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Posts Tagged ‘Madison Square Garden’

Kobe scores 61: Guy wearing scarf and eating sushi politely golf claps

In The Sporting Life on February 4, 2009 at 11:34 pm

I was lucky enough to: a) Get offered two tickets to Madison Square Garden on Monday night to see the Lakers play the Knicks, b) Score a stunning seven footer as my date (Corrigan) and c) Witness a performance that without a doubt, reeked of both awesomeness and the Fever.

Kobe Bryant absolutely went off on the Knicks, scoring 61 points, which is the most scored by a single player in the forty-one year history of MSG (I refuse to call it the Garden.  There is and was only one Garden, and that was where Basketball Jesus played in Boston).  It was the best individual athletic performance I have seen since the 1990 Royal Rumble, when Hulk Hogan vanquished numerous foes before throwing Andre the Giant over the top rope.

I will hurt you, basket

I will hurt you, basket

Since you may not have been there, let me break down the game for you:

1st Quarter, 11:15 – Kobe makes his first shot, a jumper just inside the 3-point line.  Smooth like silk.  Corrigan orders us a pair of Heinekens.  Smooth like Amsterdam.

1st Quarter, 7:33- On a backdoor cut, Kobe gets a pass from Pau Gasol and lays it in for his 13th point.  A (heterosexual) couple sits down in front of us with the following items: two popped collars, one man scarf, two beers, three boxes of sushi, two i-phones and zero chance of being cool.

1st Quarter, :35-Raining down a deep 3-pointer, Kobe finishes the first quarter with 18 points.  During the break, the jumbotron flashes celebrities in the house.  Cheech and Chong, sitting about a few rows in front of us, about 15 seats over, receive the biggest ovation.  Whoopi Goldberg and her Predator-like dreads scares the most small children.

2nd Quarter, 5:50– Kobe hammers a two-handed dunk.  Three drunk guys from Long Island/Staten Island/New Jersey/Brooklyn come back to their seats two rows in front of us, and their other buddy claims, “I started a Cheech and Chong chant and they looked over!”  Apparently, screaming “CHEECH AND CHONG!” at the top of your lungs until they have no choice but acknowledge you counts as starting a chant.

2nd Quarter, 1:55– Kobe slams home his 30th and 31st points.  Behind me, the following conversation takes place between two guys:

Guy 1: “Oh my god, is that Chuck Bass?”  (Ed Westwick, who plays Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl, is sitting two rows in front of Cheech and Chong, next to a girl who, surprisingly, is stunning.  Apparently being a famous actor makes girls, and the two guys behind us, want you.)

Guy 2: “You’re so right.  Great sighting!”

At the same instant, the couple in front of us finish their sushi, and Corrigan’s head explodes.

Kobe finishes the half with 34 points.  I am dually amazed by his performance and also the overwhelming urge deep within me to go Motal Kombat style on the people sitting around us.

3rd Quarter, 5:31- Kobe sinks the two free throws to eclipse the 40 point mark.  Immediately following the shot there is a TV timeout and we are treated to an impromptu live performance of “Put Your Hands Up” by Fatman Scoop.  With a name like Fatman Scoop and a song where the chorus is just him yelling at girls to put their hands up if they have bills in various denominations, how can you go wrong?

4th Quarter, 6:05– Two more free throws, one more scoring plateu.  This time it’s 50.  In front of us, sushi/scarf guy pulls out a piece of paper that shows various parlay bets that amount to around $5,000.  I hope he loses whatever bet he has going.

4th Quarter, 3:24– After hitting 7 straight free throws, Kobe finally hits from the floor again, bringing his point total to 59.  I begin to sweat.  This has nothing to do with him being near 60 points.  I’m just a really sweaty dude sometimes.

4th Quarter, 2:32– Kobe makes his 19th and 20th consecutive free throws of the game, finishing with 61 and the new MSG single game scoring record.  As he leaves the game, Corrigan and I head for the exits.  The crowd rises for a standing ovation, which is probably for Kobe’s performance, but could also be in recognition of our world record.

Wednesday night we’re heading back to MSG to watch LeBron play the Knicks.  With any luck, he’ll score 62.  And sushi will not be involved.