He might be on the cusp of his 4th NBA title, but I thought this would be a great time to take a look back at the low points of Kobe Bryant's career.
5. 2003-2004 NBA Finals
The heavily favored Lakers got demolished in 5 games by the Detroit Pistons. Here's how NBA.com summarized his performance:
…shot 38 percent for the series. By firing away at will, he
helped the Pistons neutralize the effectiveness of O'Neal, who
scored 20 points but made just 6-of-16 free throws.
Our first glimpse into the selfish, phony side of Kobe.
4. Phil Jackson calls him "uncoachable"
In "The Last Season" Jackson suggests Bryant's influence on the
dissolution and labels him "uncoachable." According to Jackson, in
Bryant's exit interview with him he stated that O'Neal's fate with the
Lakers would affect his decision to return, saying "I'm tired of being
Kobe runs two future Hall of Famers out of town. In the three subsequent years, the Lakers records are 34-48, 45-37, 42-40.
3. Shaq's "How's My Ass Taste Rap"
Shaq rips into Kobe while free-styling at a NYC club last summer. He calls him out for losing in the playoffs (more on that later) and for ratting on him about cheating on his wife. Thanks to the web, the rap makes its way around the world in days. Kobe pretends it doesn't bother him.
2. The 2003 sexual assault allegation
The infamous rape case. Bryant admits to having sex with a 19-year hold Colorado hotel employee, but denies the rape. I won't get into all the details of the encounter, but needless to say, Bryant suffers months of bad press. The case is dropped after the girl refuses to testify, but she files a civil suit and a settlement is reached. We are left with the priceless mugshot and images from that ridiculous press conference where Bryant tried to make himself cry as he defended himself to his wife and the world.
1. Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
Despite being heavy favorites, the Lakers are manhandled by the Celtics. The series turned in Game 4 when the Celtics rallied from 24-points down to beat the Lakers in Los Angeles. Kobe reaches rock bottom when his limp Lakers lose by a record 39 points in the deciding Game 6.
With the outcome assured, Boston fans sang into
the night as if they were in a pub on nearby Canal Street. They
serenaded the newest champs in this city of champs, and taunted Kobe
Bryant and his Lakers, who drowned in a green-and-white wave for 48
That's my list. Arbitrary observers would have the sexual assault case #1, but to this Celtics fan, nothing will ever surpass the look on his face during Game 6.