Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Sam Mitchell does not have the fondest memories of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Mitchell, of course, was previously the head coach of the Toronto Raptors when Kobe famously dropped 81 points and on Tuesday night, he added another memory at Mitchell’s expense.
Bryant scored a season-high 38 points, including seven three-pointers as the Lakers ended a 10-game losing streak with a 119-115 win over the Timberwolves.
After the game, Mitchell was not shy in saying how he really felt about Kobe according to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated , though he did still give Bryant the proper credit:
Sam Mitchell said Kobe Bryant a "top 5, 6, 7 player" & added: "I hate him. If I don't ever see him again, it will be too soon. I hate him."
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 3, 2016
Mitchell still harbors some hard feelings after Kobe’s 81 point outing in the 2005-2006 season. He even refused to comment on the game prior to tonight’s matchup, but no one can argue the greatness of Kobe and where he stands amongst the all-time greats.
Kobe will go down as one of the greatest players of all-time and he showed why on Tuesday night. Kobe’s 38-point night was a vintage performance and to make things even better, he did so efficiently, taking only 21 shots to get to his point total and adding five rebounds, five assists, and two steals to boot.
This season hasn’t given Lakers fans much to remember and talk about, but this game will definitely one of the standout nights. It may very well be Kobe’s final great night and Lakers fans would be wise to cherish this one.