Kobe Bryant: The legend and the greatest video compilation of all time

NBA LeBron James Kobe Bryant (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
NBA LeBron James Kobe Bryant (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Looking back at Kobe Bryant, his legendary status and the greatest video compilation of all time

Almost one year to the day, on Mamba Day 2018 (8/24, Kobe’s two jersey numbers which were both retired at Staples Center by the Los Angeles Lakers, the only player ever honored with two jerseys retired by the same team), Bleacher Report released the greatest video compilation of all time entitled “The Legend of Kobe Bryant.”

It was Kobe’s Top 50 NBA highlights (20 minutes).

This video perfectly underscores what made Kobe one of the greatest basketball players and athletes of all time by showing the mesmerizing game-winners, buzzer-beaters, dunks, shots, and creativity you’ve never seen before. It displays the heart, grit, tenacity and work ethic that changed the game forever.

More from Sir Charles In Charge

These are things that made Kobe great, these moments and how great they are are what make the great players truly great, not statistics or numbers you can put on a page, but the feelings, moments and memories they can create which are often defined by championships or in the playoffs.

This video truly has it all as it begins with some of Kobe’s most artistic plays including a left-handed spinning 3-pointer, a layup facing backward so he can’t even see the net and a shot behind the backboard.  In today’s game, these are laughed at as inefficient shots, but for Kobe, these shots were makeable as this video proves and his team needed every single one of them along the path to 5 championships.

The reality is for Kobe these shots were not statistically inefficient, it’s just that no one else would even dream of trying these shots while most everyone was incapable of making them and there is simply no way to quantify that quality through any statistic.

There are no statistics, there are no plus-minus box numbers or true shooting percentage numbers that can statistically analyze the difficulty of making these shots and the hard work put in outside the game that it took to make them as the video continues on with more spellbinding plays you’ve never seen before. However, these plays gain even more meaning when knowing the context behind them showing how Kobe always rose to the occasion and even more so the bigger those moments were. Context is everything when discussing a player’s greatness or mentioning numbers.

This includes a pump fake where he does a full 360 spin making the defender clueless as to where Kobe went for his 60th and 61st point, a record for a visiting player, at Madison Square Garden in New York City also referred to as “The Mecca of Basketball” and one of the oldest arenas in the NBA.

This also includes finishing an alley-oop with a lay-up behind the net at a seemingly impossible angle during the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics in 2010.

In one of the next plays, Kobe goes up to the free-throw line and drains two shots, which simply appear as two made free throws on paper. However, the context of this moment was that Kobe had just willed the Lakers into the playoffs by having epic performances in multiple games in 2013 often playing nearly the full game at 34 years old in his 17th season as his body finally broke down and he tore his Achilles. The Lakers were down by two and needed this game to make the playoffs as Kobe already had 32 points but sank the two free throws on basically one foot unable to walk with tears in his eyes and a torn Achilles to help win the game and get the Lakers into the playoffs as he guaranteed he would earlier in the season.

This video continues with such ridiculous feats as blocking and dunking on 7’6 (a full foot taller than Kobe) Yao Ming showing Kobe’s all-around game on both defense and offense.  This video even has two of the best assists you will ever see, which includes one from Kobe’s MVP Season in 2008 with incomprehensible displays of stylish footwork and no-look behind the back passing.

This also includes an iconic alley-oop pass to Shaquille O’Neal to complete a 17-point comeback against the Portland Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter of Game 7 to make and eventually win their first NBA Finals together creating one of the greatest dynasties in the history of sports.

There are no statistics to quantify the difficulty of all this and the magnitude of the moments in which these feats were accomplished.  Many attempts to criticize Kobe’s passing, yet he is 31st all-time in assists and averaged one less than Michael Jordan with five a game in his career.

The most exciting plays in basketball are ferocious, epic dunks and buzzer-beaters to win a game, both of which Kobe loved. This video is littered with epic dunks including the moment Kobe, “baptized”, Dwight Howard by literally jumping on top of him slamming the ball down in the face of the 6-foot-11 behemoth in Dwight’s rookie season.

Some of Kobe’s most high-flying dunks were during his younger days with an afro, also known as “Frobe”, including one where he legitimately looks he’s flying through the air with an elastic arm that somehow extends over the nearly 7-foot Ben Wallace into the hoop.

If you keep watching you’ll find many more epic dunks such as Kobe eating Steve Nash for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as he is seemingly horizontal in the air with his waist above Steve Nash’s head before knocking him over in the playoffs with a death-defying dunk. Kobe pulls off many more epic dunks like slamming it down in the face of Keith Van Horn during the 2002 Finals at Play 35 and more artistic epic double-clutch reverse dunks as well as one where he slams it down in between two defenders in Brooklyn to put the Lakers up for good.

