But, it wasn't his play on the court that got Kobe noticed (although he did drop 27 points); instead, it was the homophobic slur he directed towards referee Bennie Adams.
The Lakers were leading the Spurs 60-54, when Bryant got called for a technical, probably for mouthing off to an official about a foul that wasn't called. From the instant he got it, it was clear that Kobe was not pleased with the call, and he stalked off the court.
He then smacked a teammate who tried to console him, and started chucking towels around like a petulant two-year-old, scowl now firmly etched into his face.
Kobe tried to get the attention of Adams, the ref who whistled him, shouting "Bennie!" in his direction, but got no response. So, he did what any angry person would do: He muttered a homophobic slur about Adams and sulked at the end of the bench.
Kobe has had a long and lengthy history as one of the biggest ref baiters in the NBA this side of Michael Jordan. He loves chatting up officials, and every once in a while, his jabs and jibes when he's not happy with the way the game is being called backfire in a big way.
I realize he was angry about getting the technical, but come on Kobe, that's the best you can come up with? All he managed to do was anger the GLBT rights groups, who are sure to make some sort of statement about Bryant's language.
Not only is the term highly offensive (and probably not something an NBA superstar on Bryant's level should be caught saying), it's also inaccurate. As far as we know, Adams is straight.
Maybe next time, Kobe will leave the homophobia at home, and come up with something a bit more clever to say.