Kobe Bryant returns to the Q tonight for one last time in his long and storied career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Back in 1997, during his rookie year, Kobe participated in the Slam Dunk Contest against Ray Allen, Chris Carr, Darvin Ham, Michael Finley, and the Cavaliers‘ Bob Sura.
After the first round, Bryant was in 3rd place with 37 points behind Carr (44) and Finley (39) but saved his best stuff for the finals winning with 49 points ahead of Carr (45) to become the youngest Slam Dunk Champion ever at the age of 18.
This was the first of many awards Kobe would go onto win in his career including: NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP, All-NBA First Team, NBA All-Defensive First Team, and NBA scoring champion.
The Cavaliers, like most NBA teams, will probably honor Bryant before the game tonight against the Lakers.
Bonus: Kobe Bryant’s Top 10 Plays of 1996-1997 NBA Season (Rookie Year)