Kobe Bryant’s A.B.C. Reads “Always Be Closing”

"A-B-C: A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing! You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy doesn't walk on the lot unless he wants to buy. Sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?"                  — Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross

(a clip that Lakers coach Phil Jackson is reported to show his team before every close-out game.)

At the beginning of the post-season some analysts were questioning Kobe Bryant's ability to keep up his intensity at the ripe of NBA age of 31.

In the words of the normally circumspect Charles Barkley (yes, that was an attempt at sarcasm): "Those days of scoring 30-40 points every night are O-V-E-R."

Thank you, Your Loudness.

Now put down that Five-Buck-Box for a second and go call your mother. She'll set you straight.

Not that anyone should take him seriously.

Like lottery games, Barkley and his predictions are "for entertainment purposes only." But one month after this "historic prediction," it could be argued that Bryant is having his best post-season to date.

Bryant has topped the 30 point mark in nine of the last 10 games and on his way to doing so, Bryant also passed legendary power forward Karl Malone for fourth in all-time playoff scoring.

In his seven previous (road) close-out games, Bryant's averages are: 32.3 PPG, 5.5 APG, 6.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.4 BPG.

In this series alone, Bryant's averages are: 33.0 PPG, 9.6 APG, 7.4 RPG, .6 SPG, 1.4 BPG.

Doesn't seem like he's ready for the senior discount quite yet, does it?

Tonight, Kobe and Co. will play their 11th close-out game in their 11th series.

With one more win, the Black Mamba will have earned his ticket back to the promise land for his...

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