Following the news of his untimely passing, let us look back at Kobe Bryant’s top-five moments against the Phoenix Suns.
The news of Kobe Bryant‘s untimely passing was shocking, and as such is one of those events that fans of both he and the game will remember where they were when they heard the news for the rest of their life.
For me, I was in Mass.
I know, I should not have been on my phone, but I had just happened to have looked down at it for a brief moment when two back-to-back messages flashed in the banner at the top of my screen: the first a headline from the Daily Mail, the second, a text from one of my best friends, each sharing the news.
I have been a Phoenix Suns fan my entire life, and as such, have wished nothing but the worst for the Los Angeles Lakers for just as long.
However for me, I never hated Kobe Bryant. I always felt it was impossible to do so.
Much like Michael Jordan, there was something about his incredible fire and competitiveness that I forever appreciated. Fans can’t stand it when players do not love the game the way we do, and there is no doubt that Kobe did love the game of basketball as much as the rest of us – if not more.
Of course I never rooted for him.
How could I – he was a Laker.
And it pained me every time he dominated the Suns; while on the flip side, a victory over he and the Lakers was always the best of the year – especially when the win was considered an upset.
Being only five years younger than he was, I also couldn’t help but feel a part of my childhood fade into adulthood when he retired in 2016.
I vividly remember watching the 1996 draft and the trade the Lakers pulled off with Charlotte to acquire him; I remember his first game against Phoenix, and his dominating games and playoff series’ against the Suns alongside Shaquille O’Neal.
Of course I too recall fondly the mid-2000’s playoff series’ in which the Suns finally – and soundly – bested him; and then the 2010 Western Conference Finals when he had his unfortunate revenge.
The memories are forever even if his life isn’t – and I will live the rest of my life with a sincere and profound level of respect for his game as one of the world’s greatest athletes, the pinnacle of professional prowess, one of the greatest to have ever – and will ever – play the game.
And now, without further ado, Kobe Bryant’s top-five greatest moments with the Phoenix Suns.