Kobe Bryant and the Dunk Heard Around the World

After the game, pictures were leaked of Bryant hobbling to the team bus on crutches, but as expected he told reporters he’d be playing in game five. Bryant refused to have an MRI, contesting it’d be a waste of his time since he’d play regardless of the severity of the injury.

Fans debated if Kobe was being stubborn or if this was another token of Kobe’s sheer will and determination.

Even if Kobe played game five, would be he efficient? That was the question everyone wanted to know and Kobe already had the answer to.

As game five tipped off at STAPLES, it looked like more of the same.  Chris Paul was making Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli look like all stars, and the Hornets were up by as much nine points in the first quarter.

Then came the second quarter….

With the Lakers down 44-40, they needed something to ignite a comeback. Enter retro Kobe Bryant.
Pau drew a double team from Carl Landry and Trevor Ariza, upon receiving the kick-out, Bryant drove the lane with a full head of steam.

Lakers Nation expected Kobe either to stop on a dime and pull up for an easy jumper or to finish a difficult layup at the rim but Kobe had a surprise in store.

He continued driving and attacked Emeka Okafor. He hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity for a 32 year-old man, and crammed the Spalding right over Okafor.

I hopped up and screamed like I just found a pot of gold, I screamed so loud that everyone on the floor at my residence came out to the common room and wondered what had just happened.

I couldn’t find the words at the time, I just pointed at the television as the replay was shown.

It was surreal. It was the moment we were all waiting for but never expected to happen. It was as if Kobe had hopped in a time machine, grew his afro back, switched his number back to 8 just for that dunk.

“It looked like he was going to challenge me at the end. I accepted the challenge,” said Bryant.

That dunk meant so much more than two points, along with sparking the Lakers comeback, it also reminded us why Kobe is one of the greatest players of all time and he still has some gas left in the tank.

A quarter later, #8 appeared again: this time serving up a nasty left handed dunk around an outstretched Carl Landry.

I screamed again, this time I screamed “I’m sorry I ever doubted you Kobe!”

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