LeBron James was beloved and then tossed aside as roadkill in a matter of minutes at the Staples Center on Monday night. He hit the game-tying three-point shot to send a matchup against the Spurs into overtime, which was his biggest moment to date in purple and gold. But he floundered in the extra minutes, clunking back-to-back free throws and missing the game-winning shot as the Lakers remain one of four teams without a ‘W’.
It was a poor finish for one of the game’s greats, though he did end up with 32 points on 25 shots, 14 assists, and eight rebounds.
Immediately, and right on cue, Lakers Twitter propped up their guy, Kobe Bryant, over LeBron. They claimed that he’d never have missed a pair of free throws with the game on the line like that. He’d made free throws with a torn Achilles after all.
There’s a common theme among the tweets: “Kobe would never.”
That's y'alls goat ? Where all you "lebron better than Kobe" fans at ? Kobe would never ! pic.twitter.com/rWQktlxJ7W— Katherine ♡ (@Kathy02Diaz) October 23, 2018
Smh Kobe would’ve never missed hem free throws.— Jaleel Wadood (@W4DOOD_) October 23, 2018
Really ... Really? Mannnnn Kobe would never!— snap :: herfavv (@2_CHvRMiNG) October 23, 2018
My king Kobe would have never missed 2 free throws— chris (@chandaye) October 23, 2018
Lakers lost due to Bron missing free throws? LMAOOOO Kobe would NEVER— Diddy Bop Daddy (@Delvo_3K) October 23, 2018
(Are you still reading because there are way more where those came from.)
Kobe would NEVER. Kobe hitting these with torn Achilles. https://t.co/uNRNHxJCYI— darkwing (@Kowenmoffor) October 23, 2018
WOW KOBE WOULD NEVER— William Lou (@william_lou) October 23, 2018
Kobe would’ve never missed two back to back free throws in the clutch like that— Ricco Swerv (@_ogpapiricco_) October 23, 2018
(I know you’re tired of reading, but these tweets build drama and validation to the point of my blog.)
I’ve been a Laker fan my whole life and saw a lot of close games, and let me say Kobe would have never missed two free throws in the final minute of a game like that... just to end the debate— #jeffsalt (@jeffsalt_0) October 23, 2018
WAIT A MINUTE— Tony Aguiar (@Tony_tresdos) October 23, 2018
THE “KING” “LA-BRON” “GOAT”MISSED FREE THROWS AND A GAME WINNER ? FUCKEN LOSER KOBE WOULD NEVER pic.twitter.com/REhUHxKKhG
KOBE would have NEVER did no shit like that. we dont miss two free throws in clutch. #MakeKobeProud— Chase AKA Chase City (@Babybounce15) October 23, 2018
(I’ll end right here on my favorite one — #NotMyGoat.)
Kobe Bryant’s clutch has long been morphed to fable, even before his retirement. So it’s no surprise fans forgot he missed back-to-back free throws and lost a game because of it, too. Just like LeBron.
Never forget the Trail Blazers 91-88 win over the Lakers in April 2010. LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points, Andre Miller had 15 and Kobe Bryant finished with 20, which doesn’t include the two free throws he missed with 6.9 seconds left that could’ve given his team the lead — and maybe the win.
Folks, it appears that Kobe could, in fact ever.
Here’s video for those who are in disbelief:
“Kobe would never” y’all all poor and full of shxt pic.twitter.com/2GHTycc0Xl— 5at Cuz (@LuvvVSFatCuz) October 23, 2018
And although this example was the closest to LeBron’s scenario from Monday night, Kobe missed a whole lot of back-to-back free throws in the clutch.
Dating back to 2000, Bryant missed consecutive free throws in a two-possession or less game with a minute or less to play NINE other times.
Here’s the list:
2002 Finals - Lakers up four with 42.7 seconds to play, he misses both
So yes, feel free to criticize LeBron for his missed shots. But let’s not pretend Kobe didn’t make the same mistakes.