on the court. His whole life revolved around his father's basketball schedule. Such a lifestyle, watching his father's dunks and no-look passes, continued to inspire Kobe and he began to dream more and more of the NBA. It is also interesting that the Italians, obsessed with football at the time, advised the Bryants to include Kobe in a football club because they believed that because of his long arms, agility and good reflection, he could become a world-class goalkeeper. However, thanks to his grandparents, Kobe stayed in the basketball world. They sent a video of some basketball games straight to Italy so Kobe and Joe could spend time watching them together. Then Joe advised Kobe on TV and told him what to do and what was not very desirable. Kobe was a boy who understood this game very easily, and with a few shots he already had a vision and could read what kind of action was being played.

Kobe improved his basketball skills every summer when the Bryants returned to Philadelphia. When he was only 10 years old, he entered the high-performing division of Sonny Hill, where he played against boys 3-4 years older than him. It's also worth noting that Uncle John helped him a lot with maintaining readiness, as well as in any areas where he felt he needed progress.

Joe Bryant spent the 1991/1992 season in France, which in turn hit his children hard, who had to go to school just a two-hour drive away. After that season ended, Joe decided to retire and move back to the United States for good. At this point, Shaya and Sharia were already considering college while Kobe was about to go to high school. After Joe accepted the position of assistant coach at La Salle, he bought a house in Ardmore, a suburb about 6 miles from Philadelphia. Kobe watched the landscape change with different feelings. He had never been able to meet and meet American children, so he was afraid that he would not fit into society. But basketball always went much better for him than anything else. 1992. He was named the best player in the Sonny Hill League, and when he enrolled in Lower Merion High School, he went to the gym looking for the so-called pick-up games (unorganized basketball game). Then he befriended Eddie Jones, the Owls team's point guard at the time.

Life outside the ring wasn't that easy. In Europe, he was always protected from various temptations because he was a fairly calm and peaceful American child, and returning to the United States brought him many problems. Although he was a solid student, the problem was caused by drama and problems in the school hallways that were unavoidable. After his freshman year, he was starting to get used to everyday high school life. His basketball life continued and by the time he was 6'5 "he already realized that his place would be on the back court. He started thinking and practicing as a security guard and gained a lot of knowledge thanks to Gregg Downer, the high school team coach. He often enjoyed working with him alone or showing others some exercises or movements based on his example. Although Kobe was very talented, he didn't have a lot of experience, so taking care of the older boys from high school was quite "easy". But it wasn't long before the "Black Mamba" flashed. In the 94/95 season he was named Pennsylvania's best player with impressive numbers of 31.5 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 5.2 AS. Being a "sponge to absorb movement", he often presented his crossover to his defenders, after which they flew to one side and Kobe with the ball to the other. He was also taught many moves by his teammate on the AAU team, God Shammgod. After he started his senior year of high school, college officials knocked on the Bryants' door. All the bells, distinguished by their excellent grades and fantastic stats and nothing less, topped the list of offers he received, Duke, North Carolina, Michigan, and Villanova.

But when a Chicago kid, Kevin Garnett, was selected on the first round of the 1995 NBA draft. In the 12th year, Kobe seriously considered skipping college and applying for the draft. That summer, Joe arranged for his son to work with 76ers members, and Kobe didn't let him down. He was absolutely fantastic and made an impressive impression on the members of the ABCD All-American Camp in New Jersey. He did the best he could in the final year of high school. With his brilliant game he brought the team to a ratio of 32 wins and only three losses and secured them their first national title in 42 years. The school's name popped up in the newspapers, the team found its place on the high school basketball map, and Coach Downer accepted invitations to various tournaments. That season, Kobe finished with a score of 30.8 PPG, bringing him to 2,883 points scored during school, the Pennsylvania record set four decades earlier by Wilt Chamberlain.

