Kobe Makes Philly Fans Think, What If?

Swish -- Nothing but the bottom of the net.

Kobe Bryant has made a living doing this his whole life.

So there's no reason he wouldn't throw his game into a little over drive in the fourth quarter Wednesday against Philadelphia just to impress the hometown fans and hear them whisper -- what if this guy stayed in Philly?


That sound silenced 76ers fans at the Wachovia Center as the Los Angeles Lakers teased the Sixers to a 114-102 loss on Wednesday night.

In the wake of a Lakers 16-point collapse to the Pacers the night before, the Sixers cut there own 16 point deficit to 103-95 with 3:31 left in the fourth.

That's when Kobe showed some love to the city, not its team, just its fans.

Kobe poured on 10 of his game high 32 points in the fourth, his final shot was a loving shout out to all his haters.

With a minute and change to play and the Sixers trailing 110-100, Kobe gave his supports one last ahhh.

Driving the ball to the corner, Andre Iguodala came over to guard the Lower Merion native.

Kobe just smiled.

In one don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it motion Kobe went left, crossed back over to the right and sent a high arching fade into the Dub-C (Wachovia Center) night. All eyes followed the orangish meteor into orbit, just floating through the abyss its sole purpose for existence to make one defining sound.


The sound was amplified from wall to wall thanks to the microphones attached to the hoops.

Still smiling, Kobe trotted back down court. Iguodala, stumbling, could only gaze at him like a kid who just got schooled in the yard.

For a moment -- just a moment -- all creeds of fans, Sixers, Lakers and even the guy wearing a Boston Celtics jersey became one in awe -- this guy is the best.

Those were Kobe's final two points of a game-high 32 putting the exclamation point on the Lakers win.

There would be no miracle comeback for Philadelphia losers of five of their last six games.

Iguodala dropped 19 for the Sixers including a vicious And-1-style dunk from under the basket in the first. Thaddeus Young continued his offensive consistency scoring 17 of his own.

The Sixers scorched L.A. like wildfire going up 6-0 on two quick 3-pointers from Young, but blew an early 17-7 lead in the first quarter when the Lakers went on a 24-6 run to go into the second up 32-25.

Elton Brand was a no show offensively scoring just three points going 1-of-7 from the hardwood in 25 minutes of play. He left the game with a hamstring injury that could hamper him in the coming weeks.

There had to be a sense of frustration with Brand when the big man was on the bench with 3:31 in the fourth to play and Philadelphia cutting its 16-point deficit to 103-95.

As fans filed out of the arena into the bone-chilling December night they whispered, "what if?"

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