The above video is Kobe Bryant’s first points as a Laker in summer league, but the story of Kobe’s first points in an official game is even better. Sixteen years ago, Bryant scored his first point on a free throw against the New York Knicks. The scene was typical of what we would see from the man who would be known as the Black Mamba; Kobe taking it to the rim, ignoring teammates who were open on the corner as he forced a foul against a gaggle of defenders, goes to the free throw line and makes his first, but misses his second and grabs the offensive rebound. But just when you expect that Mamba was going to take an ill-advised three early in the shot clock, he swings the ball to Nick Van Exel to the corner for an even better shot.
Oh, to be young again. No way Mamba passes up a shot like that nowadays and that’s why we love him. Nobody in the NBA today is as unrelenting and unapologetic in their ways as Mamba is and it’s that the realness that endears him to people not only in Los Angeles, but to those who just don’t care about what people think. So congrats, Mamba, and here’s hoping for another 10,000 at least.
Bryant’s scoring exploits in the Nike Zoom Kobe 7 weren’t the only big news of the night that was in kicks. New Jordan Super.Fly colorways were found in more than a few games, Nate Robinson and Jeremy Pargo lock horns for retro supremacy and J.R. Smith and Aaron Brooks continue to wear an old favorite of true believers. And Kicks on Fire also makes a cameo appearance in today’s edition of NBA Kicks.
Photos courtesy of Streeter Lecka, Noah Graham, Ron Hoskins, Rocky Widner, Steve Babineau, Jared Wickerham, D. Clarke Evans, Allen Einstein, Layne Murdoch, Stacy Revere, David Liam Kyle, Kevin C. Cox of Getty Images/NBA Entertainment, along with Jeff Clark and Frank McGrath of the Indiana Pacers.