Baptizing Superman Rewind time back to Nov. 12, 2004. Kobe is still wearing No. 8 and the Lakers are in the midst of one of their worst seasons in franchise history. It’s a road game against the Orlando Magic and an 18-year old rookie named Dwight Howard is about to get his first lesson in Posterization 101. Trailing 82-74 in the middle of the third quarter, Kobe Bryant, who was nursing a nagging foot injury at the time, splits two defenders on the perimeter and has a clear path to the basket. However, Howard, being the great help defender and shot blocker that he is, quickly steps over. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t jump high enough to block the slam Kobe was about to throw down on him.
For the first time ever being dunked on, Howard seemed to be humbled by the unfamiliar experience, as Kobe nearly completely jumped over the six-foot-11 Howard, while still putting down the slam. Is this the greatest moment in Kobe’s legacy? No. But it was one of those moments where you had to jump out of your seat and proceed to point and yell at the TV for the next five minutes. A fine moment for any sports fan. It would be an amazing piece of art to see Kobe’s decimation of Howard in statue-form; however, it’s hard to imagine Buss using a moment from one of the most frustrating seasons in Laker history as the sole memory of Kobe Bryant. Too many bad memories.
Regardless, it was definitely a moment uneasily forgotten in the minds of Lakers fans. Shout out to Christopher Douggie Douglas, Kennon Keith and Brian Coleman for suggesting this idea on the Lakers Nation’s Facebook page!