Back in the summer 2002, Kobe wasn’t necessarily at the peak of his powers, but he was definitely at the top of the NBA world. The Lakers had just won their 3rd consecutive title and Kobe had cemented himself as one of the best players in the league. Kobe was also one of the league’s darling players — this was before the major public feuding with Shaq, before his legal issues, before trade demands. Every player has their detractors, but for the most part, Kobe was teflon.
So, you can only imagine the reaction when Kobe showed up at the famed Rucker Park in New York to play some pick up ball. You can also imagine the show he put on. Only, you know, you don’t have to imagine. You can actually watch it:
That’s some classic Kobe, there. Rocking the #8. The crazy athleticism mixed with ridiculous body control. The nifty finishes around the rim. The burgeoning post game. And the flair. All that flair.
Of course, that Kobe is gone. The Kobe we will see this upcoming season is a mystery. Maybe he can provide fans some of the types of moments he did in the clip above, though.