The time has come for the world, even Sacramento, to acknowledge what Los Angeles fans have known for about nine years now – Kobe Bryant is basketball’s God. I was playing NBA Live the other night, and I scored 67 points with Kobe. I turned off my Xbox and turned on the TV and then I saw something that I could never have been prepared to see – the real Kobe Bryant dropped 81 on the Raptors and made it look easy.
I will try to put this into perspective, but I’m not entirely sure that it is possible. The Portland Trailblazers have failed to score 81 points 10 times this season, and only one of them was a win. No one else besides Wilt Chamberlain – who scored 100 – has ever scored more than 81 points. No one in the history of the Lakers – arguably the best franchise ever – has ever scored that many. And the one Laker who came close, was the great Elgin Baylor – he scored 71 points. Michael Jordan, his Airness, the man whose name is synonymous with greatness, never scored 81. But Kobe did.
Kobe Bryant has transcended into another level of playing. Words cannot truly explain what number 8 did Sunday night. It didn’t matter if two, three or all five Raptors had their hands in his face, Kobe was unguardable.
In honor of his performance, I suggest that the NBA and the world take the time to fix a couple of things right now. First off, give Kobe the MVP award right now – it’s his already. Second, change the number eight to just Kobe. In all languages around the globe Kobe should come after seven and before nine. And third, get the man a decent shoe deal.
I see more advertisements for 50 Cent’s shoes than I do for Kobe’s, which brings me to my next point.
The youngest player to reach 15,000 points, the man who scored 81, Mr. Bryant is being passed over by corporate America and it’s an atrocity. The sheer fact that Michael Vick has a brother like Marcus should limit his endorsements and publicity, but it doesn’t. Allen Iverson has been charged with assault and a handful of other charges, but it only helps him sell Reeboks. All four LeBrons get more publicity than Kobe. Kobe was cleared of all charges, but still no publicity.
Despite what the fat cats in their penthouse suites think, Kobe is the greatest player in the game right now. The only reason I didn’t say ever is because he needs three more rings for any comparisons to MJ to begin to make sense. He also needs Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and maybe Steve Kerr, but that’s another column altogether. Right now, there is no one who can outshoot the man with the golden hand. There certainly isn’t anyone who can guard him.
What was Jose Calderon thinking when Kobe had him isolated? If you watched him or anyone else the Raptors threw at Kobe, they looked like they were playing tough defense. But move your eyes to him and they looked like they were standing still. If he didn’t cross them over he shot over them. If he didn’t drive around them he hit a fadeaway. And twice he found a teammate wide open to notch an assist.
Sunday night the greatest player in the league had the greatest game of his career, and I’ve got a feeling he’s just getting warmed up.
The views expressed above by Daily Nexus staff writer Sean Lewis do not represent and are in stark contrast to the views of the Daily Nexus sports editors.