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Kobe Bryant predicted he’d score 50-plus 3.5 years before his 60-point outburst

Kobe Bryant

It’s the NBA offseason, so it feels like it’s a good time to just talk about some of the legends of the game. For this piece, let’s look back at that one time when Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant predicted that he would score 50 points or more in a game at least one more time before he calls it quits.

Back in 2013, Bryant had a lengthy interview with ESPN’s Chris Palmer. Their conversation touched on a number of subjects. When Palmer asked whether Bryant still has at least one more 50-point game in himself, the Black Mamba shot back a laconic answer, saying “Yeah, it’ll happen,” a response that, in retrospect, served as a bad omen for the Utah Jazz.

Prior to his talk with Palmer, Bryant’s last 50-point game occurred three years earlier, when he exploded for 61 points at the Madison Square Garden to lead the Lakers to a 126-117 road win over the New York Knicks in 2009. Bryant was unconscious in that game, posting an unholy 19-for-31 shooting from the field while knocking down all of his 20 free throw attempts.

Going back to his prediction, Bryant would ultimately fulfill it three years later after his bold claim to Palmer. In his very last game in the NBA, Bryant torched the Jazz for 60 points in a 101-96 win at Staples Center no less in 2016. Kobe Bryant went full Kobe Bryant in that contest, as he shot 22-for-50 from the floor. It may be an inefficient shooting line, but the Black Mamba delivered on his promise.