Yesterday would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday and several teams and stars paid tribute, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Diana Taurasi, and Bryce Harper. There were also some very Black Mamba-like performances including Luka Doncic’s game-winner in the Dallas Mavericks’ 135-133 OT victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Raptors bench scoring 100 points in Toronto’s 150-122 rout over the Brooklyn Nets, Kemba Walker grabbing his first playoff series win in the Boston Celtics’ sweep over the Philadelphia 76ers, and Donovan Mitchell going full Kobe with another 50+ point game in the Utah Jazz’s 129-127 win over the Denver Nuggets. But the most Black Mamba performance might have been golfer Dustin Johnson’s under-30 performance at TPC Boston.
- Today's date, August 23, is a very significant date in Los Angeles history. Not for something that took place here but for the birth of a child in the city of Philadelphia on this date in 1978. His name was Kobe Bean Bryant.
JARED QUAY: Today's August 24. Or if you're in Orange County, Kobe Bryant Day. So you might want to ask your boss if you could take the day off. But if you do go to work, just make sure you go Kobe out like the Dodgers team when they warmed up like this, our Diana Taurasi when she wore number 8, or Bryce Harper wearing this under his jersey. He must've been hot. And a lot of athletes had the Mamba mentality yesterday.
Like Luka Doncic, who scored 42 points on what would have been Kobe Bryant's 42nd birthday as the Mavs came back from down 21 points to beat the Clippers 135 to 133 in overtime. Oh, and he also hit this stepback game winner.
- Doncic pulls up-- 3-pointer. Bang! Bang! It's good!
JARED QUAY: Luka became the youngest player to grab a 40-point triple-double in the playoffs. And I don't know what's more Mamba mentality than that. The Raptors advance to the second round after sweeping the Nets in a 150 to 122 win in a game where the bench players scored a hundred points and Head Coach Nick Nurse was named NBA Coach of the Year.
- That's awesome.
- Kobe's hometown team Philadelphia 76ers played their closest game with the Boston Celtics yet but came up short in a 110-106 loss. They were swept for the first time ever in these team's 22 meetings in the playoffs. Kemba Walker channeled his inner Kobe, scoring 32 points in his first ever playoff series win. In the late game, Donovan Mitchell went super Kobe--
- --be a pull-up 3, and he hits a 3!
JARED QUAY: --leading the Utah Jazz to a steep 3-1 series lead over my Denver Nuggets. And I'm going to need Jamal Murray to go full Kobe next game because we can't lose this series, y'all. In what might have been the most Mamba performance of all didn't even happen on the hardwood. It happened on the green grass.
Golfer Dustin Johnson won the Northern Trust and TPC Boston by 11 strokes, shooting 30 under par. Damn!
- That impressive.
JARED QUAY: Kobe sure be smiling down on all of you guys, man. Kobe, we miss you man. Happy belated birthday.