2. Kobe Bryant hangs 33 on Michael Jordan in December 1997
Even early in his career in the late 1990’s there were glimpses from Kobe that showed what he would eventually blossom into in the early 2000’s. In just his second year in the NBA, basketball fans really got to see what Kobe could do as he would get his first career All-Star selection just as a sophomore in the league.
At one point of the 1997-98 season, which is the focus for this Bulls team in The Last Dance, Kobe gave Jordan and his squad a true test in December. One of Kobe’s very best game throughout the entirety of the 1997-98 regular season came against Jordan and the Bulls. His third best individual game score of the season would come on Dec. 17, 1997.
In that mid-December regular season showdown between Kobe and MJ, the former would look like he could have the type of outing that would give his team the upset victory. Kobe shot 12-of-20 from the field for 33 points, three rebounds, and two assists. One of the most impressive parts of the night for him was the fact that he had no turnovers.
That 1997-98 Bulls team played insanely good defense, as they did throughout pretty much every single one of the dynasty years in the 1990’s.
In the end, it didn’t matter that Kobe gave the Lakers 33 points. His Lakers came in with a record of 18-5, and the Bulls weren’t doing too great with a record of just 14-9. By all indications, this was the perfect opportunity for Kobe to come out on top. Jordan still managed to drop a game-high 36 points and get a whopping 21-point victory for the Bulls over the Lakers.