While he can't always put in the same energy on the court that came easier at a younger age, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looked awfully energetic on both sides of court for at least one night in 2013.
After the Lakers' 104-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night, Milwaukee point guard Brandon Jennings called Kobe's defense, "probably the best defense anybody's played on me since I've been in the league," high praise from the fourth-year player.
The effort didn't show up in Bryant's statistics -- he recorded just one steal and zero blocks -- but the Bucks' offense struggled throughout the game. Jennings was especially befuddled by Kobe's aggressive defense, finishing the game with just 12 points and one assist on 4-of-14 shooting from the field.
For a player that earned the comment, "When it comes to defensive effort, make no mistake: Kobe Bryant is tanking," from the folks over at Silver Screen and Roll last week, Bryant's strong defensive play on Tuesday comes as a bit of a pleasant surprise to Lakers fans.
Even though Jennings is presumably accustomed to playing younger, faster players as Milwaukee's starting point guard, Bryant brought an unusually aggressive brand of defense to the table. "For the whole game, I don't think I've ever seen a guard put that much pressure on a point guard full-court," Jennings told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.
And of course, Kobe didn't slouch on offense, either, scoring 31 points on 12-of-19 shooting in addition to recording six assists. It was simply an impressive all-around effort from one of the league's great players.