Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Broadway

OK, I know, Madison Square Garden isn't physically on Broadway. But you know what I mean.

The lights are just a little brighter, the crowd just a little louder, the buzz a little sharper, when you're in New York.

And give Kobe Bryant credit. He knows his 61 point performance at Madison Square Garden is a bigger deal than, say, a 61 point night in Oklahoma City.

It's the greatest scoring night in the history of the Garden. Heck, as far as I can tell, it's the best game a pro has ever had in any of the 4 buildings known as Madison Square Garden.

Kobe made all 20 of his free throws, and went 19-for-31 from the floor. He knew he was chasing history and he knew he was doing it on the biggest stage in his business. He even knew his performance would silence resident loudmouth Spike Lee, with whom Bryant had a postgame meeting about a documentary project.

After the game, Kobe made reference to the long legacy of basketball in New York, and stowed his showboating, trash-talking side to say, "It's a blessing to do what you love and to have moments like this."

Even the notoriously tough New York fans seemed to know that this was a singular performance. They went from their routine booing of Kobe to chanting "MVP" by game's end.


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