The real madness started after the end of this season. Joe received an offer for a coaching job from an unknown Italian team, and their management asked that his son be involved in the job and become their new member. But none of that mattered as Kobe, along with several other high school seniors, including Jermaine O'Neal, Earl Lester and Tim Thomas, gave serious thought to the path Garnett had chosen the previous year - the NBA draft. Rumors that Bryant had skipped college didn't abate, but neither did Kobe do anything to silence them. It was just clear that this draft would also get a 17-year-old. Kobe solved all dilemmas at a press conference at the Lower Merion gym. With a few friends from the Boyz II Men RNB group from Philadelphia by his side, he announced that he wanted to show his talent in the strongest league in the world - in the next draft. Immediately a lot of dust arose and he signed contracts with Addidas and Sprite as well as with the agency William Morris. The impressions of basketball connoisseurs were mixed. There was a comparison to Grant Hill or Anfernee Hardaway - but everyone agreed that Kobe has more offensive potential than the aforementioned duo. However, others criticized Pam and Joe for their son's allegedly bad decisions. In any case, Kobe published the draft earlier this year. There was speculation as to whether or not Kobe would be in the lottery and in the drafts the top four pussies were Marcus Camby, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen and Stephon Marbury. The Lakers were the first to discover Kobe and know that he was meant for great things. Impressed with its wide range of offensive solutions. They decided to arrange a 1 on 1 between Bryant and Dontae 'Jones. Kobe wiped the floor with the Mississippi State Star and made a big impression on the Lakers Scouts.

NBA draft

Jerry West, the GM Lakers, began his magical passes on NBA Draft Day. He first picked one of Derek Fisher's best defensive PGs as the 24th. Pick the first round. Kobe was voted 13th. Pick from the Charlotte Hornets, and West used Divac and in the Hornets trade, Bryant got while Divac went the Charlotte route. Then an additional salary cap was created that allowed the Lakers to sign Orlando’s free agent Shaquile O’Neal. This draft laid the foundation for the Lakers dynasty that would rule for the next few years. At the time, Fisher, Shaq, and Kobe added to the roster, and when we add in the undeniable talents in the form of Nick Van Exel, Eldan Campbell, and Bryant's old friend Eddie Jones, success was guaranteed. Something that allowed Kobe to evolve and evolve was Lakers coach Del Harris, who once led the Rockets - right that season when Joe was playing for them. Kobe was overjoyed that he could not have imagined the development of the situation in his favorite club better as one of the main players - an indescribable feeling.

Kobe signed a three-year $ 3.5 million deal with the Lakers and then scored an average of 25 points for the Lakers' "summer" team. Just as his childhood revolved around his father, now everything revolved around him. He bought a house in the Pacific Paliseades, Joe quit his coaching position at La Salle, and everyone moved to California. At the Venice Beach Games, Kobe suffered a minor wrist injury, which was again enough to miss a few weeks of training with the team. However, Harris decided to wait with Bryant's debut, causing him to miss a few games of his rookie season. Interestingly, Bryant made his debut against Garnett and the Timberwolves. In the six minutes of play, he had a shot and a turnover. Harris had a broad roster so the teenager didn't have to be shoved into the fire too often. However, in January things changed. The thinning of the roster resulted in a record. Kobe became the youngest NBA starter of all time at just 18 years, five months, and five days. A few weeks later, on an All-Star weekend, Kobe scored 31 points in a rookie game and won the Slam Dunk Contest - the first Lakers player to win it.

For him, those were the highlights of the season. With injuries to key players, including O'Neal, the Lakers were easily eliminated in the second round of the Utah Jazz playoffs. Kobe, who only played in April and March, ended his rookie season with just under 8 points per game. Delo Harris' genius came back to the fore. He decided to "install" Kobe as the sixth man and the move turned out to be a great solution. Kobe immediately improved his numbers, played between 20 and 30 minutes per game, scored 18.8PPG, and did some important things in the game. The Lakers had 11 straight wins, and even when O'Neal was injured, the whole team abruptly blossomed. Van Exel, Campbell, Fisher, Fox and Kobe brought the team victories from the City of Angels with their points. Michel Jordan's successor was then sought and many saw him straight out in Kobe, so he was selected as the youngest ever starter of an all-star game. However, Kobe didn't do well in that match. He had a big problem - he wasn't sharing the ball enough. His selfishness caused irritation among his older colleagues, so that even talking to Jordan did not improve the situation much. There's no denying that back then everyone knew that one day Kobe would be a star, but he wasn't. When Harris realized they hadn't found a solution to his excessive ball retention, he cut his minutes short. That just lit the light in Bryant's head and he started rehearsing his defensive roles, working more for the team than his stats.

