This 2010 Clip Shows Just How Fearless Kobe Bryant Could Be on the Court

NBA legend Kobe Bryant was known for being fearless on the court. Perhaps nothing captures that quality as fully and as famously as this “unflinching” moment from a 2010 Lakers game.

One of Bryant’s most iconic moments on the court came during a March 7, 2010 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic. After intense face-offs between Magic forward Matt Barnes and Bryant all game, Barnes faked a hard pass directly at Bryant’s face in frustration. Barnes stopped just inches short of Bryant’s head—yet, Bryant didn’t even flinch.

The video is one of the top YouTube moments for Bryant with more than 18 million views, and a literal example of how unflinching he was. With confidence and fearlessness on and off the court, Bryant was revered for his talent as much as his stone-cold persona.

Bryant recently relived the iconic moment with Barnes on Barnes’ All The Smoke podcast, with the two saying there was never any bad blood between them.

“I didn’t realize how close it came to your face. Obviously, you didn’t move,” Barnes said on the episode as Bryant laughed. “But when I saw after, like that shit was—I mean, your eyelashes touched that shit.”

In fact, the moment inspired Bryant to try and recruit Barnes for the Lakers. Barnes remembered Bryant told him, “Anyone who is crazy enough to fuck with me is crazy enough to play with me.” Barnes went on to play with the Lakers from 2010 to 2012 alongside Bryant.

Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with his daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant. Seven others were reportedly on board the chopper. The group was reportedly headed to a basketball practice at Mamba Academy when the aircraft downed in Calabasas, California. Kobe Bryant was 41. As Bryant’s death sends shockwaves through the country, many are remembering this particular 2010 moment as an example the iconic athlete’s legacy.

“This Kobe [moment] is everything I strive to be in my life,” comedian Sean Kent wrote on Twitter. “Dude was fearless.”

Another fan tweeted the moment, saying, “This is forever my all-time favorite Kobe Bryant moment. You don’t even have to be a sports fan to appreciate it. Not only does Kobe not even flinch, he doesn’t even BLINK when Matt Barnes fakes a basketball to his face…Tell me Mamba wasn’t on another level.”

As the ESPN commentator said directly after the famous moment in 2010: “You are not going to get in the head of Kobe Bryant.”

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