Matt Barnes Gets Real On Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dirty Game’

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Matt Barnes Gets Real On Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dirty Game’


One of the ‘most Kobe’ moments ever took place on March 7, 2010.

In the third quarter between Kobe’s Lakers and the Orlando Magic, an inbounds play became one of the most iconic moments of the Millennium. Orlando’s Matt Barnes attempted to make Kobe flinch on an inbounds pass. He faked throwing the ball right at Kobe’s face. But Bryant didn’t move at all. More so, he didn’t even flinch, he did NOT flinch!



Interestingly enough that moment turned out to be the key to Bryant and Barnes’ friendship.

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show last year, Matt Barnes revealed that the infamous no-flinch moment was the reason Kobe called him the following summer, asking him to join the Lakers.


“Just respecting each other every time. We played each other and I really looked forward to it. It kind of came to a head in Orlando, 2010, with the ball fake.

And after that season, he called me up and literally said, ‘anyone crazy enough to fuck with me, is crazy enough to play with me. Do you want to be a Laker?’. Literally three days later, I was a Laker. So we went from opponents to teammates to brothers… I got a chance to really know him as person, not just as a basketball player,”



Now, during an appearance on JJ Redick’s ‘The Old Man And The Three’ Podcast, Matt Barnes provided some additional insights on Kobe, specifically on how dirty his game was.


“That’s what people don’t know about Kobe. Like, and you got the garden, but he’s a dirty motherfu**er. Elbow you, grab you. Let me out with me in my sternum and knocked the wind out of me. And I wanted to like really like just grab him and fight right there.”


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