Kobe Bryant’s top 100 games: No. 96

·1 min read

After the Los Angeles Lakers traded Shaquille O’Neal and cut ties with head coach Phil Jackson in the summer of 2004, Kobe Bryant was effectively marooned on a desert island.

He was left on his lonesome to carry the team the following season without any real reinforcements, and everything fell apart around him, as it finished 34-48 and missed the playoffs.

In what seemed like a mini-miracle at the time, Jackson returned as coach that June, but the team itself was still a mess, as it was devoid of supporting talent.

Jackson, Bryant and the Lakers started the 2005-06 season in Colorado versus the Denver Nuggets, and predictably, fans hurled all sorts of taunts at the superstar guard having to do with the legal charges he faced there a couple of years earlier.

The game went into overtime, and with the game tied, Bryant delivered a long 2-point jumper with 0.6 seconds left to give his team a 99-97 victory.

He finished the game with 33 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.

At the time, it seemed like nothing more than a positive start to the season, but in retrospect, it may have been an auspicious omen of the redemption that was ahead for Bryant and the Lakers.

List

Kevin Durant to stay with Nets; what it means for the Lakers

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire