One week ago the villain terrorizing the NBA known as the Masked Mamba didn’t exist. It wasn’t until a hard foul during what was supposed to be a friendly exhibition game that Kobe Bryant shed his public persona for the alter-ego he now sports on game nights.
As fate would have it, or as David Stern scripted it, the man responsible for the mask will make a stop in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat have been warned. Those South Beach ballers are a front-running bunch. The type that would only pull a move like breaking the nose of the league’s toughest competitor when they’re on top of the basketball world and in the middle of a win streak. Well, the win streak ended in Utah last night and the broken nose has only fueled Bryant.
For whatever it is worth both Bryant and Wade have taken the high road since the incident. Wade apologized and Kobe shrugged it off as if it the whole occurrence was nothing more than a simple misunderstanding.
On the surface it would appear as if all is right. Perhaps that is true for Bryant but can the same be said for the Masked Mamba?
When the game gets going and Bryant is again dealing with the face sauna that is the mask then the story could be quite different. As if angered by his new appearance, Kobe has unleashed a fury during the first two games of the Masked Mamba era.
Not to be left out of the fun, LeBron James might have something to say on the matter too. It was Kobe who got the jump on the entire sports world by telling LeBron he again screwed the pooch in the clutch by passing instead of shooting in the final moments of the All-Star game.
There is no lack of drama for Sunday’s game that is for sure. What remains to be seen is how the Masked Mamba will take to seeing Wade for the first time since the incident. It might be all pleasantries off the court as Kobe and Wade have a bond but all bets will be off once the game gets going and MF Mamba takes over for KB24.