“Still Here, Never Left”

It was not even one week ago when I predicted to my buddy that Kobe Bryant would dunk right on someone one more time before he either retires or can no longer do it.  Well Tuesday was that day, and Emeka Okafor was his victim.  In spite of an “injured ankle”, Kobe still flashed signs of his old self when he took off several feet out of the restricted circle, glided through the air, cocked it back, and brought the spike down on one of the best shot blockers in the NBA.  Because he’s getting up there in years and his legs have roughly a million miles on them, we don’t get to see that side of Kobe much these days.  At age 32, he’s more likely to create some contact in the paint and draw the foul, possibly a ‘And One’, or simply stop short and pull up for a jumper.  But I know you haven’t forgotten about the Kobe who welcomed Yao Ming in the NBA with his first facial.  The Kobe who dunked on the head of Ben Wallace during the preseason of his rookie year with the Lakers and knocked him on his can after he flew eight feet.  You didn’t forget about the Kobe Bryant who won the 1997 slam dunk contest, caught a 360 alley-oop on the Sixers, windmilled on the Knicks in the Garden with a puzzled Latrell Sprewell beneath him, and dunked over Dwight Howard while pretending to use D12’s torso as a blow-up doll (In my opinion it is one of the top five facial dunks I’ve ever seen).  So on Tuesday, KB24 gave us that friendly reminder, similar to what Jordan would toss our way in 1998.  That little, “Hey, I can still do this.”  Knowing Kobe’s competitive and cut throat nature, it’s probably closer to: “How %$@*! dare you doubt me!”   Either which way, he reminded you, and possibly reminded himself.  Check out the dunk again below, along with some of the best dunks of Kobe Bryant’s career below that.  Enjoy. 

This video below is Kobe serving an unforgettable welcome to Dwight Howard into the NBA a few years back (The blow up doll reference.  You’ll understand when you see Kobe thrust).  Later, Bryant would say that he “baptized” Howard.  LOL!

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