Mamba Day: Our Top 5 Moments From Kobe’s Career

In honor of Mamba Day, we’re looking back at some of the highlights of Kobe Bryant’s legendary career. The 5-time champ and 18-time All-Star changed the game forever with his incredible scoring ability, unwavering leadership style, and the famed Mamba Mentality.

Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career produced countless iconic moments that basketball fans will never forget.  Choosing just five of the Black Mamba’s top moments is an impossible task, but we couldn’t resist giving it a shot. Check out our top 5 favorites and share your favorites with us using #MambaMoments.

5. All-Star Weekend – 1997

A young Kobe Bryant took center stage in the All-Star Weekend’s stacked Rookie Game that featured Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Tracy McGrady, and Stephon Marbury. Although Byrant didn’t take home the MVP award, he set a Rookie Game scoring record with 31 points.

Kobe would go home with some hardware, though, as he won the dunk contest that weekend. Despite a tough rookie season, his All-Star Weekend performance signaled big things were coming.

Kobe’s Shoes: adidas EQT Elevation (renamed adidas Crazy 97 when re-released)

4. Back-to-Back-to-Back – 2000-2002

How can you talk about Kobe Bryant without mentioning LA’s dominance during the Shaq years? Kobe and Shaq became one of the most iconic duos in league history, and at age 23, Bryant became the youngest player with three championship rings.

Kobe cemented his reputation as a clutch performer during this time, with plenty of memorable performances in late-game situations during these three playoff runs.

Kobe’s Shoes: adidas The Kobe (renamed the Crazy 1), adidas The Kobe Two

3. Kobe 62, Dallas 61 – 2005

It’s one of the most memorable performances of all time, and one of the craziest stats the league has ever seen. After three quarters, Kobe was beating the entire Dallas team all by himself. Kobe’s 62 points were more than Dallas’ entire team had put up after 36 minutes of play.

Just let that sink in for a while. The game was almost over, and an entire professional basketball team still hadn’t been able to outscore Kobe by himself.

Kobe’s Shoes: Nike Zoom Huarache 2k5

2. The Final Game – 2016

Kobe’s final few seasons were hindered by injury issues, but The Black Mamba went off one final time. In true Mamba fashion, Kobe went on a scoring binge and dropped 60 points in his last game.

Kobe endured plenty of struggles in his final few seasons, but his scoring outburst in his final game sent him out on the high note he deserved.

Kobe’s Shoes: Nike Kobe 11 Elite ‘Fade To Black’

1. 81 points vs. Toronto – 2006

You can’t talk about iconic Kobe moments without the 81 point game. Everybody knows about Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, but Kobe’s 81-point game is arguably just as impressive. He came up 19 points shy of Wilt’s record, but he took 17 fewer field goal attempts, 12 fewer free throws, and played six minutes less.

On top of all that, dropping 81 points in Kobe’s era was a tougher task. Wilt physically dominated everyone in his era, whereas Kobe had to rely more on his unique skill set instead of sheer size and strength. Of course, Wilt’s 100-point game was an incredible feat, but Kobe’s 81-point game set the bar for modern NBA players.

Kobe’s Shoe: Nike Zoom Kobe 1

Share Your Favorite Kobe Moments

Hit us up in the comments section below or tweet us @OfficialEastbay with your favorite Kobe moments using #MambaMoments.

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