Photo by Neon Tommy
The month of December has begun, and with it, the rise of the Christmas spirit in those both young and old. In the context of the December 1 game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers, we are talking about this Christmas spirit in the old, and more specifically, Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba has always fancied himself a bit of a Grinch, evidenced no better than by his Nike Kobe 6 “Grinch” shoes, but against the Sixers, his heart had seemingly grown three sizes, and he gifted them a delightful 103 to 91 victory.
Now, Kobe shot 7 of 26 from the floor for all of 20 points and deserves a lot of credit for this Sixers victory; however, the Sixers players deserve quite a bit of credit too. The effort was led by Robert Covington, putting together a quality 23-5-4 line on 16 shots, showing that Kobe’s gifts to the Sixers extended into his defense by allowing Covington great opportunities to score all night. Backing Covington up were two extremely efficient performances, the first from Jerami Grant, putting in a 14-7-4 line on only seven shots, and the second from Nerlens Noel, in his return from knee soreness and illness, coming off the bench for a fantastic 14-9-3 on another seven shots.
We could consider complaining that Jahlil Okafor was not particularly good last night or that Nik Stauskas has continued to disappoint or maybe even that this win will come back to haunt the Sixers in getting the Lakers pick. Do not give any of that a second of thought. The night was one for the history books and should be remembered thusly: On December 1, 2015, Kobe Bean Bryant found the true meaning of Christmas, visited all the win-less Sixers down in Sixersville, and gave them a win. Maybe this win, perhaps, means a little bit more.