They opened the postseason with a string of wins against the Portland Trail Blazers. Next came the Sonics. Although Kobe had limited playing time due to the flu he was battling, the Lakers scored four wins and made it to the Western Conference final despite losing in the first game. There Utah Jazz was waiting for them, although Kobe was completely ready and healthy, the Lakers were outclassed by the more experienced and quieter jazz.

NBA lockout 1998th year

NBA lockout 1998.For years he turned many things in Kobe's life. He decided to keep peppering his life and recorded a hip hop CD that (sadly) never got released. He also met Vannes Laine, a 17-year-old dance teacher, and the two married (albeit against their parents' wishes because both sides thought they were too young to live together). An argument with the family resulted in their brief departure, and the Bryants did not attend the wedding. When these problems were resolved, a new season began. The Lakers went very hard again, signed Dennis Rodman, replaced Harris' assistant Kurt Rambis and swapped Campbell and Jones in the Hornets for BJ Armstrong, Glen Rice and JR Ried. Kobe has settled in the top 5 Lakers and this season the team led the number of balls stolen. He improved his play on both ends of the field and although he had an inconsistent knight, Harris gradually gave him the ball at key moments that Kobe used for the most part. The Lakers breathed in some other lungs, Rodman gave the team the experience it needed, Rice gave the distance it needed, and Shaq and Kobe filled the opponents up. The regular season has been very successful for the Lakers, but that's not all. This jealousy was felt on the Shaq Kobe route and the bad atmosphere in the dressing room of "Jezeraša" was more and more common. Although Harris tried several times to calm the situation between the two, the bad relationship persisted.

Problems from the ground didn't shake the Lakers in the first round against the Rockets. Houston was easily swept away with four straight wins to be expected by the hot Spurs in the second round. They lost the first game to have everything in hand in the second, but Kobe missed a couple of clean shots so the Spurs celebrated again despite the fact that it was thanks to the mistakes made by their opponents. Morale later plummeted and they succumbed to the great Spurs they washed away in the next two games - four wins and the infamous Lakers performance was the main theme of the NBA portal. Changes were needed, and West knew it.

Phil Jackson and LA LAKERS

Phil Jackson sat on the Lakers bench the following season and immediately made a few moves. He brought in Tex Winter and started his "Triangle Offense" West knew he had problems with Shaq and Kobe to fix if he wanted to do anything next season, and Jackson was ideal for the job as he already had a similar case with the Bulls Pippen and Jordan. Phil had a familiar task again - to fuse two individual personalities into a killer duo.

Kobe enjoyed the opportunity to play for a proven winner like Jackson and spent most of the off-season improving his speed and footwork on defense. Since the start of the season, Kobe and Shaq have looked different together on the floor. In Jackson's game system, the ball moved more freely and there was less standing around. With an addition in the form of veteran Ron Harper, the Los Angeles Lakers had all the ingredients for the ring. They won the first 25 of 30 games, the team chemistry grew and everyone was happy, especially Kobe and Shaq. They won first place in the conference and gained the advantage of the home floor in the then newly opened Staples Center. Shaq was unstoppable and the first choice in the MVP race.

Kobe, meanwhile, was enjoying his best season as a professional. After missing the first 15 games due to a broken bone in his right arm, he and his teammates fitted perfectly into the game system and became a complete player. His shot selection was much better, jumps and scoring effects increased, and he relied more on his outside shot, which paid off. The most notable improvement was his defense, especially in the 1-1 game. In a win against the 76ers in February 1999, Kobe Allen completely isolated Iverson in the fourth quarter when he had a 9-0 shot out of the game. It was that kind of effort that earned him a spot on the NBA defensive team for the season.

