VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As basketball fans mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, some of us may be trying to remember the last time he played in Vancouver.
It was on March 3, 2001. He scored 20 points against the Grizzlies.
“Kobe, of course, was, along with Shaq, the guy to go and see. He never really had any iconic moments here, but he was always part of the Lake Show and everyone wanted to get that. That was the hottest ticket in town,” says John Conners, who covered the Grizzlies as a beat reporter.
“There were a lot of Laker fans in the stands, so you would really see that representation. Of course, the Kobe jerseys were always out in force,” he says. “If you could get a ticket to that game, that’s where you wanted to be.”
But Conners says Kobe never really had a standout performance when he played in Vancouver.
“Well you know, he really didn’t have to. The Grizzlies were so bad, that [the Lakers] would come in and they would just go through the motions and generally get the win,” he says. “Kobe didn’t really have to do too much, so you didn’t see him at his greatest.”
Kobe played in the NBA from 1996 to 2016.
He died on Sunday along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash.