The Flinch. Or, more accurately, the non-flinch. This is part of Kobe Bryant’s legacy. The future Hall of Famer, known for his mental toughness didn’t even flinch when Matt Barnes, king troll of the NBA, faked a pass inches from Bryant’s face. Stone-faced indifference became part of Kobe’s lore, a somewhat superhuman sixth sense: in this case, shutting off a few senses.
But, folks, nothing good can stay. Thanks to the work of Trey Kerby and The Big Lead ex-pat Rob Perez, we have a totally new understanding of this seminal event.
All of these years, all of these hours wondering how Bryant could resist the primal survival instincts. All of that to find out that he didn’t flinch because he had no reason to flinch. Not only that, but Bryant may not even have been looking at the ball.
A lot to digest.
It’s never pleasant to have whimsy and nostalgia erased. It’s uncomfortable to see your reality exposed as but a mere veneer. Living a lie is jarring. Perhaps the most shocking thing is how this evidence remained largely hidden since 2010. I’m kind of questioning what other sports legends aren’t on the level.
Please don’t tell me.