NBA Playoffs 2011: Kobe Bryant’s Monster Dunks Symbolic in Big Game 5 Win

There was no way Kobe Bryant would sit this one out. No chance in hell.

What could keep this extraordinary player off the court? A heart attack? A freak accident where his leg gets cut off by a buzzsaw? It seems like even those gruesome situations would not keep this monster off the court.

That's exactly what he is.

A monster.

He is otherworldly.

The media keeps raving about Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and LeBron James, but Kobe Bryant did something Tuesday night that none of those players have ever done. He played with a sprained ankle in his mid-30s. Forget just playing. No, no. Playing wouldn't be enough.

Not only did he play, but he added two monstrous dunks that made one think if his ankle was really sprained.

It's sprained all right. But his heart and desire to win is never sprained or damaged. In fact, his desire to win grows in times of crisis. He elevates his game when faced with adversity. He makes Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World seem like a mere child with his legendary acts on the court.

Those two dunks by Kobe Bryant were very significant. Kobe's not going away just yet.

No, sir.

In Kobe's mind, it doesn't matter what anybody says. It doesn't matter that Derrick Rose will win the MVP. It doesn't matter that LeBron James is considered the best in the game right now from pundits. In his mind, he's still the man. And until he hangs up his shoes, he will always be the man.

Those dunks made him look like a 22-year-old. It's true that his body is banged up. But one thing that is youthful and exuberant is his will to win. And it doesn't matter how old his body is when he has that kind of desire and passion for the game.

He plays the game like he's never won a championship, like he's out there to prove to his coach that he's worthy enough to crack the starting five of a team. We have not seen such pa...

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