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Kobe Bryant’s last NBA season hasn’t been going great, to say the least. This year’s Lakers are historically bad and it is putting quite a damper on an otherwise stellar career of one of the game’s best players in the last two decades. Last night, however, they had the worst night of the season so far, which was no small feat by any standards.
Namely, the Lakers were in Philadelphia, playing the 76ers who were 0-18 until last night, 0-28 if you count the last 10 games of the 2014-15 campaign, breaking all kinds of negative records themselves. The Lakers lost and probably the worst thing of it all was that they made the 76ers look like a half-decent team. This is, again, no small feat by any standards.
It started quite well for Kobe and his Lakers. Before the game, Kobe got quite a reception from his home town and even Dr. J was in the house to honor the man of the evening. Home fans probably thought about the fact that their franchise’s last 20 years might have looked quite different if they had the Philly’s son on their roster, but they didn’t show it. They were more than happy to acknowledge Kobe and his accomplishments.
Once the game started, Kobe looked like his old self, if only for a few minutes. He made three of his first four shots, scoring the first 9 points for the Lakers but then, the wheels started coming off. Rapidly and wildly.
Kobe started chucking from anywhere on the court, making only two of his next 16 points. He shot 17 threes for Christ’s sake! He made four of them, by the way. But it was not that he wasn’t making the shots. He was stifling the young talent the Lakers have on their team. These are the guys that are supposed to play for the team in the future and learn the game. No. They were there to watch Kobe fling one after another crazy shot and play subpar defense together with him.
And the defense…man, the defense. There are no words that could do justice to the Lakers’ defense last night. It was abysmal. The 76ers looked like a playoff team at times, scoring at will and almost giving hope to their fans. The good thing (for them) is that 76ers fans know better than that.