Kobe Bryant waits for his trusty sidekick, Derek "Tonto" Fisher (via @GotEm_Coach).
Last Wednesday, Kobe Bryant dealt with the broken nose he suffered in the All-Star game by wearing a transparent protective mask. Lots of players have donned similar pieces in the past, but none have been quite so funny as this one, mostly because Kobe takes himself incredibly seriously on the court. Luckily for him, he's played pretty well while wearing the mask, scoring at least 30 points in all three games.
However, Bryant found the mask uncomfortable, claiming it fogged up and got way too hot. To fix these issues, he's changed his mask, opting for a black one. Except that made him look even more ridiculous, as if he decided to dress up as a caped crusader for a comic-book convention. Check out the screengrab above (via @GotEm_Coach), and wonder exactly what the rest of his Black Mamba costume would look like.
Sadly, the experiment was short-lived. At end of the first half, Kobe had switched back to the clear mask, likely in the hope of correcting his 2-of-10 shooting from the field before halftime.
Prior to the game, Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell explained why Kobe picked the black mask:
Bryant actually had three new masks made in Detroit — by the maker of Richard Hamilton's masks — that he tried on at the team's shootaround on Tuesday morning, and the black one was simply the most comfortable of the five (including the two he already had), according to athletic trainer Gary Vitti.
Comfort is a suitable reason for picking this mask, even if it didn't work out in the long run. But that's not going to stop fans from Photoshopping him into photos of the Lone Ranger and Zorro. The image is too ridiculous to avoid. With any luck, we'll see Kobe opt for a full Batman mask, complete with ears, for his next game. It's the logical next step.
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- Kobe Bryant