On the latest stop of his retirement tour, Kobe Bryant inadvertently discovered a time machine. Upon stepping inside, he traveled back to 2008, the year he won the NBA’s MVP award. The 2008 version of Bryant stepped onto the court at Staples Center and immediately laid waste to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
OK, fine. None of that really happened, but Bryant played what might have been his best game in years when he dropped a shockingly efficient 38 points on the Timberwolves last night to propel the Lakers to a 3-point victory. Shooting 10-21, Bryant dazzled his hometown crowd like it was old times, knocking down seven 3-pointers and hitting a crucial, heavily defended jumper to put the Lakers up by 3 with 20 seconds left, essentially sealing the game. Oh, and he did all that in just 33 minutes on the court.
Bryant had been averaging 16.4 points per game in his final NBA season, as the Lakers trudge through one of the worst seasons on record. Bryant needed all 38 of his points to dispatch the Wolves and break his team’s 10-game losing streak. But it was pretty great to see the Staples Center crowd rise with each 3 from Bryant, the buzz growing as one of his patented hot streaks began to take form.
The end is on the horizon, but Kobe Bryant isn’t quite done yet.