In the playoffs, the Lakers underestimated the Kings a bit, but despite the squeak, they finished the job in five games. Then they faced the spiritually relieved suns that they could overcome thanks to a much better roster. In the final of the Western Conference they were greeted by the blazers. In the seventh game, the Blazers had everything in hand - +13 in the fourth quarter. But the Lakers' phenomenal return allowed them to advance to the final against Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers. Though Indiana were a better team at the time, the Lakers won their first title since 1988. In six games years. The Lakers won the first game and in the second Kobe suffered an injury and spent the rest of the game. Then the mentally stronger Indiana managed to lead the Shaq Lakers and balance things out. The third game brought a lot of excitement, but Shaq, with the help of his teammates, managed to regain the lead to the Lakers. In the fourth game, Kobe returned from injury and hobbled throughout the first quarter. After Indiana gained a significant advantage, Black Mamba worked in the third quarter by scoring 10 consecutive points and bringing the Lakers back to life. Jackson then told his teammates to pass the ball to Kobe so he could take the shot to win. And the basketball virtuoso returned the trust with a great performance and brought the Lakers to a big 3-1. The first ring after 1988. The year for Kobe was a long one, and after such a busy season he took a short break. An unplanned invitation to the Olympics shortened his vacation time, but he did well because he was healthy and in good shape again in Sydney.

The following season, Jackson refreshed the roster again by giving it energy in the form of Horace Grant and Greg Foster in the NYK-Supersonics trade. The regular season hasn't been as successful as the last, largely with injuries ravaging the squad, first Shaq, then Fisher and Kobe, and all three missed a certain part of the games. Still, everyone was ready a few games before the playoffs and again the Lakers made their way to the stars. They wiped the floor with the kings, blazers and spurs, and met with the Sixers in the final. Kobe scored 48 points with 16 rebounds in their fourth game against the Kings, with one shot out of play of about 51%. Against the Sixers they played the first game worse, which the opponents knew how to use and took a 1-0 lead. But that was all Philadelphia had to offer. The Lakers won the next four games and defended the title. At just 22, Kobe had two rings behind him. Despite having had a fantastic season, Kobe never stopped perfecting his talent. He reportedly fired 1,000 jumpers every day during the off-season to perfect his game on the sidelines. The Lakers made small changes over the next season, but they add extra energy to the team. Grant left the team and became a free agent, and Samaki Walker was brought in, Harper announced the end of his career, while security guard Linsdey Hunter came from the Bucks in exchange for Greg Foster. Again, a good opening season for the Lakers (16 wins in 17 games) could be freely sewn in the name of Kobe Bryant. The man opened the season incredibly well, and although Shaq was out with a list violation and Fisher didn't play a single game of those 17, Kobe managed to be both the team's top scorer (25PPG) and a key player in defense, and eventually according to statistics he was the best playmaker for the Lakers. Interestingly, Kobe made his fourth all-star appearance in his hometown of Philadelphia. Although he was the MVP of this game with 31p, 5as and 5reb, he only heard whistles from the stands, which surprised him very much. He later learned that the reason the audience outraged was the brutal destruction of the Sixers in the final last year when he literally "got" them himself. In the playoffs they passed again relatively easily until the final of the Western Conference, where Sacramento Revolver under the leadership of Divac, Bibby and Webber were waiting for them. Despite having just voted the Lakers in three games, Shaq and Kobe managed to beat them with the help of Robert Horry, who played arguably the best games of their career, but Divac & Co really bothered Jackson's all-time winners in particular. In the fight for the ring, the Lakers ran over the nets, mainly because they had no solution for the ruthless Shaq in the racket. Despite being the MVP for the third straight year, Shaq played very good games and hit a key shot in the final game that dashed all hopes of the New Jersey team. Jackson is the winner again, the Lakers have become an unstoppable dynasty ..

