Kobe Bryant played 34 games against the New York Knicks in his career, and he typically turned up his game against one of the league’s most storied franchises. Per Basketball Reference, Bryant’s offensive rating against the Knicks is higher than his rating against any other team for his career. Bryant was 10-6 overall in games at The Garden, and scored an average of 29.9 points per game, almost five points about his career scoring average.
During a discussion with Peter Rosenberg on Hot 97 in New York, Iman Shumpert recalled a jaw-dropping Kobe Bryant fourth-quarter takeover at the height of Linsanity. Shumpert said that he felt he had played an amazing game while guarding Bryant, and while on the floor in the middle of the game, he kept thinking of all the stories he was going to tell about his performance. When the fourth quarter started, though, Bryant had a warning for Shumpert.
“I guarded Kobe in the Garden. I can’t remember how much he had, but I know I had multiple steals against him, to where in the game, in my head, all I’m thinking of is when I’m having this conversation with my brother after the game, how I’m going to tell him how I stole a ball from Kobe. How I stripped Kobe before he was going to take a shot, how I drove by Kobe and got a dunk. Like I’m thinking about all these things in my head, I’m so geeked.
…. The fourth quarter starts, and Kobe said ‘you had a great game.’ He said ‘you had a great game young fella.’ I swear I looked at the clock like…. I’m looking like ‘there’s 12 minutes , what are you talking about?’ What was that, you know what I’m saying? You ain’t said nothing the whole game. I’ve been talking , I done stole the ball, I’m hyped as hell, it’s Kobe Bryant. He ain’t said not one word to me. ‘Great game young fella.’
The man come down, you remember, he came shot fake, shot fake, threw it off the glass, caught it, threw it to the corner. I’m like ‘bro, what you on? Like, bro, you been regular all game!’”
You’re absolutely going to want to see the highlights to see what Shumpert was talking about.