There is a reason why Kobe Bryant is called the Black Mamba and it is evident in his dislike of the Phoenix Suns. Kobe has put up over 40 points eleven times against the Suns. All of this motivation for Kobe comes from the Suns knocking off the Lakers in 2006 and 2007 in the first round of the playoffs. There is also the fact that Steve Nash got the league MVP award over Bryant in 2005 and 2006, and who can forget the clothesline by Raja Bell on Kobe in the 2006 playoffs.
Jon Barry stated during the ESPN NBA Friday broadcast that Suns coach Alvin Gentry tried to calm down the Black Mamba when he met him in the hallway prior to Friday’s game by telling him that only Steve Nash is left from that team. Gentry even went to say that himself and Nash are good people in an effort to calm down Bryant.
This was all to no avail as Kobe just went on to be Kobe yesterday night by dropping 36 points on the Suns and just fell short of another big 40 point game against his nemesis. There are some very telling stats that I want to point out here. Last month, Kobe had a big game against the Suns and scored 48 points in a 99-83 victory. This was the most points he had put up in a game since he scored 49 points against the very same Suns 2 seasons ago.
The wrath continued last night as the Lakers picked up a 111-99 victory against the Suns moving them to a 18-12 record and sinking Phoenix lower in the Western Conference standings.