Even though there will always be stars playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, there will never, ever be another Kobe Bryant.
The legendary shooting guard stood up not only because of his scoring prowess and defensive dominance but because of his unmatched competitiveness and fearless personality.
Bryant was never going to be outworked, and it was simply impossible to get into his head.
That was on full display on this day 13 years ago in one of his most iconic moments.
Orlando Magic forward Matt Barnes threatened to throw the ball directly at his face during an inbound play from the baseline, yet Kobe didn’t even flinch.
13 years ago today, Kobe didn't flinch 🐍 pic.twitter.com/AjZB84y6I3
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 7, 2023
The guy was a complete robot when he was out there on the court, and there was nothing Barnes, or any other rival could do to faze him the slightest.
That clip right there was the living proof of his ‘Mamba Mentality,’ his signature way of life and the philosophy that inspired thousands of people even outside of the sports scene.
Unsurprisingly, dozens of fans took to Twitter to react to that moment and remember the late NBA legend.
Bean wasn’t afraid of no one 💯
— Life & Basketball Brand ® (@lifebballbrand) March 7, 2023
Wow 😆 🤣 😂 my boy ain't never scared!
— Karl Davis (@DJKDURDJ) March 7, 2023
— WAr* (@just3kev) March 7, 2023
Man, Kobe loved the game of basketball. It was his life. It was his passion. And he came with that energy EVERY game. There will never be a better competitor in the game
— Nineteen Promises (@NineteenPromis1) March 7, 2023
at this moment kobe knew he wanted matt barnes to join Lakers
— Audi (@audiraafian) March 7, 2023
One of my favorite videos- so classic Kobe and @Matt_Barnes22 ! Matt- I want to hear your version
— Dave Shore (@Dave_Shore) March 7, 2023
As a matter of fact, Barnes once claimed that Kobe later recruited him to join him in the Lakers because of that very same moment, stating that someone ‘crazy enough to f**k with him was also crazy enough to play with him.’
One cannot talk about NBA history without mentioning Kobe Bryant multiple times, and it still doesn’t feel real that he’s no longer among us.NEXT: NBA Fans React To What LeBron James Said About Bronny