TDIKH: December 17
Dec. 17, 1997
19 years, 116 days
On a night when his team was throttled by 21 points, Kobe Bryant nonetheless put on one of the most important performances.
Facing his childhood idol, Michael Jordan, for the very first time, the teenage Bryant came off the bench and erupted for 33 points in 29 minutes by shooting 12-of-20 from the field and sinking a trio of 3-pointers, while defended by Jordan for most of the night.
However, the reigning NBA Finals MVP also had something in store for the rookie, as Jordan countered with 36 points of his own, going 12-of-22 and hitting 11-of-12 free throws.
Bryant received little help in the 104-83 loss, as no other Laker scored more than 15 points, and the team shot 34.5 percent as a whole.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s offense was rolling with 31 assists, while Luc Longley complemented Jordan with 23 points (10-of-13) and 10 rebounds.
Kobe performances on this day in history: