Give credit where credit is due: to us! That's right, four months after we got Aubrey O'Day kicked out of Danity Kane (or not), it seems we've inspired one of our latest cover subjects to new heights.
Last night Kobe Bryant blew into New York and blew the doors off Madison Square Garden, setting a new scoring record at the World's Most Famous Arena with 61 points (besting the previous highs of 60 by Knick Bernard King and 55 by some dude named Jordan). Coincidentally (or not), our Kobe cover story hit the 'Nets last week and has started appearing on newsstands in the past few days. To celebrate KB's achievement (and our assist), we offer the 5 Greatest Moments in Kobe's Career...
#5: STAGES PERSONAL DUNK CONTEST DURING PLAYOFF GAME (5/9/08)
• Who needs teammates?
#4: 8TH CONSECUTIVE 40 POINT GAME (2/21/03)
• KB would notch one more 40-pointer to join MJ at third on the all-time list, but this one's great because Kobe needs a last second shot to hit the mark.
#3: GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH MJ IN FIRST ALL-STAR GAME (2/8/98)
• Sure, Jordan took him to school a couple times, but Kobe also had a 360 dunk (off a Shaq outlet pass no less), an alley-oop from KG and a play Bob Costas thought was illegal. Our favorite Kobe move from this game (not shown in this clip)? When he shook off Karl Malone's pick. [Our imagined KB-Malone conversation: "I'm not John Stockton and this is a fuckin' all-star game you redneck."]
#2: DROPS 42 IN 1ST HALF OF MJ's FINAL GAME IN L.A. (3/28/03)
• Kobe and Jordan had something of a complex relationship (see above), but we're sure that didn't have anything to do with KB pouring in 42 in the first half of MJ's final game in Los Angeles. Nah, had nothing to do with it.
#1: GOES FOR 81 VS. TORONTO (1/22/06)
• Maybe the coolest thing about his clip? Check out these scoring totals after the 10:45 mark in the 3rd quarter: Raptors, 38; Lakers not named after a kind of Japanese beef, 18; Kobe, 55.