Triple champion

The three-time champion was a dream everyone dreamed of, but four rings in a row was a dream come true. After the Lakers left without Shaq the following season, everything fell on Bryant's shoulders and he played under great pressure. Despite posting career high numbers in every segment of the game, the Lakers lost a few games they'd won smoothly over previous seasons, and all criticism fell on Bryant. And when Shaq came back, a bad run of champions continued. Of particular note is the 22-point loss in New Jersey, which no one expected at the time. But promotion happened again at the end of the regular season and the champions played champions. Kobe was the main catalyst again. In January he linked 9 games with at least 40 points, including a carrer high against the Rockets, where he scored 52 points. The Lakers won 8 out of 9 games in which Kobe was over 40 and many withdrew their statements about the bad atmosphere on the team. They finished the regular season with a 50-32 ratio and once again became the biggest favorites in the west. In the first round they faced the TWolves, who they defeated in two of the first three games. Shaq was motivated and healthy but obviously tired of the excessive pace that followed immediately after recovering from an injury, and Kobe moved up seventh, finishing second in the scorers' standings with 30.1 PPG (behind the magical T-Mac). Despite Minnesota scalping them twice, Kobe woke up to both 31.2PPG and 5.9AS in the following games, allowing the Lakers to jump over that hurdle and devote themselves to the San Antonio Spurs. Minnesota seemed to shake the champions at the time, and after two defeats by the Spurs, many wrote them an "obituary" pointing to the end of their dynasty. Guess who brought them back to life at the Staples Center. With his 39 and 35 points in two games, Kobe was able to improve the situation and aim for new victories. In the fifth match, the Spurs started sharply and went with +20 to 4/4. A catalyst named Kobe restarted the Lakers series and after a furious comeback, fans' hearts were broken by Horry's shot for the non-slip win, and the Spurs won 96-94. It was a heartbreaking defeat and in the next game the Spurs did it all with a blowout and a 28-point win. That was the end for the Lakers in terms of the 2003 season.

The next year they made an incredibly good roster, adding The Mailman (Malone) and Gary Payton, the future Hall of Famere, to the two existing superstars Shaq and Kobe. They started in this style, 20 wins in 25 games and dominated the west. They made it easily to the final in the playoffs when they tore up the missiles in the first round, during which Malone proved that there was still gasoline in that old lighter and the missiles fell in five games. Both the TWolves and Spurs were later defeated, and Malone once again played a key role in defeating the Wolves, where he completely destroyed Garnett, who was utterly isolated and powerless. They were all-time favorites in the final against the Pistons, and Payton and Malone had seen the ring in their biographies before the games. But piston trainer Larry Brown had a different vision. He devised a fantastic system in which Shaq was doubled up by Wallace (Rasheed and Ben) without a break while Billups and Hamilton took the lead and broke all prejudices. Although Kobe brought the Lakers back to life, at least briefly, as the game winners in the OT, LAL couldn't win more than once. Brown outsmarted his colleague and the rightly underrated pistons took away the dreams of Malone and Payton.

After two frustrating defeats, two seasons in a row failed and failed, Kobe felt like a redundancy or so-called. third banana in the team, so that this problem was also quickly resolved. Jackson resigned as team coach, while Shaq traded the heat for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant. With Chucky Atkins in the PG position and Chris Mihm in the racket, Kobe remained the only player in the top 5 to face Detroit in 2004. Years in the finals. However, this team was unable to take a step and enter the playoffs. They won games, largely thanks to Bryant's magic, but stayed "down" and missed the playoffs that season. Kobe finished the season averaging 27.7 PPG, and it's important to note that much of the season was canceled due to an ankle injury. When he returned, Odom was injured in an accident, so they seldom played a game on the strongest team. The Lakers had no goal, it was known that this team had no “future” in front of them because they had no one to sort them out. But then Phil returns to the Lakers bank because he saw the Odom-Bryant tandem as once Pippen-Jordan, which made him want to win. Although the rotation wasn't that good, there were names on the bench like Kwame Brown, Smush Parker, Milm who were unable to change the pace of the game. Kobe and the team from the top 5 managed to save things. This season, Kobe showed he knows how to time the game - when to score a three-pointer and when to calm down and play a longer attack. So he ended the season with an incredible 35.4PPG. Then the Raptors felt the virtuoso magic of Kobe Bryant, who scored 81 points - most after Wilt Chamberlain in NBA league history. It just goes to show what a regular season it was for Kobe, and if you have a 'howitzer' like that on the team you can't miss the playoffs - no way.

Jackson took the best of all the players, Odom, Brown and even Parker had a really good season and with the relentless Bryant they welcomed the Suns into the first round of the playoffs. The result after four games was 3-1 for the Lakers, who were obviously "put to sleep" by such a development, and although Kobe scored 50 points in the next game, the Suns managed to neutralize the attacks of the Lakers and the spear with cross the clippers on the second round. Another disappointment for Kobe, who called for change.

