Heading into the second half of USA’s game vs. Australia the US men were only up by seven points, but the atmosphere around the arena was that of a team who had total control. LeBron James was once again showing why he is the most dominant player in the world, Kevin Durant was draining three’s like they were lay-ups, and Carmelo Anthony was providing some solid minutes off the bench. But, one of the players whom the US had counted on to be a key part of their Olympic gold medal run, Kobe Bryant, was stinking it up.
Kobe was 0 for 6 from the field heading into the third quarter with 3 turnovers, and 3 personal fouls. Many people throughout Twitter were panicking, calling for head coach Mike Krzyewski to pull Kobe in favor of Anthony, Westbrook, or simply anyone who wouldn’t cost the USA the game. Krzyewski did just that, pulling Kobe midway through the third, then re-inserting him, allowing Kobe to get his first points of the game, two free-throws on a driving lay-up.
Still, though just two points for Kobe against Australia was not something that anyone would consider as satisfactory, and I’m sure Kobe felt the same way. So, when the fourth quarter started, and NBC Sports zoomed in on a US huddle, showing Mike Krzyewski, presumably, imploring his team to keep up their great effort, and Kobe simply had on his usual Black Mamba face, everyone should of saw what was coming. Bryant strolled out ontothe court, hit a three-pointer, followed by another, and then another, and then another, and all of a sudden the Black Mamba was back, just like that.
Kobe, in the matter of a few minutes, nailed 6 three-pointers, accounting for 18 points, and igniting a USA run that would seal the deal against the boomers. I don’t know if Kobe had access to a smartphone, or laptop and got on Twitter during the break between the third and fourth quarter, but something had gotten under Kobe’s skin. All of the chatter recently about Kobe being done, or finished might also be a key reason why Kobe decided to show why he is still an élite scorer, whether he is playing overseas, or in the NBA. While there will still be some people who will doubt that Kobe still has it, the one person who is confident that he still does have it is the most important person of them all, Kobe Beam Bryant. Kobe is not done, finished, or washed up by any means, and he knows it.
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