The tail end of Kobe Bryant‘s career saw him morph into a tactician on the court. The one-time high flyer was grounded for the most part later in his career and did his damage through veteran savvy and great footwork.
However, there was a time when Bryant was one of the league’s most athletic players. The NBA All-Star Twitter account helped us remind us just how bouncy Bryant’s young legs once were by compiling a video of his best plays from each of his All-Star game appearances, starting in 1998 and ending in 2016.
It’s interesting to watch the evolution of Bryant’s game both as a player and dunker in the video, as it’s a microcosm of his career trajectory. His first All-Star game featured a thunderous 360 jam on a breakaway, and he offered up plenty more great All-Star dunks over the next 10 years. Eventually, late into the 00s and 10s, the dunks became much more straight forward, with the most exciting one being him dunking through a block attempt by LeBron James.
I also enjoy that two of his best All-Star moments involve him playing defense, considering the All-Star game is often devoid of effort on that end of the floor, but there is Kobe, swatting LeBron and ripping Tony Parker late in games.