Very few highlights actually happened during the Lakers’ 2004-05 season.
The Lakers let Phil Jackson go. The Lakers traded Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers’ hiring of Rudy Tomjanovich ended disastrously, leaving midway through the season due to health reasons. The Lakers started out 2-19, and ended without a playoff berth for only the second time since 1976.
Yet, there’s one enjoyable thing for Lakers fans to watch in an otherwise terrible season.
He may have become a lightning rod for criticism on whether he was at least partially responsible for the Jackson and O’Neal departures. But on the court, Bryant provided everything. He nearly topped the league averaging 27.6 points per game (second) in 40.7 minutes (fifth), while posting 18 double doubles (37) and five triple doubles (second). Bryant scored at least 40 points in 10 games. And as shown in the video above, Bryant offered plenty of highlight reels. They included up-and-unders through the lane, reverse baseline dunks and posterizing a rookie named Dwight Howard.
Such efforts hardly made things enjoyable for Bryant. Even if he wanted to lead his own team, Bryant still wanted to win NBA championships. But for the time being, Bryant still put on a show for every Lakers fan to enjoy.
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