And next 2007th year, the Lakers gathered an interesting team around Bryant. With Odom always in the mood to help and with a few good role-players, they started the season at a good pace. Kobe played well again, had several masterful games like against Portland where he scored 50 points, and finished the season at the All-Star where he met h2h with LeBron, becoming the All-Star's MVP with 31p, 6as, 6stl and 5 cancer. However, due to injuries to Bryant and some key players from the bench, Jackson had his worst season as a coach - he finished the race 42:40, which was embarrassing for him at the time. The playoffs were won, but again, the suns were a big bite and the Lakers packed their bags in the first round and ended the season.

Then some things had to change in the Lakers. It was clear that without Shaq, Kobe couldn't reach the final. There were rumors that he was going to ask for a deal because of the poor roster, and was later promised that everything would be done to build a new team around him. Pau Gasol was brought in and he joined Odom and the young Bynum in a racket and was considered a great reinforcement and replacement for Shaquille. And that turned out to be very smart. Without making too much noise, the Lakers traveled quietly and quietly back to the stars and the ring. However, the season didn't start out so fabulously. Kobe injured a finger on the shooter's hand in a game and, by agreement, refused to undergo surgery and kept playing, dealing with the pain. He played every game and scored 28 points per game. Although the numbers were far from his maximum, he turned into a veteran and leader on the ground. The choice for MVP wasn't very uncertain, Kobe was the only one who deserved that recognition and it was more or less clear.The Lakers ended the season with 57 wins and rest assured someone else was in Bryant's place - the loss-to-win ratio was likely to be reversed. And in the playoffs, he knocked down the Nuggets and their morale in the second game by scoring 49 points for them. He wiped out all hopes in game number 4, where he scored 14 points in the final quarter and solved their torments. The next opponent was experienced jazz. LAL took a 2-0 advantage in Los Angeles so Jazz could even out everything in its own hall. Pau and Lamar played the games of the season in game five to resolve any dilemmas associated with passing in game six. Then came the most difficult move, the Spurs, who were the obvious favorites and the superior team in this duel. And yes, the Spurs gave them problems and all those 25 minutes they held up. Kobe practically knocked her out on his own again and with great games at the Staples Center finished it all in game five when he scored 17 points in the final quarter, turned off the lights for the Spurs and sent them "home".

However, the Celtics were too much for the Lakers at the time. The excellent amalgamation of experience and youth in the form of Garnett, Allen and Pierce left the Lakers with no surprises. They beat them in 6 games with the most painful loss being the last where the Celtics scored 131 points and got just 92. Kobe played best in GAME 3, where he scored 36 points, but again too few for the horny Celtics. Another dream of the throne collapsed into irretrievability.

In China at the 2008 Olympic Games he was one of the biggest stars. And then he showed his wasteful talent again when Mike Krzyzewski gave him the opportunity to take the lead in the time-out 2 minutes before the end of the final against Spain when the Spaniards approached 2p and this one brought him back very well - scored the shot after a support from Williams, then hit a short jumper and later assisted Wade for a "monster jam". In China he was called the “Flying Little Warrior” - and the “Bryant” fever then spread to the largest population in the world.

It's been 7 years since the last Lakers trophy and Jackson & Co were more ready than ever to return to the top of the world's strongest league. They started the season completely ready, Kobe healed his finger injury, the bench was stronger than in previous years and everyone in the top 5 was ready and healthy for new campaigns. Her only bad luck was Bynum's injury and a collision with Bryant there - where he pulled a big end and ended the season with a serious knee injury. Jackson again managed to make up for this shortcoming, and the Lakers finished the regular season with 65 wins - third in the number of league wins. Kobe was the main shooter again with 28PPG and 4.9AS, and led a dead end for MVP with James during the season, but nonetheless the award almost got lost and went the way of Cleveland. Most standout, however, are his few games with a triple-double effect, as well as the masterful performance against the Knicks in MSG, where he set an indoor record (later broken by Mel), and the all-round numbers he hinted at The Lakers could doing it again to bring the ring back to Los Angeles.

