Down by plenty and in danger of signing over the deed to the Staples Center to the L.A. Clippers for good, Kobe Bryant blew off a little steam on Thursday night by hammering home a one-handed slam.
Technically, Jamal Crawford was "defending" him on the play, but it's debatable whether or not the Clips' sixth man has ever actually guarded anyone. Bryant easily lost him in the mid-post area, lowering his left shoulder and getting into the lane.
Yeah, I saw what Kobe did. Big deal! Joey Crawford can beat Jamal Crawford off the dribble.— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 15, 2013
From there, the elevator went up, and L.A.'s chief resident dunker, Blake Griffin, could do nothing but watch. Of course, had he been any closer, he almost certainly would have fallen down in a heap, hoping to flop his way to a foul somehow.
Ultimately, the play didn't matter. The Clips held on to their comfortable advantage after Kobe's outburst, casually nursing a 20-point lead that the carried all the way through to a 125-101 victory.
But the dunk still drew plenty of, shall we say, "emotional" responses from the Twitterverse.
There was anger from Lakers blogger Darius Soriano:
And then Lakers Nation celebrated the holiday with an appropriately amorous analysis:
It's appropriate that Kobe would make sweet love to the rim on Valentine's Day.— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) February 15, 2013
Finally, Serena Winters of the aforementioned LakersNation.com simply couldn't contain herself:
Oh, Kobe. YES! Don't stop doing that.— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 15, 2013
All right, let's all just settle down. Kobe's dunk clearly struck a chord among his fans, but unfortunately, it only counted for two points. That's been the story for Bryant all season, though; his own play has been spectacular, but it just hasn't been enough.
In fact, it's hard to think of a more appropriate symbol of the Lakers' first 50-plus games than a visibly frustrated Bryant spiking home a highlight dunk in the midst of a double-digit loss.
Nice play, Kobe. Now just find a way to make your teammates as angry as you are.