Tragedy struck the NBA community on Sunday. A legend of the game, Kobe Bryant, passed away in a helicopter crash. We not only lost Kobe, but we lost his daughter, GG. The helicopter crashed with seven other passengers west of Los Angeles, California. Kobe Bryant entered the NBA in 1996 out of Lower Merion High School. During his NBA career, he won five NBA championships in his 20 year illustrious career. Kobe also was a 18 time All-Star and in 2008 was named league MVP. In addition to his regular season accolades, Kobe also won 2 NBA Final MVP awards. As we honor our fallen friend, we look back at the 2009-2010 season, which featured a buzzer beater win against the Miami Heat.
Kobe Bryant (Heat recap)
The two teams battled to a 76-76 tie at the start of the fourth quarter. Halfway through the quarter, the Lakers had built an 89-81 lead. Nevertheless, the Heat would battle all the way back and take their first lead of the quarter with 2:43 left. With time winding down, the Lakers found themselves down by four on two separate occasions. However, with 4.3 seconds left, Derrick Fisher hit a three pointer to bring the score to 106-105. The Lakers proceeded to foul Dwayne Wade with 3.2 seconds left. Afterward, Wade would make one of two to make the score 107-105. The Lakers called their last timeout and set up one final play. The ball was inbounded to Kobe, who drippled to his left, shot off balanced, and banked in the game winning three. As a result, the Lakers won the game 108-107. In conclusion, Kobe scored 33 points in the victory.
2009 Season Recap
The win set the stage for another run to the NBA Finals. The Lakers concluded the regular season 57-25. As a result, the Lakers clinched the number one seed in the Western Conference finals. The Lakers played the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opening round. Los Angeles prevailed in six games, winning on a Pau Gasol buzzer beater in game 6. Awaiting the Lakers in the second round were the five seeded, Utah Jazz. Los Angeles would sweep away the Jazz, winning the series 4-0. The Lakers won game four by a final score of 111-96. The Western Conference Finals pitted the Lakers against the Phoenix Suns. Los Angeles would win another series in six game. The Lakers win game six against the Suns by a final score of 111-103.
Kobe Bryant (2010 NBA Finals)
Awaiting the Lakers in the NBA Finals were their rivals, the Boston Celtics. These two teams had met in the 2008 NBA Finals. Boston prevailed in that series 4-2. The Celtics took care of the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Orlando Magic en route to the NBA Finals. The NBA Finals started off great for the Lakers building a 2-1 lead. However, the Celtics would respond in games four and five to take a 3-2 series lead heading back to Staples Center. Kobe would lead his Lakers to a 89-67 game six to force a decisive game seven. In game seven, Kobe scored 23 points and his Lakers prevailed 83-79. Furthermore, Kobe would go on to average 28.6 points per game in the finals. As a result, the NBA voted Kobe the 2010 NBA Finals MVP. The Lakers had won back-to-back championships and Kobe continued to cement his legacy as a future Hall of Famer.
Unfortunately, the Lakers could not break through for another championship. Kobe would retire in 2016. He finished his NBA career averaging 25 points per game. It is with a heavy heart that we reminisce on the career highlights of Kobe Bryant. Kobe did a lot for the game and impacted players of all ages. As a tribute to Kobe, NBA teams took a 24 second shot clock violation to honor our fallen friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bryant family and all those who were close to Kobe. His legacy will live on forever and he will never be forgotten. As Kobe said on his final game, “Mamba Out.”
To begin, follow me on Twitter for more great content. Secondly, discuss this and everything to do with sports at the Overtime Heroics forums! Lastly, new designs are dropping in our merch store! Be sure to check out the latest threads!