“I hate him.” said Wolves coach Sam Mitchell after Kobe’s latest memorable game against Minnesota. “If I don’t ever see him again, it won’t be too soon. He doesn’t score too many points now, so everybody thinks he’s done and all that. He’s not the same Kobe, and he’ll tell you that. But there are nights when he’s feeling good.”
One of those nights was Tuesday night. The 37 year old Bryant, in his final game in Minnesota, scored a season-high 38 points including 14 of the Lakers final 18 points during the final 5 minutes to help the Lakers snap a 10 game losing streak.
“You lose 10 straight, that’s enough (embarrassment) as it is,” Bryant said. “You still don’t want to be the team that’s one away (from the record).”
Bryant also had 5 points and 5 boards, putting him in the rare company of Michael Jordan and former teammate Karl Malone as the only players age 37 and up to pull off a 38/5/5 game in the past 30 years.
“You’ve seen it for 20 damn years,” A shrugging Bryant said about his skills. “What do you expect?”
When told about Mitchell’s “I hate him” comments, Kobe laughed and said “Thank you for the hate. Truly, I love that.”