And the first round brought them an old enemy - Utah Jazz. The Lakers tackled the job in five games, with Kobe the top scorer in every win for his team, and a tough test followed in the second round. The Rockets with Yao Ming, Brooks and the dedicated Ron Artest (Metta) immediately made problems for the Lakers in Texas by taking a 1-0 lead in the series. However, the initiator of the turn was Pau Gasol, who opened the bat excellently in the attack and shot from a distance. On defense, he stopped Brooks' intrusion by taping them to the board. Yao Ming took the win in the sixth fight, but the Lakers at the Staples Center were too snappy - an 89:70 win brought them to the Nuggets. The Nuggets didn't scare the Lakers at all - they also had victory in their hands after the first game, but Kobe's genius and 6 free throws in the last 30 seconds gave the Lakers a 1-0 advantage. The match ended with 40 points. And in the games that followed, Kobe took the lead and Denver just didn't have the strength or will to respond. The only hurdle between Kobe and his first "solo" title (as we'll take into account that he won everything with Shaq) was only shared by Magic Orlando.

Orlando was defeated 75-100 at the Staples Center, where Kobe again scored 40 points, which was more than enough for the Howard & Co. debacle. The Lakers took game two to their advantage, true after OT, but with Bryants 29 points and 8 assists they couldn't lose. The third game went to Orlando with a narrow 104-108 where Howard was, but that Lewis played a good game and earned his team's victory. Kobe was again on the effect of 8 assists with 31 points scored. The Lakers took the fourth and fifth games to their advantage, although it was very uncertain in the fourth when Derek Fisher broke the Lakers three in the final seconds to judge with his long shot in overtime and lead the Lakers to 99 - 91 victory. And in the fifth game, the Lakers were more dominant and rightly won a new NBA title. It's Kobe at 4th and in the 5th game he had 30 and 32 points with 5 and 8 assists, respectively.

The following season, 2009-2010, was prepared by Kobe as a "repeat season" in which the Lakers stood on the throne. Ron Artest came on as a substitute, who greatly stabilized the defense, and although Mamba was out of action for 9 games, the Lakers reached the playoffs again. In the first round, Oklahoma's top scorer Kevin Durant fell in six games and a special fire was in that sixth game where Kobe scored 32 points and ended the P'n'R game with Gasol who didn't Goal scored but spent the time allotted for the OKC attack and the Lakers went into the second round. Jazz was waiting for them there, which wasn't as dangerous as in previous years. Kobe and LAL ended in four games of jazz, and the conference finale was one of the most exciting in recent years. The magician Nash believed in the victory of the suns, but Kobe did not share this opinion. In the six games they played, Kobe posted all-round numbers with a remarkable percentage of realization, and that was impossible to hold, and the suns couldn't stand their onslaught. The defensive final was just around the corner - Celtics vs Lakers.

The Celtics weren't a one-man team like the Lakers. Garnett, Pierce and Rondo were a killer tandem that crossed all boundaries and mainly won through their exceptional defense, which every player could play well. Game after game was played and the score after four games was 2-2. Then came the Kobe-Pau tandem, which made Pierce's performance invisible in the last two games, especially the last where he had 18 rebounds with 18 points scored, and the combined points from Gasol and Bryant secured the Lakers their fifth title in 15 years. And since then, Kobe hasn't seen that ring - an era of injuries has entered. There are some new kids who have abruptly raised their ego and want to be Kobe or Jordan. Take this season as an example, Kobe broke his personal stats because he was still on standby in 9 games and didn't go full throttle, but I have no doubt that even at the age of 36 he will be the season end like a dream only to be evaded by injury.

And so Kobe returned in his 19th season with the Lakers, connecting John Stockton with most seasons on a single team. This year's Lakers coach is Byron Scott, a former Kobe teammate who replaces the sacked Mike D’Antonio. On November 30, 2014 against Toronto, Kobe scored 31 points in the 129:122 victory over Toronto and made the 20th triple double in his career on December 31, 2011. At the age of 36, he became the oldest NBa player to ever score 30 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. December 14, 2014 Kobe Bryant became the NB's third-top scorer of all time against Minnesota, overtaking Jordan (32,292). In 27 games he averaged 26.4 points with 22.4 shots per game. He will be kept off the field for 9 months and is expected to return again in 2015-2016

And for the end of this text, which I've been working on for a few days, I'm going to single out something I read on Black Mamba's Twitter, more precisely a question from his fan:

Kobe, what's your favorite time of year in LA?

Kobe: Next season.

/ 0 comments / by Miko Lamberto