Even if the Lakers hadn’t flamed out in the first round against the San Antonio Spurs, Kobe Bryant wouldn’t have provided any postseason theatrics. Such hope quickly evaporated when he suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles’ tendon in the waning minutes of the Lakers’ win April 12 over the Golden State Warriors.
But that’s not preventing the NBA from using Bryant in their NBA Finals 2013 “BIG” campaign. After all, Bryant has proven enough to come through in big playoff moments, good enough for five NBA rings and two Finals MVPS.
The above video shows a young Bryant sporting No. 8 driving and dunking with unyielding athleticism and aggressiveness in the Lakers’ four-game sweep over the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals. But here’s the scary part: at age 34 Bryant provided similar theatrics this year in his 17th NBA season.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org