One of the favorite videos to ever go around on NBA social media is the infamous moment when then-Orlando Magic forward Matt Barnes pump-faked a pass right in the face of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
A stone-faced Kobe didn’t flinch with the ball seemingly inches from his face. It served as an example as to how focused Bryant could be during a game with Barnes himself later admitting to be surprised by the lack of a reaction.
Now a new angle of the incident may have brought to light some new evidence that could help explain some things. The Daily Beast’s Timothy Burke posted video of an aerial angle of the incident, and it appears that the ball wasn’t quite as close to Kobe’s face as it appeared:
I see this is going around again today. Kobe did not flinch because he had no reason to flinch. pic.twitter.com/oi0ZVYNXIZ
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 2, 2018
NBA writer Chris Palmer actually spoke with Kobe about the new video and the Lakers legend brushed it off:
Just talked to Kobe a couple minutes ago about this. He hadn't heard about it yet. He wasn't worried. At all. "You gotta remember I was swaying. He did it and I didn't balk." https://t.co/8nR2wHNIX4
— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) October 2, 2018
Whether or not Barnes faked the ball directly in Kobe’s direction or not, it is clear that the ball is still extremely close to his face and most people would have had some sort of reaction, not just to keep swaying. Bryant’s non-reaction is no less impressive with this new camera view.
As Kobe put it, he didn’t balk, and over time this moment will continue to be one of the favorites of Kobe fans on social media.