In my watching the game, I saw two different Kobe Bryant’s at different times. Both scored and worked relentlessly, but when the team gets left out, the “Black Mamba” becomes the “Black Hole”. This was very well portrayed in two different critical stretches of Sunday’s game.
In the second quarter the “Black Mamba” started to strike. The Wikipedia description of “Black Mamba” includes, “the black mamba will strike repeatedly, injecting large amounts of venom and is the fastest snake in the world.” After the Lakers fell behind by 9 (40-31) they clearly needed something extra. Kobe then made a jump shot, followed a minute later by a layup and a foul, and then after a Fisher layup and foul Bryant got a big offensive rebound and a nice jumper to pull the Lakers to within 1. Kobe’s next shot was a three that gave the Lakers the lead.
During that stretch he shot 6 for 8. But note also that the comeback included Gasol and Fisher also scoring, and Artest and Bynum each had a shot. Everyone was involved. The Lakers’ “Black Mamba” is deadly when he is part of the team.
Let’s look at the fourth quarter where Kobe again tried to bring out the “Black Mamba”, but instead we got the “Black Hole.” Wikipedia describes a “Black Hole” this way, “A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape.” When the ball goes in, it never comes out. The Lakers found themselves down by 9 (89-80) with 7:14 left. For the next 11, yes ELEVEN trips down the court every time Kobe got the ball he went into isolation mode and tried to make an amazing move to score. He was 5 for 10 with a turnover.
With 1:44 left Gasol tried to tip in a Kobe miss, the first shot attempt by any Laker other than Kobe in 6.5 minutes and 11 possessions. The “Black Hole” had struck and sucked the life out of the rest of the Lakers, and eliminated the chance for victory against a very team oriented group of Celtics.