Kobe Bryant has won five championships, he’s scored more points than all but two players in NBA history, he has two different jersey numbers retired.
But the defining image of his legendary career has always been the following....
When the Magic and Lakers squared off in March of 2010, things were beginning to get a little heated between Bryant and Matt Barnes. As Barnes was in-bounding on the baseline, he pump-faked a pass seemingly within a millimeter of Bryant’s face.
Bryant didn’t flinch. And the Hall-of-Fame worthy GIF of the incident would go on to become the international symbol of Bryant’s badass Mamba Mentality.
Now it seems it may have all been a lie. And even as a Magic fan, this is like finding out that Mickey Mantle corked his bat or that Santa Claus isn’t real.
Don’t watch the overhead angle of the Kobe-Barnes no flinch unless you want it to be totally ruined.— Taco Trey Kerby (@treykerby) October 2, 2018
The overhead angle of the incident surfaced, showing that the swaying Bryant may have been to the side of Barnes when he made the fake, thus making the no-flinch far less impressive...
Judge for yourself with the video below....
Oh no pic.twitter.com/PFcQGMQDF1— Austen Leake (@TribStarAusten) October 2, 2018
And now a social media riot has broken out...
Maybe Kobe Bryant didn't flinch because he had no reason to: https://t.co/4MddNZyVLd pic.twitter.com/a5vaBMXf2K— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 2, 2018
Dreams are ruined after finding out Kobe was standing to the side of Matt Barnes this whole time— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) October 2, 2018
(h/t @treykerby, @World_Wide_Wob) pic.twitter.com/19nJ6JT8Bn
On Kobe-No-Flinch-Gate, he had this to say via @chrispalmernba -— Lakers Legacy (@LakersLegacyPod) October 2, 2018
"You gotta remember I was swaying. He did it and I didn't balk." - @kobebryant
And either way, even still...just wanted to remind everyone that he also didn't flinch on this... pic.twitter.com/9jtvgafQ0i
I just puked into a garbage can at work https://t.co/H1l2kWpQQi— Mike Golic Jr (@MGolicJR57) October 2, 2018
[NEW POST] A frame-by-frame investigation of the notorious Kobe Bryant/Matt Barnes flinch play @ActionNetworkHQ https://t.co/zygoQIx7Ij— Sherwob Holmes (@World_Wide_Wob) October 2, 2018