Kobe Bryant never stopped showcasing his elevated talent on and off the ball, giving us some of the smoothest plays the NBA has ever seen. From his intense defensive pressure to his artistic tenacity on the rim, he never failed to put on a show.
Bryant has had many, many, highlight dunks over his entire career, and as such you can imagine the difficulty in listing them in order. Nonetheless, every game and each player has an important statement written above them for Bryant to stamp over. Keeping in mind the weight of each play, here is a list of Kobe Bryant’s five greatest dunks ever.
No. 5: Kobe Jumps The Great Wall
The Lakers were playing the Houston Rockets in 2003 when Kobe Bryant dropped 52 points in a game that ended in double overtime.
Houston great Yao Ming was on the floor to prove to Bryant he was not to be trifled with. The “Black Mamba” made it obvious he did not care. He used his speed to burst past Ming whenever he had the chance.
Bryant then did what everyone was waiting for. Kobe Bryant, standing at 6-foot-4, jumped over a 7-6 Yao Ming to slam the ball with a point to prove. This dunk sent a message to everyone in the league: Height does not matter.
No. 4: Kobe Bryant posterizes Steve Nash
Yes, Nash stands at only 6-2, but the elevation Bryant gets on liftoff is the same nonetheless. It was April 26, 2002, when the LA Lakers and Phoenix Suns were grinding out Game 2 in the first round of the playoffs.
Down in the series, the Los Angeles Lakers held a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter. After losing possession, Lamar Odom hustled for a rebound and ended up on the floor. Throwing the ball to Kobe from the ground, Bryant caught the pass and exploded over Steve Nash.
The Suns’ star point guard jumped in the lane and tried to plant for an offensive charge. It probably would have worked too, if it had not been Kobe Bryant with that ball. The explosive quickness that lead him up in the air over Nash before he could set his feet was one thing. The second was the elevation he caught to clear almost the entire charge to slam the ball into the basket.
Point proven: Do not get in the way of the “Black Mamba.”
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