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Kobe Bryant drops 36 points as a Summer League rookie in 1996 (VIDEO)

Jul 27, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant

Summer League wasn’t always the mainstream event that it has become now.

The games used to be played at The Pyramid in Long Beach, CA, and were far less widely paid attention to than they are today. But it was always a place for rookies to get their first shot at NBA-level competition, and back in the summer of 1996, Kobe Bryant showed he immediately was one of the best players there.

The video clip above features Bryant dropping 36 points at Summer League in advance of his rookie season, and what’s most interesting is how many of his moves look so familiar, despite the endless hours of hard work he’s put into his game ever since.

[via LakersNation]

  1. billiam55 - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:17 AM


    • money2long - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      Your comment is random.
      It’s summertime. It’s basketball. Summer league champs were just crowned, an la team nonetheless. How is this story random

      • garlandchapko - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        idk maybe because its 18 years old?

      • money2long - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        Am I in the twilight zone
        You guys are weird.

      • bhunter1995 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        How are the Kings an LA team?

    • therealhtj - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Random were the countless free throws in the clip. But the D Fish throwdown, oh lawdy I don’t think he ever had anything close to that in a game.

      Nice little piece of history foretelling better days ahead for the Lakers. Sadly, nothing like that on the horizon today.

  2. money2long - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    YouTube will always have an endless supply of footage. Happy someone decided to upload this peek in history.

  3. loubearkane - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    I don’t get it , no mention of Lebron James with pastries or Kevin Love possibly traded somewhere for something.

    • money2long - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Yeah lebron pastries isn’t random but this is.

    • muhangis - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      What about that Joakim Noah wants his Bulls to beat the Cavaliers?

  4. volcom2143 - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Whoa Derek fisher has a ridiculous dunk in there . Ha

  5. djlexluger - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    The kings are an L.A. Team?

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      Yes. They just won the Stanley Cup.

  6. urodaddy07 - Jul 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    I think in the Kobe vs Lebron argument, Kobe for me is the more skilled player (2nd only to MJ in that regard IMO), but LBJ the more impactful. I think LBJ’s play changes the game more and given the choice would pick him over Kobe for that reason as well as his size. I admit this grudgingly because the Mamba is still my favorite player

    • money2long - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Lebron will never have the skills Kobe has. Lebron’s games relies on others. He’s like a parasite. Which is why I’m not surprised lebron’s legacy is that of a team hopper. A seeker of talent to make him look great. If he’s not surrounded by others that can cover his deficiencies, he chokes and wins no rings.

  7. imthedudedude - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Is it his birthday or something??….

  8. tigerpork - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    As soon as they inbound the ball it goes right away to Kobe’s hands.

  9. maddenwizkid - Jul 27, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Drexler payton pippen barkley horry malone, ray allen, shaq, nash, and plenty others have left their original teams to try to win a ring. Mitch richmond left and joined the lakers after being a king forever…no backlash…why? Nobody wins a title by themselves, nobody wins without talent supporting them. All this lbj bashing is either pure hate or you know nothing of basketball history. If bird was drafted to the pacers is he supposed to stay there with no help? Let me guess he would’ve made them so awesome they would have been champs every year till larrys back gave way huh? No, guys wake up. you don’t stay at a job u can’t advance at do you?

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      When it comes from a New Yawk loser it’s pure hate, jealousy, and arrogance. The Knicks suck, New Yawk’s a pit of feces, and New Yawkers are mean and petty.

    • ecnuob51 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      This is coming from a Lebron fan but your comparison is a horrible argument. I could go through players one by one but all of them either a. Had already won a ring or b. were at the twilight of their careers
      I agree with the overall idea I guess you have but don’t say players like Shaq and Malone did the same thing as Lebron.

  10. jimb25 - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM


  11. muhangis - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    He was only a 17 year old kid at the time. Impressive!

    And you’re right, all these years later, his game still looks the same.

  12. limonadamas - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    Didn’t realize the refs had those short shorts even well into the 90’s… Also didn’t realize DFish could dunk once upon a time…

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