Kobe Bryant’s Potential Garden Farewell Couldn’t Come at a Worse Time


On February 2, 2009, Kobe Bryant won over the opposing fans at Madison Square Garden when he broke the scoring record in the new arena with a dazzling 61 points.

Bryant shattered the opposing player’s record of 55 set by his idol Michael Jordan en route to breaking Bernard King‘s record of 60. Fans at the Garden chanted “MVP!” for Bryant as he walked off the floor. Those were the days.

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Now Bryant is a mess. Well maybe mess is to harsh a word. His game is a mess. Bryant made news recently by saying that he “Freaking sucked” and he was the “200th-best player in the NBA,” per Bleacher Report. The rare self-deprecation from one of the greatest players of all time gives an insight into his currently fragile mind set. The truth is that he does suck right now. So does his team. And his head coach.

Of course the majority of the blame is going to fall on Bryant. The most polarizing superstar that the league has ever seen has asked for it. He is the one who signed the huge contract extension that he didn’t deserve. He is the one who is allegedly driving these free agents away with his selfish play. As bad as this team has been on defense (allowing 113 PPG entering today’s contest) and as much as you can blame Byron Scott for their faults; it all falls back on Bryant.

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The Black Mamba is shooting just 32% from the field and 21% from behind the three-point line in five games. His average of 16.2 PPG couldn’t mean less as he is averaging over 15 FGA per game. The stat line is brutal and it doesn’t appear that it will get better.

Bryant is proving all of his doubters right. As of now he looks like nothing but a chuck who cares nothing about getting a win. If he did he would realize that he needs to take a step back and let these kids take control.

Jordan Clarkson is having a breakout season and his PER 36 numbers are fantastic, per basketball-reference.com. Julius Randle has bounced back from his broken leg to do the same. Still, neither player is getting the right amount of shots up. Randle only averages 11 FGA and Clarkson 13 FGA.

We will see plenty of Clarkson today against Jose Calderon.

One thing to look forward to today is the matchup of Bryant against long time friend Carmelo Anthony. Bryant’s move to small forward was much talked about and now he will be guarding an elite player at the position. With both men struggling we should expect to see a battle between the two.

Next: Carmelo Anthony Disagrees With Phil Jackson About Kobe Bryant Leaving Lakers

Madison Square Garden was the site of one of Kobe Bryant’s best games. Back in 2009. Those were the days.