2. Behind The Back One-Hander vs. Nuggets
Crime Date: February 11, 2003
Scene of the Crime: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Victim(s): Vincent Yarbrough
Accomplice(s): Robert Horry
It’s 2003 and Kobe Bryant has begun establishing himself as one of the brightest young stars in all of basketball, but the Lakers were struggling. It was time for Kobe to show why he was a different breed. The result is one of the greatest plays anyone had ever seen.
In the third quarter, the Lakers were beginning to pull away from the Nuggets, but a headline still needed to be made and Kobe was the one to provide it. Nuggets backup Chris Whitney made his second free throw and Kobe darted down the court. Robert Horry quickly took the ball out of the net and launched a Aaron Rodgers-like pass the length of the court.
Kobe would catch the ball, take a dribble, and in one motion put the ball behind his back as he spun away from Vincent Yarbrough, then rise up for the one-handed slam over Yarbrough.
The skill it took to pull off that move was unreal. Very few players have the talent, confidence, and awareness to make that happen, but Kobe did. Poor Yarbrough will always be remembered for failing to stop the play from happening.
This play, as a whole, is arguably Kobe’s greatest play, but the dunk itself wasn’t quite his best, leading hence why it falls behind this one unreal dunk…