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December 1, 2015, Queens, NY  The Kobe Bean Bryant  Tour officially began today in his hometown of Philly. Tonight he scored 20 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, dished out 2 assists to go with 1 steal. Looks like the old man still has a bit left in the tank. His homecoming was a somewhat fitting tribute since he played well, but at the same time, his team not winning gave the welcoming Philadelphia crowd exactly what they wanted: The Hero playing strongly, but his team loses.


And what a glorious loss this was if you were a Sixers’ fan. Philadelphia was 0-18 and speeding on the Infamy Highway, needing a win in the worst way when the NBA Scheduling Gods gave them (Sixers) what they needed, a game against the Los Angeles Lakers who may be as hapless as the they are, even though the record doesn’t suggest it.

The Sixers beat the Lakers 103-91. It’s a celebration. No, it’s more than that. It’s a Phila-bration. Call the writer bias. I’ve been a Philly fan since 1966. What’s embarrassing is the joy I feel after a win that puts the Sixers at 1-18. That’s probably the real shame, and even worse, I am not alone. I’m feeling a bit giddy. Not 1983, “Fo’ Fo’ Fo'” giddy (R.I.P.) Moses Malone. But giddy nonetheless.


Robert Covington led the Sixers with 23 points to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Jeremi Grant and Nerlens Noel both poured in 14 points, and they had 7 and 9 rebounds respectively. Jahlil Okafor and Isaiah Canaan added 12 points apiece.

Great day for Kobe. Great day for the Sixers. Great day for Philly. It’s a Phia-bration.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.




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