An 18-year-old Kobe Bryant scored his first NBA point on Nov. 5, 1996, exactly 24 years ago today against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
It was the first of 33,643 points for Bryant, who played for 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, and most recently, Lebron James, on the league’s career scoring list.
Point No. 1 of Bryant’s career came at the free-throw line during his second NBA game. He played just three minutes, missing his only field-goal attempt and going 1-for-2 from the line.
His first basket didn’t come until the following night, when he scored five points against the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets are team that selected him with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 draft. They subsequently before traded his rights to the Lakers for center Vlade Divac.
The Lakers sent out a tribute honoring Bryant earlier today as well.
“1 of 33,643. Today marks the 24th anniversary of Kobe’s first points. #LakeShow,” the official Lakers account tweeted.
Fans Remember Kobe Bryant
Basketball fans took to Twitter to remember Kobe Bryant on the anniversary of his first career point. His fans sent tweets about what he meant to them, his legacy, and how his loss has affected them.
One emotional Kobe fan sent a tweet describing how we’re all feeling after seeing the video.
“And I’m crying again,” he wrote.
And I’m crying againpic.twitter.com/6ZFdZ2eCDq— Alex Gam (@AlexGam2013) November 5, 2020
Another fan sent a photo of Bryant scoring his last point. It was also at the free-throw line in a 60-point performance against the Utah Jazz.
“First one was a Free Throw, last one was a Free Throw,” he said.
Additionally, the @Ballislife Twitter account posted a 7-minute video of some of Bryant’s best moments throughout his career. They posted the video with the caption, #MambaForever. The tweet was shared on November 3rd, the anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s NBA debut.