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Kobe Bryant – One of the most Ridiculous Game Winners in the history of the N.B.A. [April 14, 2004]

the black mamba strikes

The picture shown above actually went in from the 3 point line! It was that high in the sky!

As a member of the Los Angeles Lakers circa 2004 (yes, the team with Gary Payton and Karl Malone who ended up losing to the Pistons in the NBA Finals), Kobe Bryant pulled off one of the most miraculous 3 point shots in NBA History, winning the game in double OT.

Before getting to double OT, Kobe tied the game at the end of regulation with yet another ridiculous 3 point shot where he contorted his body and willed himself to sink the shot while being draped by a defender.

I digress – let’s talk about the actual game winner, not the one at the end of regulation. (But please, look up the game vs. Portland and see for yourself) The man is simply amazing and refuses to lose.

There is one second left on the clock in double OT.

The ball is inbounded to Kobe.

He barely even touches the ball. He can’t predict what the defense is going to do. Take a look at the video below [about the 3:15 mark before the ball is inbounded)

Kobe adjusts the trajectory of the ball within a split second. Sure, this is expected by athletes; that’s what being an athlete is – taking what the defense gives you. As the offensive player, you are of course more lethal when you have no weaknesses.

He sees a defender flying into his air space (with 1 second on the clock) and launches arguably the most beautiful 3 point shot in the history of the NBA. This is a RAINBOW three where Kobe barely touches the ball and which the ball barely touches the net. There are a couple angles of this shot, and the one where you can see the rainbow is absolutely stunning.

This is a man with no fear and some of the sickest ball skills I have ever witnessed. How is this shot even possible? It’s not. It’s the culmination of the moment and the man, mixed with the refusal to let himself down or his teammates down.

Even more ridiculous is the fact that this game was the LAST GAME in the regular season; catapulting the Lakers to the second seed in the Western Conference. This is just completely bonkers in every sense of the word.

As stated before, please look to YouTube in order to see BOTH shots. Kobe hits a 3 point shot in the 4th quarter to tie the game and send it into Overtime.

Then, in double OT, he comes up with the most ridiculous rainbow 3 in the history of the NBA.

The Lakers had previously won 3 straight finals. In 2003, the Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets. Alas, in 2004, the Lakers actually made it to the finals, only to lose to the team play of the Detroit Pistons. These 2004 playoffs also had many big moments for the Lakers, including the Derek Fisher game winning shot vs. the Spurs (in the second round) with 0.4 seconds left on the game clock.

It’s a shame that these Lakers couldn’t win a title. They actually only won 1 single game in the NBA finals.

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