Kobe Bryant Will Seek Revenge Sunday after Dwyane Wade's Dirty Play
Kobe Bryant doesn't forget about anything that happens to him on a basketball court.
The Black Mamba never shrinks from a challenge, and thrives off anything he can use as motivation to enhance his game.
There is no question that Dwyane Wade's foul on Bryant in the All-Star Game was a hard one, but it would be foolish to think that the Miami Heat star had intentions of injuring Bryant on the play.
According to ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh, Wade has apologized to Bryant for the outcome of the play.
"It's all I can do," Wade said of the message to Kobe. "He knows it's no ill intent of me to do that to him. Talk about me for taking the foul, but I never wanted that kind of outcome."
Despite the apology, some of Bryant's teammates were less than thrilled with Wade's on-court actions.
"It was an All-Star Game," said Andrew Bynum, who was on the Western Conference All-Star's bench in Orlando at the time of the foul. "I don't understand what that was all about. It was crazy."
Added Pau Gasol: "I think it was out of place, out of line, for the moment and the game that it was, but I don't think he intended to break his nose. He just fouled him kind of hard there and got his nose. But again, I don't think it was the place to foul like that."
Bryant insists that he holds no ill will toward Wade.
"It's always entertaining to me to hear people talk about our relationship as if they know really what's going on and try to say there's something between them and all this other stuff.
It was very simple. He didn't mean to do it. It's just something that just happens. He's not that type of person."
With Bryant willing to acknowledge that Wade had no dirty intentions behind the foul, the conspiracy theories should be put to bed.
It was a hard foul with an unfortunate outcome.
But that doesn't mean that Bryant will just forget about it and move on. He doesn't just forget about anything.
Making an unbelievably swift recovery from a concussion and wearing a mask to protect his broken nose, Kobe dropped 31 points to go along with seven rebounds and eight assists in a game many thought he would sit out.
Bryant was second to just Pau Gasol (plus-33) with his plus-28 performance in a matchup his team won by 19 points, 104-85.
Now the focus is centered around Wade and Bryant for Sunday's upcoming contest between Miami and Los Angeles.
With the two set to go head-to-head in a matchup that will draw a huge national audience, Kobe will put his friendship with Dwyane aside to make a point.
It's all about basketball for Bryant, and he'll use the game against Miami to deliver a message to Wade, the Heat and the rest of the NBA.
Kobe will be eager to exact revenge in the best way he knows how—with a dominant performance.
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