The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: A Summary – Part 2

Number 1 – Kobe Bryant

(Image/Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant would win in the Final vote as he beat Magic Johnson with 87.4% of the vote.

For Bryant’s special article, we felt it was only fitting to create a recap for his greatest moment wearing number 8 and his greatest moment wearing number 24. For Kobe’s number 8 review we selected the 81 points he scored against the Toronto Raptors in the 2005-06 season. And for his number 24 review, we have the final game of his NBA career in which he scored 60 points.

Here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: Kobe Bryant – No. 8’:

Bryant will then go to the line as he is fouled on a 3 point attempt. Rose holding onto Kobe out of fear, Bryant smartly tries to put the shot up and the officials blow the whistle. As Bryant steps to the line commentary remarks “Ladies and Gentlemen you are about to see a career-high for Kobe Bryant”. Swishing the first one he ties his career-high, 62 for number 8. The second rattles around the rim before dropping through, giving Bryant a new career-high, 63. The third and final free throw would see the Staples Center rise to its feet as they celebrate their hero. Bryant swishes it home, he now has 64 with 6 minutes left, Lakers lead 105-94.

To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.

And here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: Kobe Bryant – No. 24’:

Jazz call timeout as Bryant sits down on the Laker bench, hunched over and breathing heavily, exhaustion is written all over his face and body. “Every last bit of him being left out here tonight. He’s scored the Lakers last 13. He has 56 points”.

Utah miss coming out off the timeout as Russell pulls down the rebound and gives it to Bryant. “The Lakers down 1, will Kobe give them one last gamer?”. Randle rushes out to set the hard pick on Hayward. Bryant takes a couple steps left, using the Randle screen. Bryant crosses and comes back towards the right side of the court as Randle resets the screen. Bryant peels around and is looking for the shot. “Bryant, on the move, with the jumper”. The ball floats through the air as The Black Mamba holds the swan neck.

To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.

After leaving High School at 18 and originally being drafted with the number 13 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, the rights to Bryant were immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In his 20 years wearing the Purple and Gold Bryant earned an All-Rookie Team selection, 2 NBA scoring titles, 18 NBA All-Star Selections, 4 NBA All-Star MVPs, 3 NBA All-Defensive Second Team selections, 9 NBA All-Defensive First Team selections, 2 All-NBA Third Team selections, 2 All-NBA Second Team selections, 11 All-NBA First Team selections, an NBA MVP, 5 NBA Championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs, and later an induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Following Bryant’s death, on 26th of January 2020, there was an outpouring of love not only in Los Angeles but across the world. Fans of the game worldwide expressed their condolences and shared stories of their own special moments as they remembered Kobe. A true legend that did not only transcend basketball but life itself as young fans today still learn of the legend of Kobe Bean Bryant.

In 2017 the franchise made it so no other Laker would wear number 8 or number 24 again. Hanging his jerseys in the rafters of the Staples Center. Becoming the 10th player to have his number retired by the Los Angeles Lakers and the only player to have two numbers retired by the same organisation. All these achievements and the many memories he has left us with more than cement his place at the top of this list of true Laker greats!

NEXT: Conclusion