Upon hearing Kobe Bryant was donning a personally crafted black mask (by the guy who did Richard Hamilton’s) for Tuesday’s game at Detroit, the first thought to come to mind was, “Oh man, this guy really think’s he’s Batman or a real life superhero, huh?” As it turns out, Bruce Wayne was totally off. Kobe’s newest disguise was more R. Kelly at the Grammys-esque. Let’s making one thing clear while we’re here. Okay, two. One, I have no ill will towards Kobe. He’s one of the greatest players ever and depending how his career ends, “top five of all time” could be on his mantle. And two, the only reason this mask is even remotely funny is because there’s a a 75% chance he went to the Lakers staff and said something along the lines of this convo:
Kobe: “I’m thinking of trying something new with this mask.”
Trainer: “Oh yeah, like what?”
Kobe: “A black mask. It represents success at success at success at success at intimidation.”
Trainer: “Black? You sure about that. I mean, if you want, sure, but you’re averaging like 34 per game with the clear one. Let’s not go f*cking with destiny here.”
Kobe: “You’re welcome.”
Ok, it probably didn’t go down like that, but it turns out the black mask was as short lived as Chris Paul’s tenure as a Laker. Midway through the second quarter shooting 1-6 from the field, Bean reverted back to the clear mask with results not much better as he finished shooting 8-26 for 22 points. This proves one thing however; Kobe’s obviously the superstitious type or an assistant coach was informing of the response the device was receiving on Twitter. Prior to the game, long time Lakers trainer Gary Vitti – one of the first people to know Magic had contracted HIV – noted Bryant chose the black mask because it was the most comfortable aka in NBA superstar lingo, “It makes me really look like Zorro.” To his credit, Kobe did nail a jumper as time as expired in the fourth to send the game into overtime. Yet, when the same opportunity presented itself in OT, his rushed jumper with six seconds left (obviously expecting to draw a foul) secured Los Angeles’ occasional road woes continued for at least another night with an 88-85 loss.
None of that really mattered in the long run though. Tuesday in Motown was all about the quarter and a half of the Black Mamba’s black mask. I hope you appreciated its short time with us. We’ll probably never see it again.
Bonus: Andrew Bynum had 30 points and 14 rebounds. Have at that how you will. Carry on.