The Battle of Los Angeles transpired on Friday night, and Kobe Bryant let the young Clippers know that he still owns the Staples Center, even if the Lakers are starting to slip behind the Clippers in popularity.
Bryant also showed that the old man still has some serious hops and that Chris Paul still has a long way to go before he’s considered with the likes of Kobe. Late in the first quarter of the game, Bryan knocked the ball away from Paul while he was trying to pass the ball on a screen, grabbed the lose ball and proceeded to posterize the Clippers superstar. Paul’s first mistake was passing the ball, his second was pulling out of his block attempt while Bryant was barring down on him.
Fatal flaw, finish him.
You never, ever pull away after you’ve started jumping. That’s why half of the posterizing jams in the NBA look as bad as they do.
Many have questioned if Bryant still has his elite game in him. From the Lakers struggles dating back to the end of the Phil Jackson era, to his fading from the premier spotlight, the critics are coming out to attempt to feast on what they think is Bryant’s carcass. It may only be one dunk, but Kobe Bryant can still ball and keep up with the young ones in the NBA.
Let’s not forget, Kobe dueled with an aging Micheal Jordan starting in 1997, and it’s fitting that Bryant finds himself in a similar situation now as he reaches the twilight of his illustrious career.
The Clippers ended up getting the last laugh on Bryant and the Lakers, as the Battle of Los Angeles went to the Clippers this time around, 107-102.