With Los Angeles superstar Kobe Bryant out of action since April, the Lakers have been fighting and clawing for wins and have been able to maintain a 7-7 record thus far this season. The Black Mamba may be on the injured list, but yesterday brought some good news for LA fans: Bryant has signed a contract extension that, in his on words, make him a “Laker4Life.” Coming off that huge news, the Lakers head to the nation’s capital this evening for a game against the Washington Wizards.
Nearly a decade ago today, Kobe Bryant was not only in action, but he delivered one of his finest individual performances. As the Lakers hosted the intrastate rival Sacramento Kings, Bryant has a solid supporting cast behind him that included Chris Mihm, Caron Butler, and Lamar Odom long before the, umm, recent allegations. Despite this strong roster, the Kings, led by Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, and the red-hot Peja Stojakovic, rallied to a 109-106 win. But that wasn’t before an all-out battle from the Mamba, who went off with 40 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks for good measure. Kobe Bryant is often criticized for being a selfish player and only focusing on offense, but his stat line from this November 26, 2004 game is evident that he could do it all when needed.
Nike Basketball has recently announced the official release date for the upcoming Kobe 9 model, but during this game in 2004, his signature line had yet to come to fruition. Instead, he wore the Nike Zoom Huarache 2K4 in a personalized “Kobe Laser” colorway. The Zoom Huarache 2K4 model was considered somewhat of an unofficial Kobe signature model, with many player exclusive colorways tying to the now-legendary Laker. Below, you’ll find a clip featuring Kobe, Tinker Hatfield, and others discussing the technology and concepts behind this reinvented classic.