Kobe Bryant “exorcised his demons” with a clutch vintage performance in New Orleans
Vintage Kobe was in the New Orleans house on Thursday. Coming off a season-high 38, the Black Mamba dropped 27 points (13 in the final 6 minutes), 12 boards and a 3-point dagger in the final minute to give the Lakers a 2 game winning streak.
“It was really special to be able to play in front of this crowd,” Bryant said about the NO crowd cheering for him and even chanting MVP in the first half. “It makes me feel great. It makes me feel like all the hard work I put in through the years has been worth it.”
It was also special to Kobe because his last game in NO ended with him tearing his rotator cuff on a dunk.
“Tonight, I felt like I kind of exorcised my demons a little bit,” Bryant said. “I was like, `I want to get back out on this court and play — and play well.”
“I knew the amount of training that I had put in over the summertime. I mean, I worked like crazy,” Bryant said. “It becomes more frustrating because you’re not seeing those results. It becomes: ‘Maybe this is what happens [when you're older]. You put all the work in and still there’s nothing to show for it and you can’t do anything about it.’ And I had to be really stubborn and say, `No. You’ve got to continue to stay with the process,’ as I always have, and see what happens.”
“I wasn’t going to quit,” Bryant added. “At the end of the season, if these games never came around, I could look myself in the mirror and be comfortable with the fact that I tried everything.”