Four years ago, nearly to the day Kobe Bryant put on one the best revenge performances in NBA history and it had nothing to do with one of his many rivals on the court.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers consider using the amnesty provision on Kobe Bryant which is a bad idea considering the Mavericks and Lakers were set to meet just two days later.
Kobe would respond by hitting 13 of his 21 shots, finishing with 38 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists in a 103-99 Lakers victory.
Even though releasing Bryant might have had freed up the future for the franchise considering his contract swallowed a lot of the Lakers cap room, it would have been disrespectful to do that for a player who brought so much success to the city of Los Angeles.
After the game, Bryant infamously tweeted “Amnesty THAT” in a not so subtle dig at Cuban. Bryant was never one to tweet regularly, but when he posted his response it spread around the world like wildfire.
Bryant’s best play was in the fourth quarter when he scored 14 points. After went ahead by three, seven straight points by the Lakers gave them the lead for good. The Lakers withstood a very strong performance by Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds.
Throughout the game Kobe was on a mission to prove that Cuban made a mistake saying the Lakers should cut him.
Also it was during the game that Bryant passed the 31,000-point mark for his career. Performances like this, where Bryant was especially focused to prove someone wrong, he usually succeeded.
Hopefully fans can remember games like this where Bryant’s greatness was on full display. Many will argue where he should be placed on basketball’s Mount Rushmore, but he is truly one of the top players to ever play the game. He will forever be remembered for his many accomplishments that made him such a transcendent figure for the game of basketball.