After 14 All-Star seasons, Kobe Bryant has been called just about everything while visiting an NBA opponent's building. But one thing he is usually never called outside the comfy confines of Staples Center is, "M-V-P!."
Bryant didn't hear the chant only once during the Lakers game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center Tuesday night — but three different times.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar didn't let the Brooklyn fans down after this emphatic, one-handed dunk between the Nets' bookends Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries after the "M-V-P!" serenade.
With 2:45 left to play, Bryant delighted the easily swayed Brooklyn crowd by slicing and dicing the dumbfounded duo with the right-handed jam to give his team an 82-80 lead.
Bryant later drove past Wallace for a layup with 1:42 left for an 86-83 lead and stole a Wallace pass with 45 seconds left to kill any chance for the Nets to make it a one-possession game.
"I was pretty shocked that the lane was so open. I think everybody's been drinking the Kobe-Pass Kool-Aid," said Bryant, who finished with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals for a 92-83 win. "So everybody kind of stayed on the perimeter with the shooters. It just parted like the Red Sea so I felt a little like Moses."
Bryant claimed the play tweaked his sore elbow, but he resisted rubbing it down while the Brooklyn crowd went crazy because he didn't want to "mess up the swagger."
Even Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni was awestruck by the fantastic dunk.
"The dunk was pretty awesome so I don't know how hurt he is," said D'Antoni. "I'm sure he's banged up, but he gets his rhythm."
"From my perspective it's pretty cool," said Bryant about the love from the stands. "I enjoyed it immensely."
The Barclays Center crowd seems to agree.