Kobe Bryant once hilariously blamed Knicks superfan Spike Lee for many of their travails after dropping 61 at Madison Square Garden.
During his prime, Kobe Bryant looked like he was scoring for fun. Dropping 81 on the Raptors just months after scoring 62 against the Mavs just reaffirmed his status as a legend.
When in song, Kobe could destroy any opposition in front of him, irrespective of the stage. Hence, it is not surprising that he loved to put his genius on full display at Madison Square Gardens, the mecca of all NBA arenas.
The 5-time champ thrice scored 39 or more against the Knicks at the Garden between 2003-07. His pinnacle against the storied New York franchise, however, came later in 2009. Fresh off the bitter defeat to arch-rivals Boston Celtics in 7 games, Kobe was hungry for a championship.
Kobe went on to drop 61 points on his opponents, shattering the (then) record of most points at the arena. He shot 19-31 from the floor to go along with a perfect 20-20 game from the line. While he usually didn’t need much motivation to get going, Knicks fan Spike Lee’s presence was enough to fuel his fire.
Famous Knicks fan Spike Lee was in attendance when Kobe Bryant dominated the Knicks in 2009
Spike Lee has been famous for heckling opposition superstars for decades. His famous “choke” moment with Reggie Miller is already etched in the memory of NBA fans. Due to his diehard support for the Knicks, he has also often been the brunt of jokes.
Crazy Stat of the Day: Last time in NY Steph Curry dropped 54 on Knicks, Kobe (61) & MJ (55) are only opponents w/ more at MSG since 1968.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 28, 2014
After surgically decimating the Knicks in the game, Kobe Bryant apparently met up with Spike in the hallway. It was here when Kobe hilariously taunted Spike by blaming another Knicks defeat on him, “MJ 55? Your fault. 61? Your fault”.
Spike lee was apparently also present in the audience when Michael Jordan eviscerated the Knicks by scoring 55 points on 1995. Despite the shortcomings of his franchise, we have to admire his staunch loyalty.