During his 16 years in the NBA Kobe Bryant has reinvented himself more often than Madonna. There were the early days of the bald head which later gave way to the fro. There was KB8 which became KB24. There was the beloved pre-trial Kobe and the hated post-trial Mamba.
Last night Bryant unveiled the newest version of Kobe – The Masked Mamba.
With a lot of help from Dwyane Wade, Kobe strapped on his protective mask and proceeded to destroy the Minnesota Timberwolves. It might have been a new look but the game was classic Kobe with 31 points, 7 boards and 8 dimes during the 19-point demolition of the upstart Wolves.
Of course what would a grand unveiling be without a dramatic build up?
Kobe had that covered too.
Ever since Wade bloodied Bryant’s nose there was all kinds of speculation on whether or not Bryant would answer the bell when the Lakers took the court again. Right up until the opening tip the world wondered if the NBA’s new concussion policies would prevent the Lakers from being at full strength.
Then, as if authored by Stan Lee, in stepped a masked man that was all too familiar yet somehow a stranger to the world. A man with that would not be denied the right to do what he was born to do. A man that MF Doom would envy and Rip Hamilton might lament. A man known simply as Masked Mamba! Let the basketball world tremble in terror as a new villain emerges on the scene. (Cue the maniacal laughter)