Reliving Kobe Bryant's Scuffle With Matt Barnes

Reliving Kobe Bryant’s Scuffle With Matt Barnes

Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba, was an assassin when it came to basketball. Insane game winner, trash talking, beautiful midrange shots, he could do it all and is regarded by many as the most skilled scorer in NBA history. Many players around the league feared Kobe because of his antics.

However, there were players who wouldn’t back down to the Black Mamba. Matt Barnes was one of those few. Matt Barnes was a feisty player who wouldn’t back down against even the greatest players. His hard-nosed defense was revered around the league and Kobe wanted to check how Barnes would handle him.

The most savage moment in NBA history?

In 2010, the two players battled when the Orlando Magic faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers. The two of them went back and forth the entire game not giving each other an inch. Matt Barnes was defending Kobe the entire game making him take difficult shot after shot.

Kobe, on the other hand, was elbowing Barnes, grabbing him and pushing him under the net. Barnes was frustrated that the refs weren’t making any calls against Kobe. Irritated Barnes squared up against the Mamba after the latter put up an elbow while Barnes was trying to get the rebound.

He threw the ball and got into Kobe’s face. Kobe raised his hand showing the ref that he was not instigating anything. The ref separated the two giving each of them a technical foul and told to move on to the next play. Then the infamous incident took place which can be said as one of the most savage moments in NBA history.

In an inbound play Barnes took the ball and faked it just 1 cm away from hitting Kobe’s face. A normal person would flinch or move his head away. But Kobe wasn’t just anybody. He not only didn’t flinch but he stared right at Matt Barnes without batting an eye. Chilling isn’t it?

The aftermath

In a podcast with former NBA player JJ Reddick, Barnes recounted the story and said, “[Purely intentional.] Oh yea, 100%, I just don’t know where it came from, like, it wasn’t like I was thinking about doing it, like, my arms fucking did it by themselves. I promise you.”

The funny thing is after the incident took place, the next season Kobe invited Barnes to play with him for the Lakers just because of what had happened in Orlando. If anyone’s crazy enough to mess with the Mamba, then you are crazy enough to play with him. Barnes is one of the few players who earned Kobe’s respect because of which he wanted Barnes on the same team as him.

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.

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