An important anecdote in the mythos of Kobe Bryant took a hit earlier this week when a overhead camera angle appeared to refute common knowledge about what went down when NBA bruiser Matt Barnes faked a pass right at Kobe's head and he didn't even blink. The overhead footage shows Kobe to the side of the apparent trajectory of that fake pass, negating the cold-blooded theme of the story.
However, Kobe dismissed the notion when word got back to him about the new angle of the anecdote rippling out across social media:
The presumption here is that Kobe didn't deliberately sidestep the path of the ball because of Barnes' fake, but simply happened to sidestep the faux-pass's direct path in the act of his braggadocios sway. TMZ, true to form, tracked down the less famous of the two retired wings and asked him about the new slant on the old story. His response was right in line with Bryant.
"I thought that was a dead story, " Barnes added. Nope, not when it's Kobe Bean Bryant. The Kobe legion can now point to Barnes' comment and Kobe's own response to the new footage as evidence that the story remains as powerful a characterization of Kobe as it was before. But like a lot of the carefully tuned veneer surrounding Bean's career, it can often ring hollow when held up to a closer inspection.