Sacramento Kings: Buddy Hield dedicates career night to Kobe Bryant

Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield had the best game of his career on Monday, just a day after the passing of his idol Kobe Bryant. Hield devoted his efforts to the late legend and put up some insane numbers, not only resembling Bryant but also honoring his legacy.

The Sacramento Kings were victorious on Monday in a massive comeback win over the Minnesota Timberwolves behind Buddy Hield‘s career-high 42 points.

Overcoming a 25-point deficit to win 133-129 in overtime, it was a genuinely a night to remember not just for Hield, but everyone who got to witness.

Trailing by 17 points with just under three minutes left in the game, all hope seemed lost for the Kings as it looked like the Timberwolves were about to close it out.

However, Hield had something else to say about this and propelled this team to a hard-fought victory, the first team to win in these exact circumstances out of a possible 8,379 since 1996-97 — when play-by-play stats were first tracked.

Hield — who wears No. 24 because he idolized Kobe Bryant growing up — put up some intriguing numbers in this game.

Scoring a career-best 42 points on 24 field goal attempts and totaling a combined eight rebounds and assists, Hield matched both of Kobe’s jerseys numbers during his NBA tenure with 8 and 24.

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Heading into the fourth quarter with 22 points, Hield achieved one of the rarest statistical feats ever totaled. In the past 20 seasons, only two players have scored 20 points on 100 percent shooting from the field in a game where their team was able to come back and win after being in a 25 point deficit.

The Kings’ guard became number two on Monday, but number one? None other than Kobe Bryant himself on December 6th, 2002 versus the Dallas Mavericks.

Still coming off the bench, Hield’s 42 points are not only the third most scored in Sacramento Kings’ history, but his nine three-pointers made rank number one in a single game among those players.

The night belonged to Buddy Hield, but he made it clear that he was doing it for someone else. In his postgame interview, Hield gave all of the praise to his idol, the late Kobe Bryant.

"“In overtime, I didn’t want to score no more. I had 42 points with five rebounds and three assists. Turn the 42 around, and that’s 24. Add the five rebounds and three assists, and that’s eight, man. That’s all Kobe, man.”"

The 27-year-old continued reminiscing on his childhood days of idolizing the Los Angeles Lakers’ legend in the Bahamas.

He followed with, “Everybody in the Bahamas knows what Kobe meant to me.  All the arguments and fights I got in saying he’s better than Michael Jordan. I know I shouldn’t say that, but he was all I knew growing up.”

Hield finally concluded his interview with, “Kobe was always that guy for me. He made me believe, and that’s why I’m here today in the NBA.”

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A heartfelt array of messages from Buddy, and indeed a performance he will never forget in honor of his lifelong idol, Kobe Bryant.