Kobe Bryant not flinching at Matt Barnes is not what it seems, and the internet feels duped

One of the most infamous NBA highlight clips of the last decade is kinda, sorta a lie. 

This is the unfortunate truth that the internet was forced to face on Tuesday, when an alternate angle of the 2010 incident between Kobe Bryant and Matt Barnes revealed a dark truth. You probably already know the gist of the clip ... Kobe's Lakers and Barnes' Magic were going head-to-head in a fiery battle, and Barnes seemingly attempted to intimidate Kobe by faking an inbound pass straight to his face. 

Despite the ball fake appearing to be mere centimeters from his face, Kobe didn't even flinch. It was, essentially, a perfect summation of Bryant's ice cold Mamba Mentality.

But, upon further inspection, it wasn't quite as impressive as it appeared. It took years to reveal the truth, but Kobe wasn't actually standing directly in front of Barnes when the ball fake occurred. 

This revelation was not received as welcome news by a majority of NBA fans. Those fans, who held the non-flinch in such high regard for so many years, now feel like they've been living a lie. They feel like they've been betrayed by this new information, and that they've had a piece of their fandom ripped away from them forever. 

OK, so maybe it's not as impressive as originally thought, but do we still owe Kobe some credit for not flinching? The fake was still somewhat close to his face and there wasn't even a shred of concern on Bryant's part. Hell, even Barnes went on record earlier this year to give credit where credit's due, saying he thought it was close enough to hit Kobe in the face.

It took years to uncover the truth about this infamous sports moment, but the facts are finally out there. It's now up to you to decide how you want to handle it.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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