Remembering 5 Times Kobe Bryant Torched the Sixers (and Lost)
Way back in February, Kobe Bryant told The Hollywood Reporter he was playing one more full season before calling quits on his basketball career. It didn’t make much of a dent, though gossip site Just Jared aggregated it.
Last night, in an epistolary poem, Bryant announced he’s retiring at year’s end. It made a huge splash as new information, probably because Bryant did it in such a goofy format or because nobody noticed back in February.
But no matter. It’s Kobe Bean Bryant’s last season in the NBA, and the Philadelphia native makes one last trip to the (Wells Fargo) Center tomorrow night. Will fans boo him, like they did at the 2002 All-Star Game? Probably not, but we can dream.
Unfortunately for Sixers fans, most of the times Bryant has played against the Sixers he’s dominated them. But that doesn’t mean the Lakers always won. Though Bryant usually got the best of the Sixers, here’s a look back at five times Bryant torched the Sixers — and lost. What? This is Philadelphia.
February 14, 2001
Ah, yes. The Lakers came to Philadelphia during the Sixers’ dream 2000-01 season and the Sixers torched them, 112-97, to improve to 38-14. Bryant had a pretty good game: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and yet the Lakers lost every quarter and were generally run out of the building. Allen Iverson scored 40, three other Sixers were in double figures and the less said about how these two teams fared when they met in the NBA Finals in June, the better.
December 20, 2002
Get this: Kobe Bryant scored 44 points and had 10 assists on this night against the 76ers. But the Sixers pulled out a 107-104 overtime win buoyed by Iverson’s 32 points. Iverson’s 32 points were on an embarrassing-even-for-him 11-for-33 performance from the field, and it was Derrick Coleman who scored 18 off the bench. Derrick Coleman helped the Sixers beat Kobe! What a weird time 2002 was.
March 27, 2005
This is my favorite Sixers-Lakers game on the list. Playing at the Staples Center, Kobe Bryant scored 34, grabbed 10 rebounds and had 5 assists. But the Sixers won, 96-89, because the Sixers had Iverson, Chris Webber and Andre Iguodala and the Lakers trotted out Chris Mihm and Chucky Atkins in the starting lineup. Stanislav Medvedenko even played 9 minutes for L.A.
March 9, 2007
Bryant dropped 30 points on the Sixers. No matter. Iguodala dropped 31, and the Sixers coasted to a 108-92 win. This was the post-Iverson-trade Sixers team that won too many games to get a good lottery pick because Andre Miller was too good. (The Sixers have fixed this bug during their ongoing tanking strategy by simply signing no good players.) Miller had 23 and 8 assists and Samuel Dalembert had 12 points and 16 boards.
January 1, 2013
Kobe scored 36 points, and did it making 14 of 29 shots. But Jrue Holiday dropped 26 points and dished 10 assists in a 103-99 win that saw Spencer Hawes essentially put the game away in the final minutes with a 21-foot jumper. Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday beat Kobe! Hah, see? This was a fun list.
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