It is absolutely amazing to watch 36-year-old Kobe Bryant drop triple-doubles on the Eastern Conference’s best team. Bryant, in his 19th NBA season, isn’t always efficient, but he always finds a way to entertain. In the Lakers 129-122 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night, Bryant stole the show, finishing the game with 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds.
Bryant was all over the place on Sunday, besting tough Raptor defenders time and time again. Although this has been an ugly year so far for the 4-13 Lakers, it’s mesmerizing to see how great a player at Bryant’s age, with his milage, can still be.
During the third quarter, Bryant dished out his 6,000th assist to forward Lakers Wesley Johnson, becoming the only player in NBA history with at least 30,000 points and 6,000 assists in their career. When asked about what the milestone meant to him, Bryant had this to say:
Kobe Bryant on getting 30,000 points & 6,000 assists: “It’s a huge honor. It means I pass more than people say.”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 1, 2014
Bryant’s vintage performance amazed Raptors forward James Johnson, who spent a nice chunk of the game defending Kobe. Johnson finished the game with 8 points and 4 assists, but fouled out in overtime after hitting Bryant’s elbow on a jumper. After the loss, Johnson had this to say regarding Bryant:
#Raptors forward James Johnson: “Kobe is still the best player in this league, I don’t care what anybody says.”
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) December 1, 2014
Although Johnson’s assessment may be a bit extreme, it’s still spectacular to see one of the all-time greats still register brilliant performances every once in a while.