Kobe Bryant gave us one final, lasting memory Wednesday night, dropping 60 points on the Utah Jazz in a 101-96 Lakers win. It wasn’t the best game of Bryant’s career, but it had to be the best final game in NBA history.
“I guess,” an unenthused Jared Greenberg said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I’m not going to bite on this one, DA.”
Only he did.
Yes, Greenberg, an NBA-TV analyst, was at ORACLE on Wednesday watching the Warriors make history. He didn’t think Bryant scoring 60 in a send-off game was all that impressive.
“It’s not that I’m not a fan (of what he did),” Greenberg explained, “but I’ve seen 60 scored before, and quite frankly, I wasn’t there. I probably should go back and watch the game because I was focused on the game that I was covering. But you know what? To me, I got the impression that it was an All-Star Game. This is not to hate on Kobe, but listen, the season was an epic failure. The Lakers are in no better shape today than they were at the start of this season and they don’t know what they have in some of these young guys. I’m not putting it on the shoulders of Kobe; I’m putting it on the organization.”
The Lakers finished 17-65 – the worst record in the West. In the last three years, they’ve gone 65-181 (.264) – the worst three-year stretch in franchise history.
“Him going out and scoring 60 – it’s the worst three-year stretch in the history of the Lakers,” Greenberg said. “It’s a proud franchise and we’re celebrating he got 60? Congratulations. We’ve seen 60 before. I know it’s sounding negative and hating on Kobe, but anybody who wants to put it in the stratosphere of the team that won 73 games with a guy hitting 400 threes is a joke. One does not compare to the other. Yeah, it was a great night for the NBA, and it was great to salute a legend on his way out after 20 years. First-ballot Hall of Famer, no doubt about it. Probably one of the 10 greatest to ever play the game. But you know what? He should be celebrated for the championships he won and for the MVP, not for scoring 60 in his last game on however many shots he took.”
He took 50 and made 22.
DA, for what it’s worth, found Bryant’s performance scintillating. In fact, he was more intrigued by Bryant’s final game than by the Warriors getting win No. 73 against undermanned Memphis.
Greenberg couldn’t disagree more.
“Are you going to remember Kobe for what he did in 2015-16, or for what he did in the five championships he won?” Greenberg asked. “You’re just living in the moment and not acknowledging why he’s a top-10 player, which is because he became the third all-time leading scorer – and that had nothing to do with what he did this year.”
Greenberg asked DA if he knew what Michael Jordan did in his last game. DA did not know, but he did know that Jordan didn’t go off for 60.
“To me, scoring 60 on your way out in a meaningless exhibition game – because Utah knew they were already eliminated – to me, it doesn’t sniff (a team setting the wins record),” Greenberg said. “We’ve seen dozens of people score 60 in a game. You’ve never seen a team win 73 – ever. What good does (Kobe scoring 60) do (for) this proud organization?”