One of my favorite clutch performances by Kobe Bryant came in 2004, when Bryant hit a ridiculous twisting 3 over the Kobe stopper Reuben Patterson to put the game into OT. Then with 1 second left in double OT, Kobe drained a turnaround 3 at the buzzer to give the Lakers a 1 point win. After the game, Kobe signed his shoes and gave it to Patterson. It was “Kobe Mentality” at it’s finest.
On Monday night during the Summer League Championship, the Bulls’ Denzel Valentine had that “Kobe Mentality.” Down by 3 with 3.6 seconds left in regulation, Valentine drained a 3 to force OT against MVP Tyus Jones and the Wolves.
“They left me open for a reason because I didn’t make any shots during the game,” Said Valentine referring to his 0-6 shooting in the first 3 quarters. “I would’ve left me open too.”
Then Valentine came through again in the extra session by hitting a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to give the Bulls a 84-82 victory and championship.
“I’m here for a reason,” Valentine said. “The Bulls picked me up to be a confident player and come through when the team needs me and be a winner. That’s what I preached during my draft interviews. I just keep winning on my mind.”
Valentine and the Bulls also finished the Summer League with a perfect 7-0 record. Yes, it is “just summer league” but if you watched Valentine, Bobby Portis, Championship game MVP Jerian Grant (24/10/5) and teammates over the past couple of weeks then you know the Bulls have some special talent to compliment Butler, Rondo and Wade in Chicago.
“People that are saying that it’s just summer league didn’t win summer league,” Valentine said. “Whoever is saying that, that’s a losing mentality. If you’re out here, you’re competing.”
Yep, “Kobe Mentality” at it’s finest.
Source: Chicago Tribune