Highlight-Reel Plays That Make Us Believe Kobe Bryant's Still in His Prime

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Highlight-Reel Plays That Make Us Believe Kobe Bryant's Still in His Prime
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
After 17 years of putting in work, Kobe Bryant is truly an athletic marvel.

Early in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, Kobe Bryant received an entry pass from Steve Nash just off the right block.

The rest of the Lakers cleared out that whole side so Bryant could go to work from one of his favorite spots on the court.

Everyone in the building—including Klay Thompson, the guy checking Bryant—knew what was coming next. Kobe would back Thompson down with a couple of dribbles toward the basket, then spin over his left shoulder and fire off one of his patented baseline fall-away jumpers.

We've all seen Bryant make that exact move a thousand times over the last few years, as his waning athleticism has compelled him to find more ways to score away from the hoop.

It was the move Thompson was prepared to defend; that's why Thompson could only watch helplessly, just as the fans in the stands, when Bryant decided to eschew the baseline fade and attack the rim after making his familiar spin.

And what a ferocious assault it was. David Lee thought about challenging it, but decided he didn't want "R.I.P David Lee" to be a trending topic on Twitter. Golden State's defensive anchor Andrew Bogut didn't even bother to help.

The result was a monstrous reverse jam that hearkened back to Bryant's prime.

Here are six more examples of Bryant showing he's still capable of turning back the clock at age 34.

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