However, arguably Kobe’s best dunk is one of the last plays as he literally does a 360 behind the back dunk you have never seen before and will never see again.

When it comes to buzzer beaters there is no better part of the video as when they show Kobe hitting four straight game-winning buzzer-beaters from plays 23 to 20. There is no way to not be absolutely mesmerized as this man creates moments most players can only dream of replicating once time and time again. Statistics simply can not analyze how difficult these shots were compared to other game-winners.

Speaking of game-winning buzzer-beaters, three of Kobe’s best come towards the end of the video. At play No. 7 Kobe hits the most difficult running 3-point sideways fading shot you will ever see in your entire life while being perfectly defended by the outstretched arm of all-time great Dwyane Wade, which commentator Stan Van Gundy correctly refers to as, “Greatness Personified.”

When Dwyane Wade hit a game-winning buzzer-beater against The Golden State Warriors earlier this year he credited Kobe and the “Mamba Mentality”, for showing him the way with this game-winner in 2010. Right after this Kobe hits a ridiculous jumping sideways three with a defender draped all over him against Portland to put the game into overtime before hitting a 3-point shot with less than an inch of space falling backward to win the game at the buzzer and also win The Lakers the division title…in the same game.

At play 14 Kobe hits three increasingly difficult 3-pointers with barely a minute left to tie the game against the Toronto Raptors during his legendary 2013 stretch before tearing his Achilles. After this, he hit a game-winning dunk in overtime with 10 seconds left as there is simply no way to quantify how, “in the zone,” Kobe Bryant could get more than any player in history. However, his most clutch heroics may be in the 2006 playoffs against the Phoenix Suns where Kobe hits a running floater with less than a second left to put the game into overtime before hitting a buzzer-beater in overtime to win the game and iconically pulling his jersey to the side shouting in celebration.

At No. 2 is Kobe’s legendary 81 point game against the Raptors on January 22nd, 2006 which is the second-highest scoring performance ever after Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game in 1962 and the highest ever captured on film. This performance came shortly after Kobe outscored the entire Dallas Mavericks team with 62 points in three quarters a month earlier. Keep in mind, when Wilt scored 100 the game was so different there was no 3-point line so Kobe’s really was the greatest scoring performance of all time.

To this day some try to say Kobe was selfish in this game, but with little to no help, the Lakers needed all of these points as they were down at the half.  Whether it was passing, rebounding, blocking, steals or ridiculous scoring feats of any kind Kobe did what needed to be done.

Finally, we arrive at the greatest highlight of Kobe Bryant’s storied career as Kobe scores 60 points in his final game on April 13th, 2016 against the Utah Jazz. He shot 22-50, right on par with the NBA average field goal percentage, but context is everything. Kobe had just been honored by every NBA legend he played with, against and admired along with celebrities from music, movies, and sports across the globe.

All the greats he played with and entertainment legends like Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Shaq were in attendance as Kobe obviously had the jitters missing his first five shots…before making 5 in a row! All his teammates wanted him to shoot it so he did and if you watch the game The Utah Jazz had a hand in his face and played good defense on all his shots.

Kobe eventually made his last five shots of his career to complete a 10-point comeback in the fourth quarter (23 points in the fourth) including a difficult three-pointer and epic game-winner before sinking two free throws to score 60 points in the final game of his legendary career at 37 years old in his 20th season with the Lakers (a franchise record).

This video also includes Kobe hitting a game-winner over LeBron James and a high-arcing rainbow fadeaway jumper; no one else in the NBA could hit. If you still don’t believe in the greatness of Kobe Bryant, just look at LeBron James’s 41st birthday wish to Kobe where he refers to him as, “GOAT” (Greatest of all time).


Statistics can be manipulated, but what you see with your eyes on this video can’t be and is simply more impressive than any player’s top 50 compilation including the overwhelming GOAT Michael Jordan. Whether you love him or hate him, do yourself a favor and respect Kobe’s greatness while appreciating the greatness we have in sports today before it’s gone.

Next. NBA: One big question for each team heading into the 2019-20 season. dark

LeBron is in his 17th season and Tom Brady is in his 20th; appreciate them while they’re here because whether you love or hate them you’ll miss them when they’re gone. And last, but not least, after watching this video put some respect on the name of the Black Mamba, The Last Samurai, a global icon and a man who has done more than enough to earn his place in the GOAT conversation alongside LeBron (duh), Wilt (100 points in a game), Magic (5-time champion), Kareem (6-time champion and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer) Michael Jordan (double duh) and Bill Russell (11 rings in the ’60s).

Kobe Bean Bryant. Mamba Out