Tuesday, January 31 2023

After the Los Angeles Lakers traded Shaquille O’Neal and cut ties with head coach Phil Jackson in the summer of 2004, Kobe Bryant was effectively marooned on a desert island.

He was left on his lonesome to carry the team the following season without any real reinforcements, and everything fell apart around him, as it finished 34-48 and missed the playoffs.

In what seemed like a mini-miracle at the time, Jackson returned as coach that June, but the team itself was still a mess, as it was devoid of supporting talent.

Jackson, Bryant and the Lakers started the 2005-06 season in Colorado versus the Denver Nuggets, and predictably, fans hurled all sorts of taunts at the superstar guard having to do with the legal charges he faced there a couple of years earlier.

The game went into overtime, and with the game tied, Bryant delivered a long 2-point jumper with 0.6 seconds left to give his team a 99-97 victory.

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He finished the game with 33 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.

At the time, it seemed like nothing more than a positive start to the season, but in retrospect, it may have been an auspicious omen of the redemption that was ahead for Bryant and the Lakers.

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Kevin Durant to stay with Nets; what it means for the Lakers

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports

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