Skip to main content

When Bibby fouled Kobe's elbow with his nose

Kobe-Bryant-Vlade-Divac

It's May 31st, 2002, Lakers vs. Kings at the Staples Center. Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. A day that Kings fans will never forget as it was the day of the most controversial officiating performance in NBA history. It could be recency bias, but more than that it is just more plausible than the frozen envelope, Jordan's two-year vacation and other conspiracy theories.

We already covered this game when Tim Donaghy, the only NBA ref ever to serve time for his involvement in a gambling scandal, publicly said that the league and officials didn't want the Kings to win. A lot of people were very critical immediately after the game.

If there were one moment that captures the absurdity of the game it would be one of the last plays of the game. Despite the one-sided calls - the Lakers shot 27 free throws in the 4th quarter, while the Kings only shot 9 - Sacramento was down only one point when Mike Bibby fouled Kobe Bryant's elbow with his nose.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

This was an obvious foul by Kobe, and we have the angle that shows the ref had a clear line of sight to the whole thing. Bibby's reaction and the reaction of the whole team tells you all you need to know about the officiating that night. They didn't even complain or act surprised. This became the most famous nose foul in NBA history. 

If you want to check out all the controversial calls and the reactions in the aftermath, or you are a masochistic Kings fan, and you can't look away - here you go.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook hasn't committed a turnover in two games, and it's the first time in his career

Los Angeles Lakers Russell Westbrook hasn't committed a turnover in two games following their victories over the Portland Trailblazers and Milwaukee Bucks

Zach Lowe & Kendrick Perkins

Come on now Perk, I don’t want to fight with you Perk" - Zach Lowe goes in on Kendrick Perkins' MVP list

ESPN's Zach Lowe disagrees with Kendrick Perkins' MVP list that includes Indiana Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton and not Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley’s guarantee that the USMNT would beat the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup aged like sour milk

Barkley guaranteed that the US would beat the Netherlands, and promptly caught a lot of flak after they failed to do so

Stephon Marbury as a member of the New Jersey Nets in 2000

"They picked the wrong coach at the time" - Stephon Marbury on why the 2004 USA Olympic Team failed terribly

It is unknown if Starbury and Brown ever ended their feud which began at the 2004 Olympics.

Philadelphia 76ers center Moses Malone and center Darryl Dawkins

“Moses Malone did help me make up my mind” — why Darryl Dawkins jumped straight from high school to the NBA

Darryl Dawkins was inspired and motivated by how Moses Malone quickly hit his stride in the pros despite coming straight out of high school.

Dennis Rodman is honored during halftime as an NBA 75th anniversary team member at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

How Dennis Rodman became successful in marketing the bad boy image in the NBA

Dennis Rodman didn't try to tame his wild side and instead use it to market himself as a bad boy in the NBA.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

Did you know: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s name was shorter before he made the NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo's surname used to be different and it was altered according to the Greek alphabet.