Last night Kobe and the Lakers were clicking against the Jazz. Dwight was dominant and Kobe flirted with a triple double and was 1 shy of his career high in assists (15).
Flashback to the 2004 season when the Shaqless Lakers were a mediocre team that featured a starting lineup of Chucky Atkins, Chris Mihm, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and a fantasy beast in Kobe Bryant. On December 17th, probably thinking about their Christmas game with Shaq and the Heat, they had to play The Wizards and their dangerous “Big 3” of Glibert Arenas, Larry Hughes and Antawn Jamison.
Butler and Odom struggled with their shot all game and Kobe started off slow even airballing a 3 pointer in the first quarter. Then the one man show, Kobe wearing the blue Minneapolis Lakers jersey, took over in the 2nd quarter scoring 11 points. The Lakers somehow stayed with the Wizards all game despite having no answer for Arenas (37 points) and the big three that ended up with 92 of the 120 total points by the team.
Both teams had a shot to win the game in the final 10 seconds of regulation but Kobe tried to give Caron Butler the game winner and Arenas’ floater didn’t connect. The Wizards pulled out a 4 point victory in OT and the Lakers were barely over .500 but Kobe ended up with his most stat filled triple double of his career – 36 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists.
Kobe and Arenas would have some of the best duels of the past decade. Here’s probably the most memorable one.