When the buzzer sounded on the 3rd quarter in last Tuesday's game between the Lakers and the Mavericks in Los Angeles, the Mavs had 61 points. Kobe Bryant had 62!
There were rumors of Wilt Chamberlain's legendary 100-point game being under threat, a record that most believed may never be broken. But Kobe never stepped out to start the 4th, and chose not to the play in the rest of the game. Chamberlain's record was safe, as was Baylor's franchise record of 71 points.
Ever since his rookie seaon in 1996-97, when he won the Slam Dunk Contest at the All-Star Weekend, he has evoked comparisons with the legendary Michael Jordan. But will ever get to the same level of greatness? Games like this certainly can't hurt his chances.
But apparently, the fans aren't all pleased with it. Here's an interesting article on the effort, and the reactions to it.
"Even with three championship rings, he'll never live up to the Michael Jordan comparisons. His legion of critics will never forget how he ran O'Neal out of town or that passage in Jackson's tell-all book that describes Bryant as "uncoachable" or the rape charges in Colorado that were dropped."
The report seems to insinuate an almost Ganguly-like treatment of Kobe, where the critics discount on-court performances in favor of mentally ingrained prejudices. And just as in Ganguly's case, Kobe's true fans can't get enough of him. Like me!